This week, world leaders are gathering at the United Nations to act on a groundbreaking goal: to make AIDS history. And while the goal is undoubtedly ambitious, it is achievable if we commit the political will and resources to make it happen.
The progress we have already made in the battle to contain AIDS is quite extraordinary. It is evidence of the irresistible power within the human family, when individuals, communities and countries work together to achieve common goals, to make the impossible, possible.
It was just 15 years ago, in 2001, that the United Nations convened the first High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS.… Seguir leyendo »
Last week Jennifer Mumaugh and A. J. McDaniel became the first same-sex couple to marry in Wyoming. They celebrated their union in Cheyenne, just miles away from where Matthew Shepard was left to die only 16 years ago. Wyoming thus became the 32nd state to allow gay marriage — explicitly or, by refusing to appeal court decisions, implicitly. Alaska. Arizona. Idaho. All have fallen this month.
These are great advances, and there is no question that those who believe in marriage equality must be vigilant in protecting them. But as engaged as the gay community and civil rights activists have been in the fight for marriage equality, we have lost ground on the fight that so intensely galvanized the gay community to begin with: H.I.V.… Seguir leyendo »
“The Normal Heart,” written by my friend, the brilliant playwright Larry Kramer, and based on his story during the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic, tells a tale that many of us lived through, and many others did not survive. It’s as relevant today as an HBO movie as when it premiered on the stage in New York City in 1985.
Back then, The New York Times refused to print the word “gay,” and New York Mayor Ed Koch was agonizingly slow to respond to the unfolding epidemic. Fear was everywhere. Around the country, family members shunned infected relatives, doctors were afraid to touch AIDS patients, let alone treat them, and hospital wards filled up with young men covered in lesions, dying excruciating deaths.… Seguir leyendo »
On Saturday night I was in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, performing at an Aids awareness concert. Some people might have preferred me not to come. Why? Because Ukraine, which waited so long for its own freedom, now threatens the freedom of gay people to express themselves in the most basic of ways – by taking part in a gay-pride parade or even speaking openly about homosexuality.
Draft law number 8711, due to be debated by the Ukrainian parliament this week, would make it an offence to talk about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in the media. Even HIV advice to gay men could be banned.… Seguir leyendo »
Dear President Mutharika
You and I have never met, but we have long been partners, standing shoulder to shoulder in the fight against HIV/Aids, and hand in hand with the people of Malawi. I am writing as a friend.
Mr President, I have admired your efforts to bring health services and development to your people, and the Elton John Aids Foundation has proudly worked with the government of Malawi to these ends since 1998. We have made much progress together.
That is why I am most alarmed and deeply upset by the persecution of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steve Monjeza on the grounds of their sexual orientation.… Seguir leyendo »