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Volume 15/Issue 24

The First Ever e-March On Washington

AIDS Survival Project announced Nov. 18 its support of and participation in the first-ever electronic march on Washington that will send the message that America cares about AIDS "until its over."

The "Until It's Over e-March" is sponsored by AIDS Action, a national HIV/AIDS policy organization based in Washington, and will be hosted on the organizations website at Web users visiting the site will be presented with a virtual version of the Washington Mall and can participate by signing an E-mail message to be delivered to America's leaders. A digital counter on their site displays the number of e-marchers. The goal is to enlist as many e-Marchers as possible to speak out in support of a continued national commitment to fight AIDS.

"AIDS continues to be a serious health concern of the American people," said Jeff Graham, executive director of AIDS Survival Project. "The epicenter of the epidemic is quickly shifting from the northeast and west coasts to the south. It's crucial that as Southerners, we step up to the plate and have a voice in the setting of a national AIDS policy. We must send a strong message to Washington that the AIDS crisis is not over, and HIV infections are continuing to spread like wild-fire through America's heartland. Each person who participates in the 'Until It's Over e-March' will help get that message across to our national leaders."

By supporting this ground breaking event, AIDS Survival Project and AIDS Action hope to allow more Americans to participate in a march on Washington than would be possible by more traditional means. The "virtual" nature of the e-March eliminates many headaches associated with a live national march-such as traveling long distances, finding hotel accommodations, and coping with inclement weather.

Once connected to AIDS Action's site, Web users will be presented with a Virtual Mall, designed by nationally syndicated cartoonist Ruben Bolling. The site will have a digital counter indicating the number of e-marchers, a speakers podium and a booth allowing e-marchers to carry e-signs-essentially E-mails to national leaders.

"With traditional media fueling misperception of an end to AIDS, the 'Until It's Over e-March' will send a message to our national leaders that it's not over," said Daniel Zingale, executive director of AIDS Action. "Fighting a misperception that AIDS is over means convincing our national leadership that the epidemic will remain an issue for the next century rather than being a relic of this one. The world's first e-March makes AIDS an issue for the information age."

The "Until It's Over e-March" kicks off on Dec. 1, 1997 to commemorate World AIDS Day and will continue for a full year, until Dec. 1, 1998.

President Clinton To Launch e-March

AIDS Action announced on Nov. 18 that President Clinton will launch its "Until It's Over" e-March on Dec. 1, at AIDS Action's web site, The world's first electronic march on Washington is designed to renew a national commitment to AIDS "until it's over."

An address focusing on youth HIV prevention was taped at the White House on Nov. 18 after AIDS Action formally invited President Clinton to be the inaugural e-March speaker. E-Marchers will be able to download the video in the "Speaker" section of the e-March when it is launched on Dec. 1. AIDS Action produced the address and it will be made available as a public service announcement to its network members and other AIDS organizations.

"By delivering the first speech to the first electronic march, the President will help fight a perception that AIDS is a relic of this century rather than a continuing crisis for the next one," said Daniel Zingale, executive director of AIDS Action. "The President's speech will not only send a strong message about your HIV prevention but also the need for a continued national commitment to AIDS until it's over.'"

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Reality Bites

The Real News Page" is an on- line web site that "critiques the media, promotes media activism, and calls for media reform." This multi-service resource is the work of Jane Wardlow Prettyman, a former editor at Esquire magazine. In addition to useful guides and links, the site also features Prettyman's own essays-including her take on "The Ellen Affect," in which Prettyman writes: "Although to all my friends and family I've been out as a gay woman most of my life (now 52), I take this occasion to come out globally on 'TRNP.' I come out proudly as a tribute to Ellen DeGeneres who has generated so much goodwill that here I am, having butted my head against Big Media for years, ready to cry if ABC doesn't renew 'Ellen' next fall. Blame it on the Ellen Affect." []. [from MEDIAlert!]

Dignified Defense

Dignity--a national association of gay, lesbian and bisexual Catholics) has launched "The Defenders"-a special outreach program for congregations of Leather. "Our mission is to witness for the wholeness and sanctity of our own love and sexuality within the Church and also to explore issues of integrating sexuality and spirituality within the Leather/Levi community," says a spokesperson for the San Francisco chapter of the project. "We are, in effect, a Catholic leather club, although a number of our members are not Catholic." The Defenders currently maintain seven chapters throughout the United States, in addition to a presence on the World Wide Web []. [from MEDIAlert!]

Speaking Out

Shout! is touted as "the newest gay entertainment and leisure monthly to hit the southeast and mid-Atlantic." The new `zine features "interviews from local and national entertainers, book and video reviews, club reviews, contest and pageant coverage, current community events, classifieds and personals." Shout! is distributed at "gay/gay-friendly businesses" in several Eastern states, and a web page has been set up for browsers who want "to find out more, or how to get a copy []. [from MEDIAlert!]

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