"Almost 10,000 people will die today from AIDS,"
December 1, 2001 12:19 AM   Subscribe

"Almost 10,000 people will die today from AIDS," says Eric Sawyer, founding member of ACT UP NY. (AIDs Coalition to Unleash Power is "a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis.")
posted by sudama (5 comments total)
Is ACT UP actually still around? I thought they'd imploded years ago from petty infighting. Or maybe just became ineffectual.

The list of Challenges seems a bit confused, particularly the first. Something about reintroducing AIDS to the public without sounding opportunistic re: 9.11, and then what sounds like a pretty opportunistic statement about identifying AIDS with the loss of life from that event. This is exactly the sort of thing that always ended up biting them in the ass, and eventually made everyone pretty much ignore them.

The issue of AIDS never left public discourse. Talk of it and lots of other things has been majorly back-burnered, and with good reason. It's not like the government suddenly commanded all research laboratories to drop HIV study and find something else to do.
posted by Su at 12:44 AM on December 1, 2001

ACT UP San Francisco has posters around the Castro claiming that "AIDS is over" and "AIDS is a scam". Joining with the president of South Africa, they say that HIV doesn't cause AIDS and depending on how you read, perhaps that AIDS doesn't exist at all outside popular imagination. I suppose if one looked hard enough one could also find cancer deniers, the issue just isn't as contentious.
posted by mlinksva at 2:13 AM on December 1, 2001

Well, I've got news for them.

HIV causes AIDS.
posted by shylock at 2:27 AM on December 1, 2001

ACT UP always was a bit of a two-edged sword to me. On the one hand, you had to admire their focus on the issue at hand and their energy and ingenuity in finding things that would get right up under several layers of dermis of those in charge.

On the other hand, their unfortunate tendency to grandstand and give themselves up lock, stock, and barrel to political paranoia lost them a lot of support they might otherwise have had.
posted by MAYORBOB at 4:18 AM on December 1, 2001

I once read that ACT UP (double-quoted parts courtesy of ACT-UP, single quoted whole from something else) was '"united in anger to end the AIDS crisis" by channeling their frustration into "highly focused, disciplined, and directed" actions, including acts of civil disobedience'. (ACT-UP quotes from "ACT-UP: The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power brochure, 1991).

Are they going to picket AIDS till it stops oppressing its hosts? I don't understand what thought process led them to believe chaining themselves to a railing in the NYSE holding a sign reading "Sell Wellcome" was the best way to expend energy to "end the AIDS crisis".
posted by jeb at 2:01 PM on December 1, 2001

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