AIDS Activists Plan "Family Reunion" at Alabama RV Park That Banned HIV-Positive 2-Year-Old From Pool
More Than 100 People With HIV Traveling From Across U.S. to Participate; RV Park Owner at Center of Controversy Says Activists Welcome
The Campaign to End AIDS (www.C2EA.org) is holding a "family reunion" at the Wales West RV Resort in Silver Hill, Alabama, on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The group expects more than 150 people to attend the event, including at least 100 people living with HIV/AIDS arriving in car caravans from Washington, D.C., Nashville, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Little Rock, Arkansas.
Wales West owner Ken Zadnichek outraged people living with HIV/AIDS and everyday folks across the nation last month when he banned HIV-positive 2-year-old Caleb Glover from the pool, showers and other common areas of his resort. The incident prompted national news coverage, including a segment on Good Morning America. Mr. Zadnichek has told Campaign to End AIDS organizers that the C2EA family reunion is welcome at Wales West.
Family reunion attendees plan to have lunch, barbecue and enjoy the pool and showers while wearing bathing suits that say HIV Positive. "What happened at Wales West proves that we still have to fight stigma and discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS," said Larry Bryant, the HIV-positive national field organizer for C2EA. "We look forward to shining a spotlight on stigma in Alabama in hopes of educating all people about the disease. We appreciate Mr. Zadnichek welcoming our family reunion."
Caleb's foster mother Sylvia Glover, who was vacationing with Caleb and her husband Dick at Wales West when the incident took place, provided input into the planning of the family reunion and is fully in support of the event. Mrs. Glover hopes to attend the event if possible. The Glover family's situation is complicated by the fact that Mr. Glover is battling advanced non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and has been given 18 months to live.
"This family reunion gives me hope for Caleb's future. Most people don't understand that discrimination around AIDS hurts kids and grown-ups as much as the disease itself. I hope to be at Wales West to show my support -- I won't get in water though! I'm too old," Mrs. Glover said.
To speak to Sylvia Glover or Larry Bryant, or for more information, please contact David Thorpe at Thorpe@housingworks.org or 646-210-1805.
The Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA) is a national network of AIDS activists led by people living with HIV/AIDS. C2EA believes that the tools exist to end the AIDS epidemic worldwide. C2EA seeks universal access to and the provision of HIV/AIDS care, prevention and treatment. To learn more about C2EA, visit C2EA.org.