On November 27, House Speaker Boehner probably had his own plans for December One, World AIDS Day. What do you think he had in mind? Greater funding, a call for more increased Congressional focus on HIV prevention?
Whatever....seven AIDS activists, women and men, preempted him by appearing unannounced four days before the designated Day. Without clothes, decorated with painted messages on their bodies. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
"Budget cuts are really rude. That's why we have to be so lewd," they chanted. The men eluded police but four women were arrested. This gave them the "opportunity" to give more details about funding cuts. Jennifer Flynn of Global Health Access spoke for the group to WAMU Radio.
"We're having everything ripped off of us. We're going to be left with nothing, people with AIDS in this country and around the world need to have PEPFAR funded — the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief."
The protesters represented many organizations worried that more than $1 billion in budget cuts could hit HIV and AIDS programs if pending budget cuts aren't diverted before January.
Since December 1, 2007, when my other blog, Knit a Condom Amulet began, I've wondered about its usefulness as a message about HIV awareness. But when I check my stats on how many times people click on it, seems it's still relevant.
Five years later, reports appear about the rise in HIV cases in young gay men in urban areas, more cases in financially troubled Greece and 200 new cases each day in Russia. And women? Learning in 1995 about growing numbers of HIV in women over 50 was the startling information that initially grabbed my attention. According to the 2012 Kaiser Foundation on HIV/IDS policy:
...women represented 8% of diagnoses in 1985, 20% in 1995, and 27% in 2000, a similar share as today.
Condom amulet pictured above is a close-up of the conveniet pocket on the ManThong designed by New York artist Amanda Gale. One of John Boehner's naked visitors might knit one and appear next in his next locker room--before one of his frequent golf games.