Among the World AIDS Day commemorations in Dallas this year was one at Central Congregational Church in North Dallas on Nov. 30 and one at Cathedral of Hope on Dec. 1.
Robert Suttle spoke at an event organized by C.U.R.E. that also included a remembrance by Alpha Thomas of the AIDS crisis in Dallas, especially in the black community.
Suttle is a victim of HIV criminalization. After a relationship that lasted several months, his ex-boyfriend charged him with not disclosing his HIV status. He was arrested and charged in Louisiana under an HIV criminalization law.
That law still doesn’t take into account that those in compliance with their drug regimen and are undetectable will not transmit the virus.
Originally, Suttle had a plea bargain for a two-year probated sentence. When he questioned being registered as a sex offender, the judge ruled he would have to spend six months in prison. Since his release in 2011, he has been fighting his sex-offender status.
Suttle argues that sending notification to everyone living within a certain radius about his sex offender status violates the law by releasing his confidential medical information.
At the event at Cathedral of Hope, about 40 members of the Turtle Creek Chorale sang and those lost to AIDS were remembered.
Prism Health CEO John Carlo talked about information released at the World AIDS Conference. Among the most important studies was one on U=U or undetectable equals untransmittable. One of the most dramatic and promising statistics is from New York City where over the past four years, there has been a 60 percent drop in the number of new HIV infections directly related to U=U and use of PrEP.
The goal among AIDS activists is elimination of HIV as a global health threat by 2030.
— David Taffet