Candace Y.A. Montague
D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
AIDS Activists Face Prosecution for Chanting
February 13, 2012
Ten months, five court appearances, three prosecutors, and one U.S. Attorney. This is the backdrop of an excessively lengthy court battle over activists exercising their right to protest a cut in needle exchange funding. A group of AIDS activists have been misled into thinking that a few hours of community service and drug testing would absolve them of charges of misdemeanor trespassing. Now they are facing trial and six months in jail. How harshly should someone be punished for exercising his or her first amendment right to free speech? The answer to that question apparently varies from person to person.
Abstract Writing Workshop at DOH
February 8, 2012
The International AIDS Conference will be here in July. It is my greatest wish to get as many of my readers there as possible (especially those of you who live with HIV). One great way to be there is to be a presenter. There is a very informative abstract writing workshop that is coming up at HAHSTA on this Friday. It promises to be just one hour long. Please make an effort to get there and learn whatever you can about submitting an abstract for a potential workshop. Here's the info straight from HAHSTA to you.
New Documentary About Blacks and AIDS Set to Premiere at IAC
February 8, 2012
If you're still buzzing from National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, have I got news for you. The Dream Factory, a local multimedia production company, is currently working on a a movie about Blacks and HIV called 13 Percent. In this documentary, warriors who are on the front line in the battle against HIV speak candidly about the virus, their experiences, and what it will take to defeat AIDS within the black population. The production will debut during the International AIDS Conference in July and will be the talk of the conference (you heard it here first).
D.C. Activist Chosen as Spokesperson for Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
February 7, 2012
Christopher Barnhill thought life was over at age 16 when he found out that he was HIV positive at a health fair one day. His mother died of complications due to AIDS in 1989. Yet he soon discovered that his journey was just beginning and that his testimony would be the springboard to help many other people come to terms with their diagnosis. Now thriving at age 26, Chris is healthy, vibrant, and working as the Schools Engagement Manager for Metro Teen AIDS, a popular youth-oriented non-profit organization in Southeast. He was recently chosen as one of the esteemed national spokespeople for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Chris shared his perspective with me in a recent interview.
Brief D.C. Must-Do List: Black AIDS Awareness Day 2012
February 6, 2012
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is Tuesday, February 7th. But the District will have to look extra hard to find events that recognize this day. Unlike World AIDS Day, when I am flooded with emails about vigils, cocktail parties, congressional briefings, demonstrations and so forth, I have a short list of activities for you this time that pertain to Black AIDS Awareness. In DC, 4.7 percent of African-Americans live with the virus. Among African-American males, the infection rate is an alarming 7.1 percent. It's a crisis that has been so perpetual that the rest of the world has seemingly become immune to the stats. Please don't tune out. Take the time to learn and do something new to fight HIV/AIDS among African-Americans.
Komen's Snub to Planned Parenthood Hurts HIV Efforts Too
February 1, 2012
Planned Parenthood is once again under attack but this time from someone that was once a strong ally. The Susan G. Komen Foundation announced that they would cease all financial support of Planned Parenthood because the organization is under congressional investigation. Critics say that the Komen is succumbing to political pressure because Planned Parenthood has been scrutinized lately for providing abortions. The Komen Foundation vehemently denies this by saying in a released statement "We are dismayed and extremely disappointed that actions we have taken to strengthen our granting process have been widely mischaracterized." Their decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood not only hampers breast cancer prevention but it also cuts into HIV and STD screenings and prevention as well.
AIDS 2012 Update: Plenary Speakers Announced With Few Positive Women
January 30, 2012
Have you heard the news? Many of you have by now. The slate of plenary speakers has been announced for the 2012 International AIDS Conference. The plenary speakers will begin each day of the conference, which is set for July 21st through July 27th 2012 here in DC. The line up of speakers includes a range of leaders from global organizations. They are all well-known and respected experts in the fields of science, politics, and advocacy. But there's a blank space in the list of speakers on HIV/AIDS that leads keen observers question: where are the female speakers who are openly living with HIV?
Rapid Hepatitis C Testing Debuts at NBC Health and Fitness Expo
January 18, 2012
Community Education Group and Kappa Youth Development teamed up to provide free HIV and hepatitis C testing at the 19th annual NBC Health and Fitness Expo this past Saturday at the convention center. The expo is a Washington tradition in January and has plenty of events and activities surrounding wellness. Hepatitis C testing was offered for the first time using the new rapid results test manufactured by Orasure Technologies.
Los Angeles Council Votes in Favor of Condoms for Porn Actors
January 12, 2012
The Los Angeles County Council has been the center of a battle over condoms in recent weeks. The proposal to require porn actors to wear condoms during filming was tentatively approved on Tuesday. The council voted 11-1 in favor of the ordinance. Now it will go for a second approval next week. The council also agreed to form a group of stakeholders such as state occupational safety regulators, law enforcement personnel, and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to decide how the law will be enforced.
What's New in HIV-Related News
January 11, 2012
Happy New Year! A few noteworthy events have popped up on my radar over the break so I have compiled them into one list here. Check them out. Support them all.
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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