Friday, January 16, 2009

Puyá el burro

Traveler's Notes: AIDS Advocacy in the Age of Obama

by David Ernesto Munar
AIDS Foundation of Chicago

via AIDS Connect

Sometimes you do your best thinking on the beach.

So it was a week after the election as I retreated from the 24-hour news cycle to relax with family in Cartagena, Colombia.

Known as the Heroic City, Cartagena readied for its annual independence parades and festivals as I arrived. The laid-back rhythms of this Caribbean colonial port helped soothe my accumulated stress. On a healthy diet of seafood and sun, I gained a renewed perspective about the significance of this transformative period in American history.

"Is he as impressive as he seems?" I was asked frequently. In this predominately multi-racial society where racism nonetheless prevails, President-elect Barack Obama inspires both a sense of pride and enormous awe in the resiliency of the American spirit.

For those of us affected by HIV/AIDS, Obama's ambitious AIDS plan portends a better future. Could our aspirations be dashed, however, under the weight of AIDS complacency and competing priorities?

AIDS advocates have good reason to be cautious. As the U.S. deployed unprecedented assistance to combat the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, the Administration of President George W. Bush blocked lifesaving and science-based HIV prevention, divested from community-based HIV organizations, and allowed the domestic epidemic to grow without a commensurate expansion in services.

The global AIDS response, while commendable, nonetheless neglected proven harm reduction approaches, undermined access to condoms and family planning, and failed to empower women, girls, and gay/bisexual men in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

I harbor resentment that no amount of caravans, protests, facts, or organizing succeeded in dampening the Bush Administration's (and its allies') powerful and ideologically based resistance to sound HIV/AIDS policies.

After these past eight years, I'm practically programmed to be disappointed.

So I gathered with my mix of emotions – and North American newspapers – in the quiet moments of my Colombian vacation to recalibrate my thinking about our movement's next strategies and approaches.

Read the rest on AIDS Connect.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

select key words

2007 National HIV Prevention Conference 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit 2011 LGBTI Health Summit 2012 Gay Men's Health Summit 2012 International AIDS Conference abstinence only ACT Up activism advocacy Africa african-american aging issues AIDS AIDS Foundation of Chicago anal cancer anal carcinoma anal health anal sex andrew's anus athlete ball scene bareback porn barebacking bathhouses bears big bold and beautiful Bisexual Bisexual Health Summit bisexuality black gay men black msm blood ban blood donor body image bottom Brian Mustanski BUTT Center on Halsted Charles Stephens Chicago Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus Chicago Task Force on LGBT Substance Use and Abuse Chris Bartlett chubby chaser circumcision civil rights civil union Coaching with Jake communication community organizing condoms Congress crystal meth dating dating and mating with alan irgang David Halperin David Munar depression disclosure discrimination domestic violence don't ask don't tell douche downlow Dr. James Holsinger Dr. Jesus Ramirez-Valles Dr. Rafael Diaz Dr. Ron Stall drag queen Ed Negron emotional health ENDA Eric Rofes exercise Feast of Fun Feel the love... female condom fitness Friday is for Faeries FTM gay culture gay identity gay latino gay male sex gay marriage gay men gay men of color gay men's health Gay Men's Health Summit 2010 gay pride gay rights gay rugby gay sex gay youth gender harm reduction hate crime HCV health care health care reform health insurance hepatitis C HIV HIV care HIV drugs HIV negative HIV positive HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV strategic plan HIV testing hiv vaccine HIV/AIDS homophobia homosexuality hottie hotties how are you healthy? Howard Brown Health Center HPV human rights humor hunk Illinois IML immigration International AIDS Conference international mr. leather internet intimacy IRMA Jim Pickett leather community leathersex Leon Liberman LGBT LGBT adoption LGBT culture LGBT health LGBT rights LGBT seniors LGBT youth LGBTI community LGBTI culture LGBTI health LGBTI rights LGBTI spirituality LGV LifeLube LifeLube forum LifeLube poll LifeLube subscription lifelube survey Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano love lube lubricant Lymphogranuloma Venereum masturbation mental health microbicides middle Monday Morning Perk-Up MRSA MSM music National AIDS Strategy National Gay Men's Health Summit negotiated safety nutrition One Fey's Tale oral sex Peter Pointers physical health Pistol Pete pleasure PnP podcast policy politics poppers porn post-exposure prophylaxis PrEP President Barack Obama Presidential Campaign prevention Project CRYSP prostate prostate cancer public health public sex venues queer identity racism Radical Faerie recovery rectal microbicides relationships religion research safe sex semen Senator Barack Obama sero-adaptation sero-sorting seroguessing sex sexual abuse sexual addiction sexual health sexual orientation Sister Glo Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence smoking social marketing spirituality STD stigma stonewall riots substance abuse treatment substance use suicide super-bug superinfection Susan Kingston Swiss declaration syphilis Ted Kerr Test Positive Aware Network testicle self-examination testicular cancer testing The "Work-In" The 2009 Gay Men's Health Agenda Tony Valenzuela top Trans and Intersex Association trans group blog Trans Gynecology Access Program transgender transgender day of remembrance transgendered transmen transphobia transsexual Trevor Hoppe universal health care unsafe sex vaccines video violence viral load Who's That Queer Woof Wednesday writers yoga You Tube youtube