Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Cleve Jones No Longer Gives
a Damn About AIDS?

The Washington Blade blog today posted an excellent and informative piece about the plans of Cleve Jones, creator of the AIDS quilt and a man living with AIDS, and his plans for a very scaled down march on Washington in October for gay equality.

At a time when lots of low-income people with AIDS in California saw the renters' reimbursement program totally cut in October by the legislature and the governor, and when local government and private sector housing subsidies for PWAs have been scaled back, and many alternative health programs for PWAs have also been either eliminated or curtailed, and with PWAs in CA facing the total loss of the state's AIDS drug access program, I haven't been able to locate a single recent quote from Jones about any of these problems.

Give the Blade story on Jones' march idea a read. You will see AIDS mentioned only in reference to his long ago work on the quilt and the SF AIDS Foundation.

Maybe Jones has great health care insurance and is in no way dependent upon any jeopardized programs for his AIDS cocktail or other essential services to stay alive. But for thousands of PWAs, facing the loss of housing and health care and life-saving cocktails, we're facing a real crisis, one that directly affects our health and longevity.

And Jones says nothing, that I'm aware of, about the very scary and potentially deadly loss of AIDS drugs for CA people with AIDS. Does he still give a damn about AIDS?

My protease gut tells me there won't be many CA PWAs showing up in October for Jones' folly in DC.

Just like the Dallas Principles, which seem to have died a quiet death, the effort to stage a march on Washington in the fall seems quite content to write off the desperate needs of people with AIDS and our struggle to stay alive.

(Photo credit: People living with HIV at a rally on Friday in Los Angeles, protesting proposed cuts. Many thanks to all who attended, and to Calvin Fleming for the pics.)

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