the aids walk approaches - 
the ways you can support ending the pandemic abound!
that's the focus of this blog update:


email about donating to the conscious movements
collective documentary Stigma: HIV/AIDS and Youth in NYC!


check out (we endorsed the campaign today)


donate to me for the aidswalk (go to and search team 9124 - LPOV


get your org to endorse this letter by emailing

May 10, 2005

Ambassador Randall Tobias
Office of the United States Global AIDS Coordinator
US State Department
2201 C Street NW
Washington DC 20522

Dear Ambassador Tobias:

As the US increases its commitment to global HIV prevention efforts, we
write to express our concern about recent reports that US officials have
questioned the efficacy of needle exchange programs and sought to block
support for needle exchange in United Nations resolutions and policy
documents.  As you know, the sharing of syringes by injection drug users is
a major driver of the AIDS epidemic both in the United States and
internationally.  As researchers, practitioners and representatives of
affected populations, we affirm the important role that needle exchange and
other sterile syringe programs play in helping to avert the spread of

Outside of Africa, an estimated one-third of new HIV infections are
attributed to injection drug use.  In some countries, the proportion is
even higher.  In Russia, as many as 1.2 million people are living with HIV,
with 75 percent of new infections stemming from injection drug
use.  Injection drug use accounts for the majority of HIV/AIDS cases in
Ukraine, all of the Baltic States, the Central Asian Republics, Indonesia,
Nepal, Iran, and Pakistan.  In China, Vietnam and Malaysia, the majority of
those living with HIV are injection drug users. Often, the vast majority of
those infected are under thirty.  Injection driven HIV epidemics
consistently spread faster than sexually transmitted epidemics such as
those found in sub-Saharan Africa.

In the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 23 percent of new AIDS cases reported in 2003 were attributed
to injection drug use and/or sex with an injection drug user.  This
percentage is higher for women and African American men.  Of all cases
diagnosed through 2003, 53 percent of cases among women and 43 percent
among African American men were attributed to injection drug use or sex
with an injection drug user.

As the US Public Health Service has noted, for injection drug users who
cannot or will not stop using drugs, using sterile syringes remains the
safest and most effective method of HIV prevention.  Medically appropriate
treatment remains out of reach to the vast majority of drug users who need
it: in the United States, one of the world’s richest countries, over 80
percent of those needing treatment for drug abuse as of 2000, did not have
access to it.  At the same time, extensive evaluation and research has
shown that sterile syringe programs can dramatically decrease the spread of
HIV without increasing drug use.  These programs can additionally provide a
bridge to drug treatment services by offering clients with information and
referrals to treatment providers.  No fewer than seven federally-funded
reviews and reports conducted by public health officials, researchers and
US government agencies have concluded that syringe exchange programs are
effective, safe and cost effective.

The efficacy of syringe exchange has recently been affirmed by the US
government’s top scientists.  In an October 7, 2004 letter to Congress,
Director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Elias Zerhouni stated,
“Research shows that SEPs [syringe exchange programs], when implemented as
part of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, can be an effective
public health approach to reduce the spread of HIV and other blood borne
pathogens in the community.” In an August 4, 2004 letter, Director of the
National Institute on Drug Abuse Dr. Nora Volkow stated, “The majority of
studies have shown that NEPs/SEPs [needle exchange programs/syringe
exchange programs] are strongly associated with reductions in the spread of
HIV when used as a component of comprehensive approach to HIV prevention…
In addition to decreasing HIV infected needles in circulation through the
physical exchange of syringes, most NEPs/SEPs are part of a comprehensive
HIV prevention effort that may include education on risk reduction, and
referral to drug addiction treatment, job or other social services, and
these interventions may be responsible for a significant part of the
overall effectiveness of NEPs/SEPs. NEPs/SEPs also provide an opportunity
to reach out to populations that are often difficult to engage in treatment.”

In 2004, this consensus was reinforced by the World Health Organization
(WHO), which stated that the available data “present a compelling case that
needle and syringe programs substantially and cost effectively reduce the
spread of HIV among injection drug users and do so without evidence of
exacerbating injecting drug use at either the individual or societal
level.”  The WHO accordingly recommended that “authorities responsible for
areas threatened by or experiencing an epidemic of HIV infection among IDUs
(injection drug users) should adopt measures urgently to increase the
availability and utilization of sterile injecting equipment and expand
implementation to scale as soon as possible.”

