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Is AIDS still a priority for the community, the Wash Post asks

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It's a good question, but I'm getting really tired of everyone having to demonize "white gay men" all the time. Seriously, is there no other reason that anything bad happens in the world anymore?
The Gill Foundation, for instance, has given approximately $118 million in grants over its 17-year history to aid its mission of furthering LGBT equality. This includes more than $6 million between 1999 and 2007 for fighting HIV across the United States. Since 2007, however, the group’s grants for HIV services have been limited to organizations in Colorado, where it is based. Foundation officials emphasize, however, that Gill is still funding national organizations that work to improve the health and services environment for gay people, including those with and at risk for HIV. But that is much different than directly funding those services.

Why is this happening? Overwhelmingly, these foundations’ giving is decided by rich, white gay men. And these funders are among the Americans who have access to high-quality health care. If they need them, they have access to life-extending antiretroviral drugs, which have made HIV a manageable chronic illness for many.

Gay donors are still giving generously to causes they believe in. While we have seen millions of dollars well spent on issues such as marriage equality and repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” somehow AIDS has fallen off, or at least moved well down, the list of priorities.
Sorry, but I don't think the "all those white men are selfish" argument exactly cuts it. Did Tim Gill help on DADT repeal - and he did - because he selfishly wanted to join the military? I don't think so.

And I didn't bust my butt on DADT over the past 19 years because I plan to enlist. And it's not terribly clear that ENDA will help me directly either, since I work for myself, but I still advocate for it.

There are a lot of reasons that the community doesn't focus as much on AIDS anymore. One big one is that prominent (note that I said "prominent" - meaning "out", meaning "involved") members of the community, of all races, are no longer dying in the numbers they were previously, so people have become complacent. I know black gay men and Latino gay men, and have for years - and few of the ones I've known, of any race, have died in the past twenty years that I've been out.

That doesn't mean black gay men and Latino gay men (and white gay men, for that matter) aren't dying. But I suspect epidemic has gone into the closet - and the recent articles even attest to that fact, the number of minority men who have no idea that they're HIV positive. If they have no idea that they're HIV positive, if they're closeted and not really participating in the community, then their illness is not affecting the rest of us in the same way it did when our friends were dropping dead like flies. The epidemic seems to have moved, in part, to the closet - either because treatment is prolonging life and increasing the quality of life, and thus hiding the fact that people are HIV positive, or because those affected are quite literally in the closet, and thus we don't know of them at all.

None of that means we shouldn't care about their plight. But I get tired of people pulling the pity card as if the importance of their cause naturally means that your cause sucks.  I'm also tired of the suggesting that the only reason their cause isn't doing better is because you're rich, white and a man.  It couldn't possibly be their fault too.

Yes, AIDS matters. And so does marriage. And so did DADT. And so does ENDA.  Don't knock the work on those other hugely important issues.  Ever.  It's been happening more and more lately by some trans advocates, advocates for gay minority youth, and now AIDS advocates.  It's almost a bad thing to them that we got DADT repealed.

If people aren't paying enough attention to AIDS, or whatever issue you're personally pushing, then maybe part of what's needed is some introspection by the groups involved, meaning AIDS groups and AIDS activists. Maybe, just maybe, they're not doing as good a job advocating for the issue as they used to, and should.

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