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Bill Clinton's Real AIDS Legacy

SOS with Bill Clinton 1992-small.jpg

Last week, published an excerpt from my book, Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival that documents how poorly Bill Clinton's administration responded to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly their failure to lift the ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs.

The piece has provoked more than 60 comments, but not a single one is substantively supportive of what I wrote.  The vast majority of the comments are generic Clinton defenders or haters. The defenders cite his support for LGBT rights -- and dismiss, ignore or defend his egregious support of the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And the haters just hate everything about him, as they always have.

What I wrote in Body Counts and what excerpted was the truth -- but are there so few who remember it?  And why is it that in 2014 the question of a President's record on AIDS is immediately conflated with his record on LGBT issues?

It seems like the truth about the epidemic's history is getting glossed over everywhere, rewritten or ignored. Maybe it is true that there aren't so many people who really know the Clinton administration's record on AIDS. But that makes it all the more incumbent upon them to share what they witnessed.  Silence still = Death.

To read and comment on the piece published on, please click here


Please visit Body Counts at, on and on Twitter @BodyCountsBook.

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Comments on Sean Strub's blog entry "Bill Clinton's Real AIDS Legacy"

I like. Bully Bill, however. He was a politician and a great diplomatic now, but not without his scares too. In my History of opinion behind most politicians in politicking they will use leverage in favor of their next big vote or picture on TV or in the New Paper or sound bite. Bill in his lack of political cloud in addressing Gay people in the military, made a lot of military people unhappy, to have to stay in the closet, for many years, while other progressive counties had the courage to put the little issues behind them. Bill also covers up brand new HIV rapid testing technology during his administration according to Bernard Branson researcher and administrator in the CDC, during the Bush administration, for it was disclosed in a CDC public meeting, where Bill's administration demanded all CDC employees not to speak of such a new HIV technology in the USA. It made me a little mad at him for a moment to ask Why? I am still not sure, but many people today still are asking that question to Bill, why cover up modern advance Rapid HIV screening technology in the USA and deploy it in Africa and give it to people to take home and tested themselves, and now 20 plus years l being marketed in the USA uncover without advertising. For I wonder or think at times, if during the 80 and 90.s, if this HIV rapid testing would have been deployed like it was in African, if many would not be HIV now, just from the awareness and promotion of such a brand-new technology. I am not a hater of Bill, but not a donkey's ass either. I have not read the comments of the or your book; however, History is being unfolded, and many have their opinions on pieces of truth depending in which circles one has experience historical facts and truth or who one is butter up too; I am learning, and every Politian has their regrets, in hind sight and many man up to them too. I am reading Presidents Brush book at the moment and is full of his regrets, which in turn make me respect him more as a Great Leader of our times in address HIV and AIDS.

I have to whole hardheartedly agree that the Clinton administration's response was dismal. I lived through the entire AIDS epidemic, and I know that Bill is not to be celebrated for defending the LGBT community or in solving the challenges of the AIDS epidemic. The only thing that really came out of his time was Ryan White, and that was more of a congressional act. He just signed it into law. I have issues with Bill. Elizabeth Taylor did more than he could have ever have done. She was a true hero and a great friend of the LGBT community. Bill just gave lip service to the crisis, but didn't really do anything creative in response to it.

Ironic that Clinton dropped the ball and played politics, while Bush (not without controversy), of all people, created PEPFAR. Then, Obama as decreased funding for the Global Aids initiative. There will always be zombie followers of Clinton, Bush, and Obama (They can never do wrong). And, there will always be haters (no one can ever do right). So we have to do what citizens have always done, fight for ourselves. If Americans did not do the foot work things like Woman's rights and Civil rights would have never happened. It is a fool's paridise to think any politician will ever work the common man or woman's best interest.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Strub published on February 11, 2014 12:30 PM.

Iowa: Placing People with HIV Behind Bars was the previous entry in this blog.

Remembering Mario Cooper is the next entry in this blog.

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