Friday, November 14, 2008

Oh, the Humanity

We must envision a day
when we are reflexively
empathetic to gay men.

Homophobia—multiplied nineteen times

by Jim Pickett
in the November/December 2008 issue of Positively Aware

So, as it turns out, efforts (and the lack thereof) to eradicate HIV across the globe are systematically ignoring, denying, under-serving, and failing gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM).

While this was not exactly a surprise on a planet where 86 countries continue to criminalize LGBTs in any number of human rights-crushing ways, to fully comprehend the broad, wide-reaching neglect of gay/MSM in the global AIDS pandemic is nevertheless a shock and awe to the soul. I was delighted that this issue emerged as a key, defining theme of the XVII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2008), held in Mexico City August 3–8.

The AIDS 2006 conference in Toronto had frustrated me with the paucity of discussion and energy around gay/MSM topics. While AIDS 2008 featured gay/MSM issues prominently, my emotions were yet again set to frustration, and rage, as the extent of the neglect was revealed in countless plenaries, sessions, symposia, and press conferences.

Read the rest of the article.

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