Monday, October 12, 2009
Hundreds Gather in Nation's Capitol to Rally Against HIV/AIDS
by Todd Heywood, via RH Reality Check
Hundreds of people effected and affected by the HIV epidemic rallied on the Washington Mall Saturday night to call for an end to the epidemic.
The event, sponsored by Housing Works, an HIV/AIDS service organization, featured speeches from people with HIV, musical entertainment and spoken word art designed to inform, challenge and bring attention to the epidemic.
Sean Strub, founder of POZ magazine which has an audience of HIV infected persons, said the event was the first time in about a decade that those infected, effected and affected by the virus, which causes AIDS, had planned. Planning for the event got underway in the beginning of Sept. Strub said.
Gathered in the shadow of the Washington Monument, and a stone throw's distance from the back of the White House, the crowd gathered. They were young and old, men and women, African American as well as African nationals. There were lesbians, and gay men as well as transgenders. Rainbow flags and red ribbons were the accessories of the day.
The rally and candle light vigil come a week after President Barack Obama made a historic call to action on the issue, and has launched an initiative to develop the country's first every HIV/AIDS Strategy.
"This weekend is about achieving full equality for LGBT Americans," said National Equality March organizer Cleve Jones. Jones is also the founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and cut his teeth organizing the LGBT community in San Francisco alongside gay icon Harvey Milk. "We need to use that political power to remind the country that the AIDS epidemic continues."
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Read another article on the rally from VOA.
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