This Saturday, the Campaign to End AIDS finally hits D.C.

Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 by Michael Kink

NEAR BALTIMORE: This weekend, C2EA's walking caravan hit Maryland

As reported in Monday's Washington Post, something magical will happen this Saturday morning outside RFK Stadium in Washington. Hundreds of people with HIV/AIDS and their supporters who have been making their way for weeks to the nation's capital will gather—along with hundreds more supporters, D.C. locals and fly-ins—to kick off four historic Days of Action for the Campaign to End AIDS, or C2EA.

Saturday's opening ceremony—followed by a massive March to End AIDS and rally in Anacostia Park—is the end-point for the eight C2EA caravans that have been making their way across the nation the past three weeks, bringing attention along the way to C2EA's demand for an end to the epidemic here and abroad. But Saturday is also the beginning of an exciting, energizing weekend of rallies, prayer services and demonstrations. (<http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=49637908&u=460938>Click here for a press release with the full schedule—and join in if you can!) It concludes Tuesday, Nov. 8, C2EA Advocacy Day, with Capitol Hill visits that over 200 people have signed up for—a turn-out that promises check-ins with virtually every congressional office.

Click here to register for Advocacy Day...but hurry, because registration closes this Friday at 5pm.)...

Read the rest: "JUST OVER THE HILL"


HW top dog Charles King and Bush adviser Claude Allen grapple for mic as HW disrupts abstinence confab

GUAYLUPO: Speaking up for real sex ed

Thursday morning (Nov. 3), 18 Housing Works clients and staffers disrupted a government-sponsored abstinence-education conference at a Baltimore hotel when they rushed the podium at the start of a keynote address by Claude Allen, a presidential domestic policy adviser and a former HHS official. Allen has played a key role in Bush administration funding—to the tune of $37 million in 2005 alone—of programs that teach young people "abstinence-only" and forbid mention of condoms or other methods to avoid pregnancy and/or HIV/STDs.

The <http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=49637908&u=460942>conference, titled "Abstinence Education: Strenghening Programs Through Evaluation," brought together representatives from several abstinence-focused programs to discuss how to legitimize such programs through formal assessment. According to Housing Works senior legislative counsel Mike Kink, who served as a legal observer, HHS official Alma Golden, in her opening remarks, told participants that getting favorable results from evaluation of abstinence-focused programs was all a matter of asking the right questions on evaluation forms.

Compared to two decades of scientific data showing that condoms are highly effective in protecting against HIV/AIDS, the few existing data on abstinence-focused programs yield a mixed message, with some studies suggesting that young people coming out of such programs aren't equipped to protect themselves from pregnancy and HIV/STDs when they do finally have sex.

As soon as Allen stood to speak, Housing Works attendees—who had registered for the free conference—rushed the podium, with Housing Works CEO Charles King blowing a whistle. "Abstinence-only doesn't work/teach safe sex," chanted the protestors, while three or four of them passed out <http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=49637908&u=460943>leaflets, which some members of the largely white, middle-age audience tore up as they booed the protestors. "Straight-only doesn't work/teach gay sex," continued the protestors, referring to abstinence education's refusal to acknowledge the special issues faced by LGBT youth...

<http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=49637908&u=460944>Read the rest: "BALTIMORE BUST-UP"

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C2EA Advocacy Day, Schumer's support—and Coburn's last-minute moves

NOO YAWKAS: Sen. Chuck Schumer (front center) meets with NY AIDS advocates about supporting reauthorization

This week, all roads lead to Washington—that is, to the Campaign to End AIDS' 4-day summit in the nation's capital, so let's start on a C2EA note with a reminder that this Tuesday, Nov. 8, is C2EA Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, when more than 200 C2EAers living with HIV/AIDS and their supporters will visit nearly every congressional office to ask for support on the programs we rely on most: not just the Ryan White CARE Act, but Medicaid, HOPWA, and the U.N. Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria as well. (Wanna be a part of it? <http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=49637908&u=460946>Sign up here by close of business Friday.)

Advocacy Day kicks off at 8:30am with a rally/press conference in front of the west side of the Capitol Building, featuring leaders from the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Introducing a congressional resolution to support C2EA and its goals will be Del. Donna M. Christensen (D-VI), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust; Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus's Health Task Force; Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; and Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific-American Caucus' Health Task Force. (Click here for the full press release.)...

Read the rest: "RYAN WHITE UPDATE"


Dubya's recovery plan hacks away at Medicaid, housing & welfare

President Bush made it clear this week that his new plan for political recovery packs a one-two punch to rally support from Americans with hard-core right-wing views.

The first punch: Support for deep new cuts in social programs now being considered by the GOP-controlled Congress. The second: A radical conservative nominee for the Supreme Court (see story below).

That means the President will push deep new cuts to Medicaid, housing, welfare, and other programs with all his might. Across-the-board spending cuts could take over $40 million out of the Ryan White CARE Act and billions out of Medicaid, housing and other antipoverty efforts...

>Read the rest: "BUSH WHACKING"


New Supremes pick once OK'd PWA discrimination

ALITO: Troubling trail

The "paper trail" of memos, rulings and judicial opinions left by President Bush's latest Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito suggests that people living with HIV/AIDS and AIDS activists may want to join the fight against his nomination. One piece of the trail: Alito wrote a Reagan-era regulation that allowed employers who thought they could get AIDS from a toilet seat to fire their HIV-positive employees.

Early in the AIDS epidemic, Alito served under President Reagan in the Justice Department, where a policy he wrote would have allowed employers to fire employees with HIV/AIDS if they were scared of becoming infected—even if the fears were baseless.

According to the September 24, 1986 Washington Post, deputy assistant attorney general Sam Alito helped author a Justice Department policy that "said that discrimination based on insufficient medical knowledge was not prohibited by federal laws protecting the handicapped. Employers, it said, may legally fire AIDS victims because of a 'fear of contagion whether reasonable or not.'"

The Justice Department's position was rejected by many states, including some that reacted by barring discrimination against people with AIDS. Alito, whose work helped foster some of the hysteria about AIDS during the Reagan era, said, "We certainly did not want to encourage irrational discrimination," but the reaction to it "hasn't shaken our belief in the rightness of our opinion."...

>Read the rest: "ALITO & AIDS"


"Nor'easter" caravan roars in from New England en route to D.C.

CAPITAL GANG: Albany in da house!

AIDS activists from across the Northeast gathered in Albany, NY, on Tuesday, to greet one of the eight <http://en.groundspring.org/EmailNow/pub.php?module=URLTracker&cmd=track&j=49637908&u=460954>Campaign to End AIDS caravans en route to Washington, D.C., this weekend for Four Days of Action to demand that governments end the AIDS epidemic.

"We have what it takes to end AIDS, right now," said HIV-positive Mark Hayes, who works at Housing Works' Albany office and was featured in this clip about C2EA on the local news. "But the politicians won't take action unless the people demand it," added Hayes. "That's why we're going to Washington."...

>Read the rest: "NYSWatch: C2EA HITS ALBANY!"


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The Housing Works AIDS Issues Update is reported, written and edited by Tim Murphy, Philip F. Rose, Michael Kink, Robert Cordero, terri smith-caronia and Housing Works staff. Send your feedback, leads and story ideas to <mailto:tmurphy@housingworks.org>tmurphy@housingworks.org.

You can reach us by phone at 518-449-4207, by fax at 518-449-4219, and by email at update@housingworks.org. Housing Works provides housing, advocacy and services to homeless people living with AIDS and HIV. Housing Works is the nation's largest community-based AIDS organization and the nation's largest minority-controlled AIDS organization.



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