3,500 AIDS Advocates March in Washington, D.C., To Draw Attention to HIV/AIDS Pandemic
Approximately 3,500 AIDS advocates marched in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to mark the launch of the Campaign to End AIDS, an advocacy organization that is "reflecting a shift in the make-up of the AIDS activism movement," the Washington Post reports. The advocates carried about 8,000 pairs of shoes down Pennsylvania Avenue to Lafayette Square across from the White House to "remind anyone watching" that 8,000 people die of AIDS-related causes each day worldwide and that the "victims are as many and as varied as the sandals, wingtips and sneakers the protestors brought with them," according to the Post. "Way back when, the activists were usually gay, white men, privileged and educated," Eric Sawyer, co-founder of the advocacy group ACT UP, said, adding, "Today we've got African-American churchwomen from the South walking with someone straight out of prison, walking with an Asian Harvard graduate." Several participants also said that the importance of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and awareness programs, as well as funding, has "dimmed on the public's radar," the Post reports. "There's a general public perception that AIDS is not a problem right now," C2EA organizer Tim Murphy said, adding, "This is not 1989. We have the tools to treat this now. They're just not accessible for a huge percentage of the population" (Dvorak, Washington Post, 5/6). The march was the first in a series of C2EA events planned for 2005, including a planned youth training institute in June and nine cross-country caravans planned for the fall (C2EA release, 5/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.