As the single largest funder of global HIV/AIDS programs in the world, the
US carries enormous influence in shaping global approaches to the
epidemic.  Even beyond its role as a donor, many look to the United States
for guidance in the design and implementation of their programs.  The fact
that the United States remains the only country in the world to impose an
explicit ban on federal funding of needle exchange already sets a poor
example to other nations battling severe injection-driven HIV/AIDS
epidemics.  It is more critical than ever that US agencies communicate
accurate information about needle exchange, faithfully represent the public
health consensus supporting these programs, and refrain from standing in
the way of countries, and organizations within its own borders, that wish
to pursue this proven, effective method of prevention.  With so many at
risk for HIV, we need all the tools we have.


amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, New York, NY
GMHC, New York, NY
Harm Reduction Coalition, New York, NY
Housing Works, New York, NY
Human Rights Watch, New York, NY
North American Syringe Exchange Network, Tacoma, WA
League of Pissed Off Voters, New York, NY
Open Society Institute, New York, NY

my country songs

i have been writing a lot of country songs lately – all i hear is fiddles, people clapping, spoons even. i wrote this one this morning reading my bob dylan book, inspired by a good friend’s recent fortune in marriage:

all i need is a place somewhere where
i can be with the one i love
such a sweet man you would not believe and
made up of such wondrous stuff
he might tease me and drive me mad
still the best thing i’ve ever had
all i need is a little room
to give him heaven for life

all i need is a winding stair up
to that place no one else can see
with him near my laughter falls down
and i remember the truest me
he might falter in this world of fools
he don’t play by nobody’s rules
but all i need is to love this man
to be his blushing wife

yee haw!

Owning the Amazon

Did yall see this?
People tell me it was censored in the States. I only found it in other languages
(like french, italian, in portuguese).
Brazilian Minister of Education CRISTOVAO BUARQUE is said to
have given this answer (more likea great little speech!) to an American who
asked him a very popular American environmentalist question:  What did he t
hink about making the Amazon an international territory, and taking it off
Brazil’s hands, in order t o protect it (since it’s important to the ENTIRE
planet), etc.  The questioner supposedly said that he’d like the
minister to answer as a humanist and not as a brazilian.  Frankly the
answer is so good, I think this is a hoax, but if dude really kicked it like
this to him, off the top of his head,
So the minister said, more or
"Indeed as a Brazilian, I have to say I am
against the internationalization of the Amazon.  As much as our
government may have mismanaged it, it’s still OURS.  As a humanist,
thinking about the environmental destruction in t he Amazon, I can imagine that
we would internationalize it since it is important to all humanity.  If,
ethically, the Amazon should be internationalized, let us also internationalize
oil reserves.  Oil is as important to the well-being of humanity as the
Amazon and yet the owners of the reserves retain the right to control them and
control prices.  In the same way, the financial capital of rich countries
should be internationalized.  If the Amazon is a reserve for all human
beings and it cannot be burnt at the will of the country that owns it, then
burning it is as terrible as is unemployment resulting from the arbitrary
decisions of global corporations.  We cannot burn financial reserves of
entire countries either.  Before the Amazon, I’d actually like to see the
internationalization of all great museums.  The Louvre cannot belong only
to France.  Each museum holds the best pieces produced by human genius.
Those can’t be left to the whims of one owner or country.  During the
Millenium Forum here at the UN some diplomats had trouble entering the
border.  I think that New York, as the home of the UN should be
internationalized.  Manhattan should belong to all humanity, as well as
Paris, Venice, Rome, London, Rio, each city with its beauty and world history,
should belong to the entire world.  If the US would like to
internationalize the Amazon rather than leave it to the Brazilians to manage,
let us also internationalize
the nuclear arsenal of the US.  The US has
actually already demonstrated its willingness to use these weapons and cause
destruction thousands of times worse than the burning of florests in
Brazil.  In the presidential debates in the US the candidates proposed
internationalizing forrests in exchange for debt. Let us start to use that debt
to ensure that every child in the world can EAT and go to school.  Let us
internationalize children, treating all of them the same, independent of country
of origin, as belonging to the entire world.  They deserve it more than the
Amazon.  When world leaders treat poor children of the world in that way
they will no longer allow that they work when they should be
studying or that they die when they should
As a humanist I accept the idea of internationalizing
the world.  But as long as the world treats me as a Brazilian, I will fight
so that the Amazon remain ours.  Only

I Am In This Anthology – Check it out

Dear Adrienne Maree,

Depressed about George Bush, Iraq, the weakness of the progressive movement? CODEPINK has just the antidote for you. Our ground-breaking book, Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism,
will be hot off the presses and hitting book stores nationwide May 6th.
(Preorders by bookstores have already pushed us into a second

We are launching our 100 city book tour May 1st in Washington, D.C. on the two year anniversary of "Mission NOT Accomplished."
How could we forget Bush proudly strutting in his flight suit on the
aircraft carrier in front of the banner displaying the words MISSION
ACCOMPLISHED!? Two years later, a country is destroyed, tens of
thousands of American casualties and 100,000 Iraqi civilians deaths and
injuries, and well over $200 billion spent. We will kick off the day
with an outrageous "pink" action in front of the White House followed by a book signing with CODEPINK co-founders and Helen Thomas, Phyllis Bennis and other contributors to the book.

