AIDS2020: Virtual, the biannual conference of the International AIDS Society, held in early July, marked a turning point for long-term HIV/AIDS survivors — and not a good one. Five of us in San Francisco who have been on the front lines of the fight for our LGBTQ and HIV communities from the very beginning, left the event feeling sidelined and fed up. So, we met to discuss the myriad issues confronted by us long-term survivors. The result: The San Francisco Principles 2020, which we hope will be the seed for a new movement.
Group archives, displays works of hundreds from Bay Area
To help artists who were suffering from life-threatening illnesses, a collective of artists, art collectors and gallery owners began convening at local art spaces in the city in late 1980s. Their mission was to find a means to record the existing works of artists with AIDS and provide them with the materials they needed to create new ones. The group grew into a fullfledged nonprofit called Visual Aid in 1989, and the organization has been supporting hundreds of Bay Area artists since then.
As overall AIDS rates fall in Alameda County, the rate in the black community has hardly budged in the past 10 years, making African Americans in this part of the East Bay increasingly overrepresented among sufferers of the disease.
A new report concerning the health of boys of different ethnicities focuses on the effect of neighborhoods and communities on physical and mental health.
In the store it doesn’t look like much, but inside the booth on Castro Street something bigger is going on. Generations HIV, part of the HIV Story Project, aims to get conversation flowing about how HIV/AIDS have affected different generations by allowing people to record questions, answers or stories about the diseases within the booth.
Already reeling from a deep recession and massive cuts to staff and services in this year’s budget, San Francisco is being hammered by a new tidal wave of state cuts — estimated at $26.5 million — which could put low-income seniors and others on the brink of homelessness and hunger, many advocates say.
Proposed cuts in funding to HIV and AIDS programs around the state could put thousands of lives at risk and set back years of progress fighting the disease, activists and service providers say.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest budget proposal would cut $80 million from the state Office of AIDS budget, reducing funding to prevention and testing programs and disease trend tracking by 80 percent. The cuts would also reduce funding for home care, cut the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) budget by $12.3 million, and eliminate the Therapeutic Monitoring Program, which pays for blood tests for people with HIV infection.