Friday, July 27, 2007

Campaign 2 End AIDS (C2EA) Action in Silverhill, AL

The following notice was posted on the Positive Artist's Portfolio Archive Yahoo group this week. I have omitted the name of the poster for privacy purposes. This note show just how far we have to go to end the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.

In the third decade of the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic, our collective
efforts to treat, prevent, and deal with this human crisis remain slowed
by fear, ignorance, stigma, discrimination and irrational hatred of
people living with HIV.

Those of us working and struggling to respond positively to the HIV/AIDS
epidemic – particularly people living with HIV and AIDS – have a
responsibility to stand up and speak out against these evils when they
become public.

Earlier this month in Silver Hill, Alabama, Caleb Glover was denied
access to a recreational pool, showers, and sanitary facilities at the
Wales West RV park because of his HIV status. Caleb is two years old.

Health officials and local AIDS service providers explained to the
public, to the media, and to park owner Ken Zadnichek that Caleb's
use of these facilities posed no threat whatsoever to the health of
those around him. But Zadnichek insisted that Caleb either stay out of
the water or leave.

An Alabama newspaper quoted Zadnichek as saying, "I'm not responsible
for their feelings. I'm responsible for the well-being of everybody in
the park. If their feelings got hurt, I'm sorry. That's the way it's got
to be."

Well, Mr. Zadnichek, that's not the way it's got to be.

The Campaign to End AIDS calls on people living with HIV/AIDS,
activists, family members and loved ones to join us in a collective,
public response to this evil act of hatred and discrimination. This
action should take place at the end of August.

We will reach out to the Glover family, to local PLWHAs, activists and
service providers in Mobile and across Alabama, and we will be
respectful in our consideration of people who have struggled with stigma
and discrimination in Alabama for years.

But we will be fierce in our public response, and unyielding in our
demands:

  • that people living with HIV/AIDS be treated with respect;
  • that discriminatory behavior against people living with HIV/AIDS
    be appropriately investigated and prosecuted; and
  • that all people in Alabama, across America, and around the world
    know that we will come to the defense of our brothers and sisters, no
    matter their age or race or social status, to insist on all of our basic
    human rights to fair and equal treatment regardless of disability.


To participate in the planning or to join us in this action, email
leaders and organizers of the Campaign to End AIDS or at this this address or call them at 877-END-AIDS.

Please visit the homepage of C2EA for more information on this organization.


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