From DC we will tour the country and converge with local CODEPINKs to ensure that our words are as loud as our actions. Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK cofounders and coeditors of this book, want to visit as many cities as possible- so please click here to check the tour dates for May and contact if you would like to add your city to the tour!

In Stop the Next War Now,
you will find an amazing bouquet of voices? with a foreword by Alice
Walker, intro by Arundhati Roy and contributors including Eve
Ensler, Barbara Lee, Cynthia McKinney, Arianna Huffington, Barbara
Ehrenreich, Amy Goodman, Terry Tempest Williams, Shirin Ebadi, and many
. It shares expert insight on the issues and
powers-that-be that can lead us to war – including the media, our
elected politicians, global militarization, and the scarcity of
national resources. And it offers ideas, hope and inspiration for
building a powerful, effective peace movement.

Join us and Stop the Next War Now 

  • *come to a book release event and support your local book seller (see schedule here)
  • *have Jodie or Medea come to your city (contact
  • *participate in a direct action in one of the book tour cities (contact to organize)
  • *host your own Stop the Next War Now book party or book club discussion (please send all bulk book order requests to – discounts may apply)
  • *review the book for on-line retailers, and writing about it on blogs, chatrooms and your favorite websites
  • *pre-order the book today!
  • review the book online at any online bookstore
  • tell your online community about the book (websites, list-serves, blogs, etc.)
  • donate the book to your local library, talk to your local school about getting a copy

Let’s continue to dream and scheme about what we can do to stop the spiral of violence and stop the next war now!

In Peace,

Dana, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Medea, Rae, Tiffany and Willow 

– Do you like the idea of enabling the economic power of individuals to
benefit the causes close to their hearts? Wouldn’t it be great if some
of the money we spend everyday could make a difference for CODEPINK?
Now you can make that happen just by buying everything from CD’s,
books, pet supplies, clothing, office supplies, greeting cards, and
just about anything you can imagine at It doesn’t cost a cent to join and once you’re a member, every time you shop the Mall at, CODEPINK will get a percentage of each purchase you make. Just think of it…free money for CODEPINK,
your choice of over 600 nationally known online merchants, your privacy
guaranteed, plus an annual donation report for tax deduction purposes!
We hope you can’t resist! Join now. If you sign up in April CODEPINK will receive $5 for every new registrant! Fight the Bush Agenda & vote with your $!


this morning one of my friend-goddesses called so we could have breakfast and go sit in the sun and i was moping about how hard it is to make ends meet these days, and she said stop calling yourself broke and poor. you aren’t – stop thinking that. and so i pondered it, it was somewhat true, i thought.  in the next hour i got an offer to start a paid column! woo hooo!! the power of the mind my friends. so this one might in fact be short-lived – we’ll see 🙂

Found Poem #1: the pale skinned virgin priest

found poetry is my new thing. its when you overhear something or see something written somewhere that converges interestingly with something you are doing or have just done. convergence poetry, found poetry…here it is:

the story: i left a harm reduction class and was walking down the street and a store was blaring a speech and the person said – will you learn of discipline from the pale skinned virgin priest?’. this poem came next:

i went to the pale skinned virgin priest
but he could tell me nothing of love, lust or devotion
he'd never felt the overwhelming pull of those oceans
nor succumbed to that aching crux of want turned need
never tasted the knife so sweet you suck till you bleed
the hunger that reminds you we are half dream half beast

i went to the wide eyed work whored saint
but she couldn't recall her days spent in the dark
how razor sharp big love is the mouth of a shark
how the sweet honeyed finger makes sure it amazed you
how love that close to madness allows for no phase two
and finally you choose not what a thing is, but what it ain't

to which my friend janine suggested a new last line:

in the end you choose not the song but the echo, now faint

which i truly like.

its stunningly gorgeous outside and i am going to read work isht out there!

Questions from convo with my sister

Some of these are my questions, some are Autumn’s:

