The questionable success of nude protests was driven home last week when several dozen protesters descended on San Francisco’s City Hall and dropped their drawers to make the case for public nudity. The law they were militating against passed the city legislature anyway.
Undaunted by their failure, three female AIDS activists stripped to their birthday suits outside House Speaker John Boehner’s office on Tuesday as a protest against cuts in funding for HIV research and treatment.
The Daily News reports via the AP:
The trio had the words ‘AIDS cuts kill’ painted on their bodies and had linked arms with four men who also disrobed as part of the protest. The nude protesters, along with dozens of other clothed demonstrators chanted slogans, including: ‘People with AIDS are under attack. What do we do? Fight back.’
View slideshow: AIDS nude protest
The article goes on to note that the women were arrested by Capitol Police after putting their clothes back on. The naked male protesters managed to vanish without incident.
Among those arrested was Jennifer Flynn, 40, of New York, who said:
The truth is that people with AIDS have been stripped naked for years—Medicaid has been cut, states are [struggling] … There are waiting lists in this country where people with AIDS are dying.
People with AIDS are sick and tired of being pushed over the cliff. We need to make sure they stop going after people with AIDS.
The protests were timed to coincide with the current negotiations between the president and congressional leaders to avoid the fiscal cliff, an eventuality that would also lead to automatic sequestration cuts in treatment for HIV-infected individuals. According to the American Foundation for AIDS Research, 17,500 people who rely on AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) would lose their lifelines.
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