‘Dissident’ AIDS Groups Engage in High-Profile Acts to Call Attention to ‘Conspiracy Theories’
Two California newspapers this weekend published an Associated Press article profiling the tactics of some chapters of ACT UP that have been "hijacked" by AIDS "dissidents," who "promote conspiracy theories and use criminal tactics to silence" people who hold different viewpoints on HIV/AIDS. The article, which appeared in the Sacramento Bee and the Contra Costa Times, states that some dissident groups, including ACT UP/San Francisco, "have decided that the mainstream AIDS establishment is the enemy," contending that certain drugs, not HIV, cause AIDS and that "safe sex campaigns threaten gay rights by limiting sexual freedoms." Members of ACT UP/San Francisco and other dissident activists have engaged in a variety of high-profile acts, including throwing fake blood at AIDS experts and dumping soiled cat litter on the director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The article also profiles the case of gay activist Michael Petrelis and ACT UP/San Francisco member David Pasquarelli, who were arrested in November on charges of stalking and making threats to AIDS researchers, public health officials and journalists (Mason, AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/9). The full article is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.