San Francisco -- On Monday, March 27, 2000 the San Francisco chapter of the AIDS Coalition To Unleash power (ACT UP) launched its new Survive AIDS campaign. According to activists, the purpose of the high-profile initiative is to undermine unfounded AIDS fear, to expose the unreliability and danger of the HIV antibody test, to prompt an honest debate about the toxicity of new AIDS drugs and to protest the foundation of homohatred upon which the "HIV causes AIDS lie" is built.
ACT UP San Francisco is the largest and most active ACT UP chapter in the United States. According to their mission statement, ACT UP combats homophobia, racism, sexism and poverty as the true causes of the illnesses grouped together and called AIDS. In contrast, ACT UP activists called the present hypothesis that AIDS is caused by the retrovirus named HIV "a complete failure," "a homophobic hoax" and "the biggest medical scandal of all time."
ACT UP's Survive AIDS campaign began with a night of aggressive public relations in the Castro. Brightly-colored stickers emblazoned with the phrases "Ban The HIV Test," "Flush Your AIDS Drugs," "AIDS Research Kills Queers," "Tune Out Terror," "HIV Is Homophobia" and "The AIDS Lie Is Anti-Gay" were plastered on bus shelters, telephone poles and billboard advertisements. Each sticker promoted the new Survive AIDS website at www.SurviveAIDS.com where the public can learn more about the controversy surrounding HIV. Soon, interested individuals will be able to access public bulletin boards, chat rooms and a growing archive of information meant to stimulate debate about the cause, identification and treatment of AIDS.
"As an organization whose members are thriving despite being labeled HIV positive, we feel obligated to let the community know how we survive AIDS," commented ACT UP member and long-term survivor Michael Bellefountaine. "First, don't bother getting tested for HIV because a virus doesn't cause AIDS. Second, don't buy into federally-funded AIDS fear. Last of all, don't take poisonous AIDS drugs."
According to ACT UP activists "AIDS is over!" They are quick to point out that new AIDS cases have been dramatically dropping among all ages, sexes, sexual preferences and racial groups since 1993. Similarly, annual AIDS deaths in these groups began dropping in 1995. Furthermore, they say part of their mission is to inform gay people that according to the San Francisco's Health Department new HIV diagnoses peaked in the city in 1982 -- an inexplicable event for a sexually transmissible virus prior to widely publicized safe sex campaigns.
ACT UP members cite the early HIV peak as proof that AIDS-related illness were never an epidemic caused by a contagious factor. They warn it is time for America to wake up from the irrational AIDS crisis mentality that turned a crusade to kill a virus into a pharmaceutical catastrophe that murdered hundreds of thousands of gay men.