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Activists march in D.C. to raise AIDS awareness (15963)

15963Health News2005-05-07

Activists march in D.C. to raise AIDS awareness

About 3,500 AIDS activists marched in Washington, D.C., Thursday, in which they carried 8,500 pairs of shoes to Lafayette Park across from the White House to draw attention to the fact that 8,500 people worldwide die of AIDS-related complications each day, The Washington Post reports. "There's a general public perception that AIDS is not a problem right now," AIDS activist Tim Murphy told the Post. "This is not 1989. We have the tools to treat this now. They're just not accessible for a huge percentage of the population."

The march marked the launch of a new AIDS awareness campaign, called the "Campaign to End AIDS," and the effort's new Web site,, which features a 21-point plan to halt the epidemic worldwide. It was also the first in a series of events planned for 2005. In June more than 150 young AIDS activists will gather in Denver for the campaign's Youth Training Institute. And HIV-positive people and AIDS and activists will join up in September for nine cross-country caravans, converging on Washington for five days of action, advocacy, prayer, and support October 8-12.

Thursday's protest capped off a series of visits from more than 600 HIV-positive people from all 50 states to nearly every member of Congress as part of AIDSWatch, a week of advocacy organized by the National Association of People With AIDS. "Campaign to End AIDS" organizers also conducted three days of skills-building training and planning sessions for the year's activities.

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