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Obama's Silence on AIDS

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Dear Peter, Since you are here commenting on President Obama's silence I thought this is an appropriate place for me to ask a question about the near total silence from almost everyone here about here a case which this website reported more than a week ago. A young man in Iowa has been sentenced to 25 years in jail because he had sex with someone possibly--he himself says he was drunk at the time and doesn't remember--without informing him that he had HIV. What exactly did the sex consist in, and was it a low-risk or a high-risk activity? We aren't told. Did they use a condom? We aren't told. The so-called victim--that is what the news report risibly calls him--is HIV negative today. The so-called victim said: “I should have had the right to choose whether to be intimate with someone who is HIV positive,” the unnamed partner said in a statement. “Instead, Nick was manipulative and denied me that right. He lied online, and he also lied to me in person when I asked him directly if he was ‘clean.’” Now, this being thinks that "clean" is an appropriate synonym for "not having HIV", and he openly uses the language in talking to the court--that alone is worth throwing the book at him and not at the so-called criminal. Even if a case can be made that some sort of criminalization is reasonable, 25 years surely is not. I have disagreed with you in the past, Mr. Staley, but I thought if anyone here would have something cogent and useful to say--for example, about how we can meaningfully protest against this travesty of justice--it would be you. I cannot even find an address for the horrible judge in this case. And the young man is now in prison and looking forward to 25 more years there? I'm angry that in the streets of New York today hundreds of people are protesting because of "marriage" in California, something which is 1. a frill and 2. the internal affairs of another state while nobody seems to care about this at all. Please can someone break the silence and at least say something? In the days after this news story appeared here I waited for an appropriate reaction and instead there was silence from so many and others prefered to talk about anything from star trek to who knows what. And that young person is languishing in jail. What can we do? I look forward to some contribution from you. Thank you, Christopher

May 26, 2009


It's only been a couple of years since I've begun advocating for people with HIV, being 15 yrs HIV+ myself, and what I've encountered is a lot of fear and ignorance about this disease. I live in a town with a well funded LGBT Community Center and I am astounded by the silence that permeates the area and community about HIV. Often I encounter spite, disdain, and just about hatred from the un-affected. Their goal is to make us disappear. Isn't that what happened during the Holocaust? Our numbers are already ten times those of the exterminated by the Warmacht! Money and Higher Morals are keeping us in check. Who cares afterall, I'm just another faggot who's going to die from AIDS. We screamed and hollered when the Hutsis and Tutsies were killing each other. We screamed and hollered when the Christans and Moslems were killing each other in the former Yougoslavia. We screamed and hollered when the Jangweeds were on their sprees in Darfur. We're still screaming and hollering about the Talibanis and Moslems were killing each other in Afghanistan. We've conducted two fully fledged wars to protect the flow of oil from the Mid-East in the name of National Security. Twenty eight years later, we still don't want to whisper the words HIV and AIDS. There was a spurt of compassion when the national average life-span expectancy for an adult males dropped for the first time ever! Sure the Larry Kramers of the world got old and feeble and unable to lead the fight for survival, but like the virus itself, we won't go away, and tomorrow, just by chance it might be you, positive. Why should I care about negatives? Well, if they only knew what's on this side of the curtain! Acces to medications, unless you've got a scheme as large as Bernie's, is very difficult. A lot of people simply give up trying to gain access to medications because the bureaucracy is so intense! The medical community at large is so incompetent in ordering the simples blood tests needed for a as-best-as-accurate treatment plan. I'd really hate to be living in rural America! I guess all the Rock Hudsons have already died. It will be a long time before Magic's or Greg's death will be remembered. We now know that Regan suffered from Alzheimer's while in office. We now know that Carl Sagan died of Aids, ten years after his actual passing his wife decided to lift that veil of secrecy because of the shame she felt. How many others are living in shame? One percent of the population? It's a reflection of the national shame to have and impose the travel ban in effect. Not even China does that! We have switched places with both our Moral nemesis and our Capitalistic nemesis, with huge blood baths in between. We, those affected with HIV, have become the prey of the Colosseum. Constantine did not lift the ban on Christianity until they represented 10 percent of the population. We still have a long ways to go in our fight for safe survival. Obama is no Hitler, no Mao, no Constantine. The voice of the people prevail, and it screams: kill! kill! kill! It would take a thorough exam of conscience for Obam to come to the forefront to safeguard the safety and well being of those affected with HIV. The purges started by Regan still continue. Lots of issues, lots of conflicts, lots of questions gone unanswered. Why?