What is your core melancholy?
Are collectives more crucial during the birthing process of movements and/or communities?
How much of love is dependence, how much is exhaustion, how much is a trap, how much is it the only point or the central struggle of life?
Do you ever really fight with another person, or just with the idea that they could hurt you, or change your mind?
Why aren’t there clear post college communities where you can select your reality as specifically as you do in college but not have to be in college? Or simultaneous ones for those who don’t want to go to college – everyone should be able to choose to explore communities other than their starting one…
Or – can you reject the institution of academia, AND reject the institution of organized religion and still be deeply analytical and deeply spiritual without trying to create new institutions…?
and – how much of human nature is fundamentally imperialist? are chapter-based organizations imperialist at heart?
Will I ever be able to budget or pay taxes on time with the way I hate money?
Aren’t we more privileged than roughly anyone else we know because our parents are so remarkably unconditionally in love with each other and with us and in every struggle we’ve faced in life we’ve been able to come back to their example?
Is it better to study specific fields or, for the sake of expansive art, to remain an artist engaging in a variety of fields and subjects…but is art important anymore?
How dope is our grandfather’s faith (note: my grandfather had a heart attack this week and needed triple by-pass surgery for it. he awoke in the morning, having had it – and he should have woken up dead as they say – but god  told him to take an aspirin so he did and that thinned his blood enough to get him to the hospital where he was saved for another day of loving jesus. the entire time he was unflappable – any outcome will be a good one) and how cool is jesus, even if the interpretation of his story is so misapplied? god is always manifest among the people – he whispered to my papa on thursday am, i am grateful.

And then here are some things I said at the grassroots media conference today (a very cool conference which is still happening tomorrow at 65 5th avenue in manhattan):
– i used to clown bush for saying he didn’t read the newspaper but what folks filter to him, but recently i’ve realized that most folks i know do the same thing, including myself, use filters to get information most suited to them and what they want to hear.  now we can be responsible filters – that’s what voter guides are, that’s what grm has to do.
– grassroots media needs to beware well-meaning activists who become famous: check the credentials, check that folks/we are still doing the work, not just talking about, unless they are official…
– progressive pundits! which is my new favorite thing the league will be teaching. the art of being able to represent your work and movement and issues and view point and hold your own in an interview in any medium! it has to look and sound good, we have to be media savvy now, we know how!
– let’s build more funding for grassroots media into our non-profit plan so we can get journalists paid. what are the legal implications of this?

i was on the panel with lumumba from malcolm x grassroots movement, who had a wonderful and organic response when asked what kept us motivated – the people in the community, the mothers who’ve lost their sons to police shootings, the people. i later attended his and djibril’s training on their know your rights campaign and their work is amazing and folks should really pick it up in more communities.

and lastly, yesterday i was at a climate crisis meeting and it was dope – top enviro-organizers from all over the country discussion the plan to change the perception of the movement, get back to enviro-justice…it was dope. more to come.


saturday night blog complete

Climate Crisis and Stalker Lists

today i'm off to engage in one of my new 
sub-careers - environmentalism. since the
grist article (
came out i have had countless offers to be a part
of discussions on environmental justice and
climate crisis and i am honored and learning a lot.
this meeting is a coalition focused on how short a
time we have before we're in a state of total
crisis - for me i hear that as, what's
our estimated timeline for the switch from the
type of struggle we're facing now which is a
struggle of people and power, before we're faced
with the next common unifying struggle
for survival against the effects of our own
excessive and stupid existence as it
relates to natural resources. :) cheerful
friday thoughts.

but some good news - bush's approval ratings are
the lowest of any post WWII president!
the american public is polling against his
social security plans, are indignant about
his tall tales of WMDs in iraq and generally
feel untrusting of him. ah. the american people.
always a little late on the uptake. but then
again, national politics are for suckers,
local is where its at (

in other news, my friend marc in the bay
is a stalker and he sent me this: is a huge stalking engine connecting
all the "famous" people in the western world
(for now) by cross referencing all of their
crimes, sleeping partners, affiliations,
relatives, interests, etc- a person's otherwise
inexplicable behavior is often understood by examining
the crowd that person has been hanging out with.
brought to you by the folks at
(originally the backend for

some interesting lists:

new democrat movement list:

dubya nicknames:

dubya ranch hands:

involuntarily struck by pies:

movie keyword: unneceessary remake

nixon's enemies list:

sgt pepper lonely heart:

coolest headshots:

people with funny names:

risk factor: heroin

risk factor: homophobia

failure to pay child support:

attended "Promises" rehab facility:

caught fire:

me? an oasis? you’re too kind

VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): Though much of
Iceland is covered with snow, glaciers, and lava plateaus, the town of
Hveragerdi is graced with greenhouses where geothermal energy is
harnessed to grow bananas. You remind me of this oasis, Virgo. Though
you’re surrounded by what might be described as a barren wasteland, you
yourself are a warm, nurturing source of fertility. No matter how
inhospitable it might get outside of your circle in the next two weeks,
you should just keep growing.

me? an oasis? you’re too kind

VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): Though much of
Iceland is covered with snow, glaciers, and lava plateaus, the town of
Hveragerdi is graced with greenhouses where geothermal energy is
harnessed to grow bananas. You remind me of this oasis, Virgo. Though
you’re surrounded by what might be described as a barren wasteland, you
yourself are a warm, nurturing source of fertility. No matter how
inhospitable it might get outside of your circle in the next two weeks,
you should just keep growing.