On World AIDS Day, activists brace for new fight in Trump era
Friday, 2 December 2016 The fight against the virus, and with the people who control the health care purse strings, never ends, said the 500 or so AIDS activists and supporters who gathered in Golden Gate Park for the 23rd annual World AIDS Day Observance. “We’re in a serious time,” AIDS activist Paul Kawata told the crowd, speaking of the incoming Trump administration and its vow to alter health care spending. Kawata, the executive director of the National Minority AIDS Council, spoke beneath a large white tent at the National AIDS Memorial Grove, shortly after receiving the grove’s annual leadership award for serving as the voice for more than 3,000 AIDS groups nationwide. [...] receiving an award was Jeanne White-Ginder, mother of the late Indiana teenager and hemophilia patient Ryan White, who died of AIDS in 1990 after receiving tainted blood products to treat his disease. “Little did we realize that the drug we thought would save his life would take his life,” White-Ginder said, standing beside a backdrop of multicolored balloons and giant swaths of the fabled AIDS memorial quilt. Dr. William Meyer, the technical director of the Quest Diagnostics laboratory chain, recalled how his early research into AIDS in the 1980s was met with resistance from his colleagues when he tried to bring blood samples from AIDS patients into the research facility. Before the speeches, the crowd assembled beneath the grove’s giant trees at a ring of granite engraved with 3,100 names of late AIDS patients and their friends.