In the Blog

AIDS 2006

August 13th, 2006     by Allison Martell     Comments

I just watched the end of the AIDS 2006 opening ceremonies on TV. A lot of optimistic noises, but I have a couple things to point out.

AIDS activism in Toronto (and elsewhere) started in the queer community. I know that there is continuity in terms of people - some of the activists who fought the epidemic then are still involved. But there is almost no mention of that history at the big events and in the major media. These people pioneered outreach and prevention. And I’m not just looking for lip service to the queer community - there is a lesson to be learned. AIDS is all about marginalized groups, and what happens when a health issues meets homophobia, racism, sexism, etc.

There was also a weird section of Melinda Gates’ speech where she implied that a sex worker is less valuable than a “faithful mother of four.” I think it was a case of unfortunate phrasing, because in the rest of her address she said the opposite, but I worry that people will pick up on the message they have been conditioned to hear - that sex workers don’t matter.

A lot the conference is restricted to delegates, but check out this page for events at the Global Village, which is open to the public.

Tags: activist report, event listings

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