If you are going to be in DC for the Equality March this weekend (or even thinking about going), you should make it a point to go down to the ellipse Saturday evening for the AIDS rally and candle(glowstick)light vigil. Because:
1) While AIDS is not now and has never been "a gay disease" it does continue to affect gay men and transpeople disproportionately. Especially gay men and transpeople of color. And that's wrong and needs to be fought. It needs to be fought by fighting stigma and homophobia, by targeting homophobic doctors and insurers and lawmakers, changing hearts and minds and policies until everyone has access to the tools they need to stay healthy.
2) AIDS is not over. Thanks to AIDS activists, more people than ever have access to treatment that has turned an HIV diagnosis from a death sentence to a mostly manageable condition. But not everyone has access to the medicine they need, and HIV cases are rising among gay men, the only demographic in the country for which cases are rising.
3) AIDS activism is among the most effective, fun, smart, creative, and yes, sexy activism there is. Seriously. Kiss-ins, die-ins, big sexy rallies with sexy queers, glowsticks, music, poetry, and more. Groups like ACT UP have always known that the way to build a movement is to win stuff and have fun doing really serious, fierce, life-saving work. That being in-your-face about sex and drugs is the only way to lift stigma about sex and drugs and start the conversations that need to happen so we can stay safe and healthy.
So ACT UP is bringing the message that: