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need your comments on report on 6/14 ahf not fab forum

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first movement of ahf not fab forum report — not getting caught (328) suite sheet

[drawing of a dead mouse in a sprung mousetrap]
we’re all concerned with not getting caught
not with not whether we ought not
to be not doing the deed (or not not)

chers at aidsmeds--

on june 14, 2006, aids healthcare foundation (ahf) sponsored a public forum and discussion in west hollywood about their new prevention social marketing ad campaign: hiv: (not) fabulous, showing pictures of persons with facial wasting, protease belly, and wearing diapers. launched in december and targeted at uninfected 20-year-olds, the campaign offended many older, mostly white, mostly affluent, all-gay men in a yahoo social discussion group. pot luck dinners and sunday morning breakfasts. there was also support for the campaign on the discussion site. the arguent was passionate and vehement until shut down by the founder. many felt stigmatized by the ads; many are angry with aids healthcare foundation. one person on the site suggested ahf quit business. (awo) sponsored a community forum on the topic in january. for me, this is an issue of cultural activism. i think telling our stories of living with hiv and aids is a more powerful tool than simple political confrontation. as a result of political confrontation, we (gay men and other people living in the affluent united states)are now a niche medical market for an industry that wants to stay in business and is economically disincentived to find a cure or a vaccine. we are a cash crop. persons with no cash can rot.

while that addresses other issues, prevention efforts are what are being discussed here. my suggestion is to produce a yearly multimedia prevention anthology about the state of aids in los angeles and the world, drawing on contributions from artists, scientists, thinkers and activists telling their stories. i think this would support and inform a one-on-one prevention effort, which is better than a prevention effort that leads to bucks for big pharma. an inneffective prevention effort.

some people had a good forum. some had a terrible forum. you’d think we weren’t at the same event. i spoke on the panel. i was at a pretty productive forum. other people from the yahoo discussion site attended a dismal panel. there is some skirmishing over minor points blown out of proportion, which is not new.

please take a look at my report from the meeting. would be interested in any comments.

the most important article to read is called “my big picture”
328.03 my big picture

i have also been experimenting with multi-part articles at awo, called suites. suite: a series of juxtaposed, interrelated,nteractive posts. at the bottom of each page in a suite, you will find a list of links for the entire set of posts in the series as well as links to specific reference sources for excerpted materials. the accumulation of posts has its own dramatic arc.

first set—————————————

part one—suite sheet
part two–how these notes were taken
part three—overall impressions– not a fear campaign, but a perceived guilt campaign
part four—summary, source document (my notes), with seperate entries for each panelist, questioner/commenter exchange and email responder sets
part five—an anthology of twenty-seven wiktionary definitions of useful terms, as well as excerpts from several wikipedia entries on the same topics
part six—wikipedia article on ethics


in the second set————————-

part seven—yearly anthology proposal
part eight–comments and responses
part nine—ahf ought to quit business letter
other overall impressions after discussion modules added later

this discusssion is going to get a bit scrambled & more heated, i think. it was complicated enough to begin with.


richard kearns

I agree with Peter Dobson's response. I have nothing to add except: God bless all hiv activists as well as the members who take the time to post in the Am I Infected? forum.

Patience is a virtue and you guys have that gene, which is a great thing, because I, and countless others do not have that gene. Have a great day

bless us all, each and every one.

i know of no one who can do without blessings.


i worry about thinking activism is someone else’s job. it’s not an attitude limited to the gay community. this comment is by a straight physicist who writes a blog called cosmic variance:

Deep down, though, I learned once again that an environment of political activism is not for me. I’ve volunteered and been active politically in very minor ways in the past, and I am always reminded that I should go back to academia where I belong. Of necessity, political action feeds on fervent commitment to the cause and a deep-seated conviction that one’s opponents are worthless scoundrels. Even when I do believe those things, I can’t quite give myself over to such stances uncritically. I’d rather contemplate the ins and outs of different aspects of an argument, even if I do end up resolutely on one side; politics (as opposed to governance) has little time for such nuances. At the same time, when I do take a position, I have little interest in softening its edges for political consumption, or reducing complexities to soundbites in order to convey a message. The complexities are the fun part! Don’t get me wrong; somebody has to do it, and I have incredible admiration for those who fight for the right side with passion and perseverance in the political arena. I just don’t want it to be me.

Email: hewett [at]

in my notes, i have, “are we trying to change bush’s mind, or the publics’ minds?”

it reminds me of mlking’s remarks in “letter from a birmingham jail” when he talks about his disappointment in moderates.



--- Quote from: on June 21, 2006, 05:19:10 pm ---i worry about thinking activism is someone else’s job. it’s not an attitude limited to the gay community.

--- End quote ---

thanks for being honest and direct.  in terms of me in activism, i could perhaps imagine myself looking over a treatise, giving feedback on its composition, diction, impact potential, whether or not the author's convictions stand out and are clear ...   y'know, stuff like that. i'm definitely not the rally-scream-get-thrown-in-jail type. after 34 years on this planet, i know myself ... God made us all unique for a reason


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