Ron Sims, county director for King County, Wash., this week added his name to an HIV prevention manifesto that calls on gay and bisexual men to do more to stop the spread of HIV in the Seattle area, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. "It challenges gay and bisexual men to care not only for their own health but for the health of their community," Sims said of the document. "If we are really honest with our lovers, with ourselves and our communities, we can curtail the spread of HIV and AIDS." Alonzo Plough, public health director for King County, also signed the document.
The manifesto, called "A Community Manifesto: A New Response to HIV and STDs," was drawn up by a 40-member task force in response to a 40% rise in HIV infections in the Seattle area in 2002 and an anticipated 60% increase this year. It reads in part: "Transmitting HIV knowingly is an act of violence. Being high is not an excuse for unsafe sex." It also calls on all gay and bisexual men to always use condoms for casual or anonymous sex.