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Far-right group
accuses Walgreens of spreading HIV

Far-right group
accuses Walgreens of spreading HIV

As a corporate sponsor of next year's Gay Games, the Walgreens pharmacy chain will profit from numerous HIV infections certain to be acquired at the Chicago event, according to a recent editorial by a member of the notoriously antigay religious group the American Family Association. The commentary, written by the AFA's director of special projects, Randy Sharp, and published on the Christian news Web site Agape Press, says, "Historical precedent promises that homosexual encounters will take place by the thousands, in bars, public parks, and shopping mall restrooms."

Sharp accused Walgreens, which has donated $100,000 to the Games, of pulling off a marketing coup. "Walgreens must be salivating at the prospect of new customers this will create.... Someone at Walgreens deserves a huge bonus for the idea to increase sales by helping drive events that result in the need for the company's drugs."

As reported previously on Advocate.com, Walgreens is already taking heat for their involvement with the Gay Games. The Illinois Family Institute, an antigay Christian group, is threatening Walgreens with a boycott if they don't rescind their sponsorship money. Other corporate sponsors of the Gay Games, including Harris Bank and Kraft Foods, have also incurred the homophobic group's wrath, according to the Chicago Tribune.

As of press time, the IFI's threats had not yielded results. "They keep doing this, and corporate America keeps coming," Tracy Baim, co-vice chairperson of the Games, told the Tribune.

Chicago Games Inc., the corporation behind the Games, is scrambling to raise the $9 million needed to hold the eight-day event, which is expected to bring more than 10,000 athletes and 100,000 spectators to Chicago next summer. (Neal Broverman, Advocate.com)

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