Sunday, December 04, 2011

PWAs Omitted From Obama's
World AIDS Day Event

I'm participating in the 60-day blogging project Let's Talk HIV for the Edge network, along with two other persons living with AIDS, River Huston a writer living in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Earl Plante who works at the Latino AIDS Commission in New York City. Happy to be among esteemed company and fellow self-empowered PWAs, surviving and thriving with HIV.

Winnie McCroy is the editor for the project and has given us free rein to write on issues of our own choosing. My pieces are a mix of personal and political essays, with my most recent on the shameful lack of a living person with HIV at the big event with the president and other luminaries on World AIDS Day.

Here's are excerpts:

The current executive in the White House and his two immediate predecessors collaborating on December 1 to bring more attention to HIV, those of us living with it and at-risk of contracting the virus; what’s not to like?

Plenty, starting with the participants -- or rather I should say who wasn’t invited to participate: not a single publicly identified PWA. ...

There is no excuse in Year 30 of the AIDS epidemic not to have a person or two living with AIDS joining with Obama and the other invited speakers to observe WAD.

Our omission at this crucial event that attracted global media coverage, added to the stigma PWAs face, and told us loud and clear that we’re not on the radars of the RED, ONE, and White House organizers when it comes to including PWAs before a worldwide audience.

Read the entire piece here, and if you give a damn about PWA empowerment and reducing the stigma we face, make some noise about Obama omitting a PWA from his WAD event with the likes of Bill Clinton and Bono. Rendering us invisible is quite a disservice to fighting AIDS.

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