Equality To End AIDS
October 10 HIV/AIDS Rally and Vigil
"Young LGBT people attending the National Equality March need to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS," says Cleve Jones
HIV-positive speakers and performers to be featured
September 24, 2009 - As tens of thousands of LGBT Americans and their allies converge on Washington next month to march for equal rights, they also will remind the nation and the LGBT community that the AIDS epidemic is not over as well as remember the more than half a million Americans who have died from the disease.
The Equality to End AIDS rally and vigil will take place Saturday, October 10, the day before the massive Equality March. Equality To End AIDS will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 pm on the Ellipse, in front of the White House, and feature an inspiring roster of speakers and performers (most of whom are HIV-positive), culminating in a candlelight vigil.
"The weekend is about achieving full equality for LGBT Americans. We need to use that political power to remind the country that the AIDS epidemic continues. A great many young people will attend the march; we need them to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS," said Cleve Jones, the founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and one of the National Equality March organizers.
Gay and bisexual men are now 50 times more likely to acquire HIV than any other demographic. Among young gay men, HIV infections increased an astonishing 12% each year from 2001 to 2006; the only demographic group to see an increase in infections during that period. Even though treatments have extended life for many people with HIV, recent research indicates that, on average, people with HIV live 21 years less than their HIV-negative counterparts.
"Many of our most energized LGBT activists are too young to remember the devastating impact AIDS has had on the gay community. We must re-engage the larger LGBT community in AIDS activism," said Charles King, President and CEO of Housing Works, which is the fiscal sponsor of the rally and vigil. "Ending the HIV pandemic is an issue of justice that must be their fight as well."
Speakers and entertainers at the rally will include singer/actress Sherri Lewis, Broadway actress and former Miss America Kate Shindle, members of the Diva League and Inner Light Ministries Choir, Rev. Kenneth Glasgow, San Francisco Human Rights Commission Chairperson Cecilia Chung, Shawn Decker's Synthetic Division, poet Brandon Plain, gospel rap artist DesencÚ, singer/songwriter Dudley Saunders, POZ Magazine founder Sean Strub, Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson and Bishop Rainey Cheeks. Many of the speakers and performers are people living with HIV.
The Campaign to End AIDS in collaboration with Housing Works, Broadway Cares, Westminster Presbyterian Church, More Light Presbyterians, AIDS Action; The Afiya Center, D.C. Fights Back, SisterLove, Southern AIDS Coalition, Positive Advocacy Caucus, Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP), Bailey House, Health GAP, National AIDS Housing Coalition, Metropolitan Community Church, Inner Light Ministries, AIDS Action in Mississippi (AAIM), Connecticut AIDS Residence Coalition (CARC), NYC AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN), International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC), Lifebeat, Cable Positive, Gay Men's Health Crisis.
Equality to End AIDS HIV/AIDS Rally and Vigil at National Equality March.
The Ellipse (by the White House) 17th Street NW & Constitution Avenue NW Washington, DC
October 10, 5:30 to 8:30pm
727 15th Street NW,
"Reproduced with permission - Housing Works"