Cleve Jones On World AIDS Day

NAMES Project founder Cleve Jones has been interviewed in a World AIDS Day article about The Last One, a documentary on the AIDS Quilt now airing on Showtime. An excerpt:

“HIV is increasingly a disease of the marginalized populations. Poverty is part of it. Drug use is part of it. Also to a very large extent stigma remains one of our greatest obstacles. In the early days of the pandemic the stigma of homosexuality was really what kept the government, our government and many others from responding. It fueled the hysteria and created many obstacles. Well the stigma has not gone away. It’s changed though. Young people today, the stigma that they experience comes from their own people. From my generation the stigma came from the outside world and really was the stigma against homosexuality. For these young people today though they are being blamed and shamed. It discourages them from getting tested; it discourages them from talking openly about their status. There’s a new study that shows that almost half of gay men do not reveal their sexual orientation to their own physicians. I think that right there was a pretty startling fact. If half of gay men in the United States don’t feel comfortable revealing their sexual orientation to their physicians, we have a real problem.”