Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Petition: Fund AIDS CURE Research!

The AIDS Policy Project just launched our first-ever petition for more NIH funding for a cure. Please join us by signing it and just as importantly spreading the word about this petition, which is addressed to President Obama.

Here is the link to the petition: http://goo.gl/71TqI

You can use message boards, Facebook, Twitter, email, or even YouTube to ask people to join you in signing. 

The Obama administration must take the lucky opportunity they have--the fact that the research is so close to successful--to put resources into the cure effort and finish the job. We support more overall funding for the NIH, including more funding for the cure.

 ps: Our future blog posts will be on our CureWatch blog.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Activist Computer Security Workshop-October 15, 2011

Freedom of the Word
& Computer Security
A hands-on workshop for Philadelphia community activists—This means you.

Saturday October 15 9:30 AM - 2 pm at LAVA
4134 Lancaster Ave, West Philly

Are you a Philly community activist? Do you realize that a lot of your online organizing (even information on your phone) is accessible to people, corporations, or government officials who might be interested in your activities? We want to educate community activists about ways to stay safer. Do you work on fracking? Prison issues? #OccupyPhilly? AIDS? Alternative media? This is for you.

This free, groundbreaking workshop is organized by a new collaboration of social justice hackers and longtime Philly community activists. We will teach:

1. What is at risk--your civil rights, your political work, and even your freedom.

2. Threat models--ways to think about your safety online and that of your fellow activists.

3. Concrete strategies for staying safer, and keeping fellow activists safer, online.

4. Do you know what US companies like Cisco Systems are doing to repress activists in other countries?

Teachers: 

Jonah Silas Sheridan, a California information security activist and trainer.

(Tentative) Roger Dingledine, Developer of Tor, software for staying safe online.

Interested in attending? RSVP to: Katie@critpath.org


Brought to you by friendly, longtime Philly activists Onion from LAVA Space, Steph A from the Hacktory, Katie K from The AIDS Policy Project, and a host of others.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Call for NIH to Quadruple AIDS Cure Spending is in Nature Medicine!

Today, as we were putting out a fund raising letter for our group, we were pleased to see our demand--that the NIH spend $240 million for direct AIDS cure research--cited in the major scientific journal Nature Medicine. The NIH currently spends less than $60 million, or 3% of its AIDS research budget, on direct cure research.

Yet this is an opportunity for the US to do something great in the world while preserving our national interest: The US spends $24 billion on AIDS every year. AIDS will soon comprise half the US foreign aid budget. If we can develop a cure, we will solve one of the world's worst plagues and save billions upon billions of dollars every year.

So here's the fundraising pitch: The AIDS Policy Project is engaged in cutting-edge AIDS advocacy focused solely on a cure. We wrote the first plain-English report, "AIDS Cure Research for Everyone," on the scientific issues and political landscape around a cure. We held the first town meetings, and engaged the top researchers in the field. We gave the first award to Gero Huetter, the man who cured the Berlin Patient, on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on behalf of the people of San Francisco. Our investigation yielded the fact that the NIH was spending only 3% to find a cure. We will be the first organization that crowdsources new AIDS cure ideas online. And this was Year 1 of our campaign.

Please consider making a contribution to more groundbreaking AIDS advocacy.

One of our goals is to raise awareness of the lack of funding for AIDS cure research--raise it in the larger scientific community, in the general public, and most of all among funders including US Congress and the White House. And awareness is certainly growing--for instance, there was a major article in New York Magazine about this issue last week, which we pitched and where we are quoted (barely). But we are the only group to publicly call for more funding for a cure. We are shaping events, not just monitoring them or trying to exploit them for fundraising. Power concedes nothing without a demand, to quote Frederick Douglass. It never has, and it never will.

We believe that the "scientific strategy" for a cure should include, among other things, enough funding so that major, scientifically worthy cure projects are not delayed by years due to lack of money. This is not currently the case.

Can we hold the NIH to its brand-new commitment to, as Tony Fauci recently put it, "Pull out all the stops" to develop a cure?

Together we can.
Please make a contribution to our June AIDS advocacy campaign--our goal is to raise $30,000 by June 30.

Join us. You will look back on this moment and be proud that you did.

Thanks,

Kate Krauss, for everyone at the AIDS Policy Project


Nature Medicine: On thirtieth anniversary, calls for HIV cure research intensify

Saturday, April 9, 2011

TODAY: Follow our AIDS cure conference in Palm Springs

Hi,

We are helping run an AIDS cure conference in Palm Springs, CA today. Rick Loftus, MD our board member, is giving the plenary; we have a session at 11:45 AM Pacific Time. 

Our members will be tweeting out of the conference all day--check out our Twitter feed at:

http://www.twitter.com/AIDSPolicyProj



 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seriously worth reading: Short comment left tonight on our blog post in POZ

This was left at the bottom of the POZ blog post written by Winstone Zulu and myself (link to it is here): 


"Why is all the important research on treatments, vaccines and microbicides? What about me who is already infected?"


I think we're afraid of sounding bitter, or of sounding like we want others to get the disease, but this is an important question we need to be asking. Why are we throwing away decades of research and countless billions of dollars on preventative measures which lead nowhere when there are so many promising cure opportunities that will save EVERYONE? I think a lot of us who are poz are so ashamed of our status that we're afraid to stand up and say "I DESERVE a f***ing cure. I didn't do ANYTHING that 99% of humanity hasn't done before, and I don't deserve a life of misery for it!"


Never mind the old adage that "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results". Never mind the fact that increasingly, the consensus is a cure is more achievable than a vaccine. Never mind that the ONE cured person puts the precendent for a cure light years ahead of prophylaxis with a fraction of the resources devoted to it. I think we need to take back our dignity, and say we deserve a normal life. We deserve a cure. "Take Ownership" of your means of infection all you want, but at the end of the day, you didn't bring this on yourself any more than anyone else who has ever had sex.


--Andy

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Zambian Activist Talks about the Cure

Winstone Zulu. (Photo: Susan Cole/PositiveNation)

Winstone Zulu, a longtime Zambian activist, and I have been working together since 2009.
Winstone was the first publicly HIV-positive person in Zambia, and has been commended by Nelson Mandela for his work. A few days ago, when he was sick, we hatched a plan to write a blog post together for POZ. You can read the post at http://blogs.poz.com/aidspolicyproject/

It's a long post because both of us talk, but it's interesting because Winstone, who gets around on crutches (and used to use a wheelchair), paints a picture of his daily life as he struggles as a longterm survivor who is living a life a bit like someone with AIDS in the US in, say, 1990.  Winstone is a brave and brilliantly articulate person literally on the front lines of this pandemic in so many ways.  He also has a great sense of humor and he's tough and strategic. So it is fun to work with him. Check out the blog post and see what you think.