United States: AIDS Activists Arrested in New York

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2002

NEW YORK - Seven members of the ACT-UP New York were arrested this morning as they protested the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, which opened today in New York. The activists demanded that corporations pay for the treatment of all their workers with HIV/AIDS and that the Bush Administration substantially increase the U.S. contribution to the Global AIDS Fund.

We are concerned that they will be detained until the WEF ends," stated Karyn Kaplan, HIV/AIDS Program Officer at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). "We call for their immediate release."

"Their detention will make us neither more secure nor more prosperous," added Ms. Kaplan. "Granting access to medications to the millions of people living with HIV/AIDS will."

The United Nations Security Council confirmed in January of last year that the AIDS epidemic unaddressed is a threat to world security. James D. Wolfensohn, head of the World Bank, acknowledged then that the epidemic "is being more effective than war in destabilizing countries."

"The Bush Administration is not taking the AIDS catastrophe seriously," stated Surina Khan, IGLHRC's Executive Director. "The U.S. must make a earnest commitment to access to medications and health care in its vision of a new world. The suggested U.S. contribution to the Global AIDS Fund is simply not enough."

The Administration announced that it would request from Congress $200 million as the U.S. contribution to the Global AIDS Fund. The World Health Organization estimated that $12 billion are needed to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria worldwide. The Global Fund was established by the United Nations in 2001 to finance prevention, treatment, and research activities for these three diseases.

Fore more information on ACT UP New York and the recent arrests, please contact:

Asia Russell (267) 475-2645 (cell)
Kate Krauss (215) 545-3104

IGLHRC is a US-based non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to protect and advance the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.