Candace Y.A. Montague
D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
A Moment With Dwight Eubanks at AIDS 2012
July 26, 2012
Dwight Eubanks, television star from the famous (or infamous for some people) reality show The Real Housewives of Atlanta, is in DC this week for a fashion show at the International AIDS Conference. The self-proclaimed style purveyor is the owner of the Purple Door Salon in Atlanta and is known for his quick wit and forthright commentary on everything from fashion to lifestyles. He's a diva if I've ever seen one. As he prepared for his show at the Carnegie Library with Sheryl Lee Ralph, Dwight shared some 'reality' on what it's going to take to get the HIV rates down.
A Moment With Ms. Michelle the Quilter at AIDS 2012
July 24, 2012
Inside the AIDS Quilt -- making tent on the National Mall, there's a quiet spirited African-American woman with an amazing creative side. You can tell from the first few sentences she softly utters that she is a mother. And a caring one at that. She peacefully works on a quilt for a fallen angel from Chicago who loved shopping and music. I asked her if she thought of the idea for this quilt square. She humbly replied "his spirit told me what to do here". Her name is Ms. Michelle and she hails from Seattle. Her son works on Capitol Hill with one of the members of Congress. She came at his request to lend a hand and maybe some of her matronly love to the quilt. She expressed her dismay that out of 54 miles of quilt squares, only one half a mile is dedicated to African Americans.
A Moment With One Bad Pirate at AIDS 2012
July 24, 2012
At the AIDS Quilt Ceremony on Tuesday, a muscular, tattooed man quietly pushed a wheelchair with a thin, red-haired woman in it close to the stage. They slipped into the small crowd and focused squarely on the stage. As the names were being read, this tough-looking man -- whom many would assume was a biker at first blush -- began to weep. He struggled to maintain his composure, but broke down several times throughout the ceremony. I spoke with him and the woman he was escorting later on. His name was Bob Bowers, also known as One Tough Pirate. It turns out he's an activist for youth with HIV. He was infected at age 19 from sharing needles with his girlfriend. Now he speaks up and out for people like himself who are living with HIV. He and his wife traveled here from Madison, Wisconsin to be at this ceremony. I asked him who he was crying for specifically. He gave me an earful of a story.
We Can End AIDS -- A Look Back in Photos
July 24, 2012
They were beyond ready from the time they stepped onto the corners of the streets of downtown D.C. They were Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Gay, Straight, Transgender, Young, Seasoned, HIV Positive, HIV Negative, Broken and Healed. Armed with not much more than some signs, bells, whistles and brave hearts, the We Can End AIDS mobilization made it's mark on the 19th International AIDS Conference. Their demands were concise.
AIDS 2012 Update: President Obama's Absence Is Not a Cause for Outrage
July 20, 2012
The White House announced that President Obama will not be in attendance at the International AIDS Conference next week. Instead he will send a video message. Some critics say that this is a bad move on his part. The chance to meet and greet hundreds of foreign dignitaries and leading researchers at a conference about a disease that is affecting millions around the world is a prime opportunity. This kind of move can be viewed as bad politics. However, this Examiner would like to point out a few important details that show that President Obama is not exactly ignoring AIDS like one would assume because of this absence.
AIDS 2012 Update: We Can End AIDS March and Rally
July 18, 2012
The second march of this conference will be the We Can End AIDS mobilization. On Tuesday, July 24th, not one but five separate marches will occur simultaneously and converge onto Lafayette Park in front of the White House. The theme is "Occupy the Roots of HIV". Organizers are calling for policy makers to use the resources and tools available to end the epidemic, not treat it. Fliers for the march describe the mobilization in this manner "We will take the streets exposing the flow of money that funds harmful policies and legislators. Powerful, non-violent, and creative activities will lead all the issue focused actions to a major convergence and action at the power center where the White House, Treasury Department and the National Chamber of Commerce sit at the intersection of the barriers to ending AIDS."
AIDS 2012 Update: Keep the Promise March on Washington
July 18, 2012
Well it wouldn't be an International AIDS Conference without a protest. This time around it's one city with two AIDS Marches. The first of the two is the 'Keep the Promise' march and rally sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation. On Sunday, July 22nd at 12 noon, participants from nations across the globe will join in on the grounds of the Washington Monument to remind world leaders that the AIDS epidemic is still a major public health threat and must be stopped. Special guests will include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rev. Al Sharpton, Tavis Smiley, Andrew Young, Wyclef Jean, Margaret Cho, and Dr. Cornell West. The rally will precede the opening of the International AIDS Conference that is set to begin on Monday, July 23rd.
AIDS 2012 Update: Youth Activities at the Conference
July 17, 2012
The International AIDS Conference for 2012 will not just be an adult-only affair. Youth are not only invited to come, they are encouraged to participate. The D.C. Community Youth Core for AIDS 2012 has an extensive list of ways for youth to get involved. Check it out. Send it to friends. But most of all, support these programs.
AIDS 2012 Update: What to Expect at the Conference
July 16, 2012
Next week officially begins International AIDS Conference here in the District. More than 25,000 delegates and 2,000 media personnel will be on deck to witness this historic event. This year's conference marks the return of the IAC to the United States in more than two decades. The theme of the conference is "Turning the Tide Together" and is supposed to signify the strength that can be found in unity. Last week, at a press conference in the Barbara Jordan Center in the Kaiser Family Foundation building in Northwest, conference co-chair Dr. Diane Havlir and Joseph Elias, Global Village Coordinator, explained the highlights of the conference.
The Women's Collective Reacts to Heterosexual Study
July 3, 2012
The Women's Collective, located in Northeast Washington, D.C., is the latest group to offer a reaction to the 2011 Epidemiology Report and the study of Heterosexual Relationships and HIV from D.C. HAHSTA. Patricia Nalls founded the non-profit organization in 1993 to meet the needs of low income, marginalized women and girls of color in the District who are living with or at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections. A few alarming statistics came from the heterosexual study including the fact that the rate among heterosexual women in the District rose from 6.3% in 2008 to 12.1% in 2010. In this opinion editorial, Toni Holness of TWC says (and this Examiner agrees) it's not just about sex.
D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
Candace Y.A. Montague
Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.
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