In the United States, the AIDS crisis is now almost completely within the control of public health management systems. Through global NGOs, we have exported our programs for managing this epidemic, along with US public health ideologies that downplay or avoid politically sensitive concerns with sexual rights (such as the rights of commercial sex workers), harm reduction (such as drug legalization and needle exchange), and the oppression of racial and sexual minorities (in the form of multi-generational poverty, incarceration). Increasing infection rates among poor women, rural populations, and young men of color who have sex with men and the inability of many around the world to access affordable, life-saving treatments remind us that social violence and structural inequalities are not resolved by the efficient management of the epidemic.
As long as this global health structure remains in place, the AIDS crisis is always still beginning. Film screening of Jean Carlomusto’s award-winning film Sex Is An Epidemic (2010), followed by an open discussion on how to organize against the AIDS crisis.
Arbert Santana Evisu, member of House of Evisu
Kevin Trimell Jones, Black LGBT Archivists Society of Philadelphia
* Presented on occasion of the Vera List Center’s 2009/2011 focus theme “Speculating on Change.”