Today I, as a community representative, have launched a petition for the removal of Michael Weinstein as President and CEO of the AHF. This is not just about the LGBTQ community, it concerns us all. This petition is not about how Weinstein or we personally feel about HIV PrEP. This petition is about whether we, the people, should be allowed access to accurate information, free of stigma and discrimination.
Mr. Weinstein’s comments and actions are unbefitting the head of the world’s largest AIDS service organization, and we are calling for his removal. HIV prevention is not “a party.” #removeWeinstein
Thank you for your kind support and consideration.
Eric Paul Leue
Mr LA Leather 2014
Text from the petition:
With this petition, we ask Michael Weinstein to resign from his post as CEO and President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) for his recent comments about the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication, Truvada, and those who use it.
In 2012 the FDA approved the medication Truvada for use by people at high risk for HIV—including gay men, sex workers and HIV-negative individuals in relationships with people living with HIV—to help prevent transmission of the virus. Yet rather than embrace Truvada, one of the most revolutionary developments in the history of the AIDS epidemic, Weinstein poured considerable resources into fighting its approval, and called the HIV-prevention pill “a party drug.” This statement needlessly stigmatizes individuals trying to protect themselves from AIDS by likening them to illicit substance abusers. Mr. Weinstein’s comments and actions are unbefitting the head of the world’s largest AIDS service organization, and we are calling for his removal.
Weinstein’s disgraceful comment wasn’t the first time he’s attacked those who choose to take Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medications, like Truvada, or those who have questioned Weinstein’s one-size-fits-all condom policy. However, this injustice caused, Eric Leue, creator of this petition, to question his involvement with a recent outreach campaign of the AHF to the LGBTQ community, called “Test Your Limits.”
On April 7, he offered to continue his support if only the AHF would agree to take the following steps:
· That Weinstein would apologize for his ‘party drug’ statement regarding HIV PrEP (Truvada)
· That the AHF/Weinstein would issue a press statement to clarify the intentions of their joint campaign with Eric and acknowledge his stance on HIV PrEP and education
· That Weinstein would participate in a meeting with other organizations to find realistic ways to prevent HIV and STI transmissions and to promote all-encompassing prevention education on the subject. The meeting was to include the adult film industry to rally their support for prevention education and to encourage dialogue, rather than pushing for measures that appear to force said industry underground
Seven days later the AHF declined these offers. Weinstein says he has nothing to apologize for.
This petition is not about how Weinstein or we personally feel about HIV PrEP. This petition is about whether we, the people, should be allowed access to accurate information, free of stigma and discrimination. Since 1980, HIV and its prevention has been framed in moral terms, and the people carrying the virus blamed. The head of our largest AIDS service organization should know that HIV prevention is not “a party.”
With our signatures to remove Michael Weinstein as CEO and President of the AHF, we encourage the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to reconnect with the public to be able to continue their important work hand in hand with the communities they serve.
We ask for 50,000 people to sign this petition, and to use the hashtag #RemoveWeinstein to help raise awareness for this petition.
Eric Paul Leue
Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2013