May 20, 2009


Obama needs to lift the travel and residence ban on HIV positive people. One of my students got into Harvard but couldn't move to the US because she failed an HIV test. With all the medicines available in 2009 this policy is ridiculously primitive!

May 19, 2009


It would be 1-2% if we only had 100 million people in the country. The US has a little more then 300 million people in the country. I will give an even more liberal estimate and say that 3 million people have it. That is still ONLY 1% of the population. Yet there are millions who have breast cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, autism, etc. AIDS activists want the issue of AIDS to be on everyone's mind every minute of the day, but it's not going to be. There are far more pressing concerns then HIV and AIDS.

May 18, 2009

the man

Given the problems going on in America at present, HIV/AIDS is hardly a priority. Lets generously say 2 million Americans are living with the disease. That number pales in significance when compared to the 20 plus million who've lost jobs during this economic downturn. The millions more facing forclosure on homes they were over extended on. Sure living with this disease sucks but 100 days into his presidency, Obama has much more pressing concerns than worrying about the needs 1-2% of the nations population.

May 9, 2009

Tom from Canada

Seems that Obama is not in rushing to remove the travel ban on people living with HIV, I am Canadian and can’t understand why Americans living with hiv can enter Canada and other countries without any problem but on the other hand if any Canadian who lives with hiv and has plans to travel to the US has to obtain a special permission that allow him/her to enter the US. AND THIS PERMESSION IS SUBJECT TO APPROVAL. Adding to this he will be flagged and stigmatized indefinitely about his hiv status. It is really sad to see United States side on side with a country like Saudi Arabia (dictatorship regime) (with all respect to Saudi’s) on the same list of very very few countries that still have such ban. Can anyone explain why?????

May 9, 2009


Just returned from AIDSWatch, the largest national HIV lobbying event in the US, held each spring in DC.Last time I attended (1998 and 1999) there were well over 1000 advocates presenet. This time ~100. Much of it, I'm sure, is due to the overall economy and lack of scholarships to help offset cost of air and hotel, but some of it is our own apathy. When news meds came out in 1996, HIV receded from the public eye. Many of us regained our health and went back to living life as usual. It's time more of us relight that fight for those who have lost their lives. The last 8 years I just did not have the stomach to attend AIDSWatch...what was the point with the previous admin.? By there is a new wave of optimism (for me personally and for those who attended). Jeffrey Crowley, Obama's newly appointed head of the National Office on AIDS Policy attended our meeting and spoke about the development of the national AIDS policy (ironic that we expect other nations to hav one when they apply for international HIV assistance, yet we ourselves have never had one). Check our NAPWA's website and review the Policy/Funding priorities that advocates spoke to their congressmen about. I thought their info, talking points, request were well thought out, well articulated. I can firsthand say that my visit had an impact. I received an email from one of my Senators' legislative health aide after our visit and as a result of our visit, he signed onto the Early Treatment for HIV Act and Ryan White reauthorization that expires Sept. 30. A crumb for the blind chicken perhaps, but I felt as if my voice had been heard. More voices need to be heard. Get involved if you are able. Crowley talked about the travel ban and that they are working to have it lifted as soon as humanly possible. I am much more optimistic about HIV resources with Obama in office. Though he may not have spoken up a lot the first 100 days in office (not like he didn't have a lot of other shit on his plate), he did fund 4.5 million in an HIV media campaign, his wife Michelle and First Lady of France announced they will be advocating for HIV causes, Obama and wife Michelle publicaly got HIV tests on their 2006 visit to Kenya. Can you imagine Bush having done that?

May 8, 2009

Philicia Legendaria

The travel ban isn't the most important issue facing HIV/AIDS community. Maybe to the upper-middle class travelers it is, but to those on Medicaid who have to sink to

May 7, 2009


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