Started writing at 10:28 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, while sitting in my home office in Washington, D.C.
It’s always a struggle to categorize a particular year in one word, but monumental seems an appropriate adjective to describe 2011.
This year’s datelines included Santiago de Chile, Budapest, Fire Island, Philadelphia, Puerto Vallarta and Boston. My beautiful nephew Liam was born on March 26. Andrés and I celebrated our first anniversary in September. And I officially moved to the District of Columbia on Oct. 1.
I finally cut my hair in March. The 30th anniversary of the first cases of what became known as AIDS on June 5 provided a somber reminder that the epidemic is far from over. I was a proud New Yorker when the state Senate passed a marriage equality bill in a 33-29 vote on June 24. I turned 30 on Aug. 16. Hurricane Irene prompted a mandatory evacuation of Fire Island on Aug. 26, three days after an earthquake shook the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. President Barack Obama’s rose garden press conference on former Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi’s death on Oct. 20 coincided with a previously scheduled event for which I had been credentialed. I wore a sari for the first time. I quickly learned that many elected officials in the District of Columbia are utterly shameless. And machas a la parmesana are really, really delicious.
To a happy, healthy and just 2012!
Friday, December 30, 2011
Started writing at 10:28 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, while sitting in my home office in Washington, D.C.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Downtown Manchester was largely quiet on this post-Christmas Monday, but Republican presidential candidates’ staffers and volunteers were hard at work 15 days before the first-in-the-nation GOP primary.
Two volunteers with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign stressed that presidential candidates should stay out of the ongoing debate over a bill that would repeal the state’s marriage equality law. A vote on the proposal could potentially coincide with the Jan. 10 primary, but a University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll in October found that 62 percent of likely voters oppose efforts to repeal the law that took effect in Jan. 2010.
Less than a mile south on Elm Street, staffers and volunteers were busy in former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign office. (An ad that features Romney talking about fiscal responsibility and another from Texas Congressman Ron Paul that specifically attacks the former Massachusetts governor, President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi just aired on WMUR. Another spot touted former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as a “true conservative” compared to Gingrich and Romney. A fourth ad that features three Republicans and one Democrat who oppose the marriage equality repeal bill also ran towards the end of WMUR's 6 p.m. newscast.)
Less than two miles away, volunteers with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman were busy bringing signs and other supplies into the campaign’s Elm Street office. Signs for former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Gov. Rick Perry also lined the street. Others for Paul greeted drivers at the intersection of Queen City Avenue and South Willow Street.
Hordes of shoppers who descended upon the Mall of New Hampshire seemed oblivious to the upcoming vote.
On Elm Street.
Outside the Romney campaign's New Hampshire headquarters on Elm Street.
Gingrich touts his "21st Century Contract with America" in downtown Manchester.
Huntsman's campaign headquarters on Elm Street.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
A kiss can certainly speak volumes!
Two Navy officers on Tuesday, Dec. 20, became the first women to share a “first kiss” after Petty Officer Second Class Marissa Gaeta descended from the USS Oak Hill in Virginia Beach, Va. She and her partner, Petty Officer Third Class Citlalic Snell, shared a quick kiss in the rain on the dock.
President Barack Obama on Dec. 22, 2010, signed a bill that repealed the military's ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers. 'Don't ask, don't tell' officially ended on Sept. 20, but gay and lesbian servicemembers still face challenges.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and Chadbourne and Parke filed a lawsuit in federal court in October on behalf of six gay and lesbian servicemembers and two veterans who allege the federal Defense of Marriage Act forces the military to deny them spouses benefits. Transgender servicemembers remain unable to serve openly. And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and other Republican presidential candidates have said they would reinstate the Clinton-era policy if elected president.
"What a difference a year makes," said SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis in a press release that acknowledges the first anniversary of the president signing the DADT repeal bill into law. "But when it comes to achieving full equality in America's military for every qualified patriot who serves--regardless of sexual orientation--we are not there yet."
A group that opposes a bill that would repeal New Hampshire’s marriage equality law on Wednesday, Dec. 21, unveiled a new ad that urges lawmakers to vote against the measure.
Standing Up for New Hampshire Families said in a press release that the ad, which features Republicans Maxine Morse and Craig and Berta Stowell and Democrat Dan Calegari, will run in heavy rotation on WMUR next week.
“Politicians should let our neighbors live their lives and leave them alone,” said Morse, a long-time GOP activist from Portsmouth.
A House vote on the marriage equality repeal bill could coincide with the Jan. 10 presidential primary. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have both backed efforts to repeal the law. Standing Up for New Hampshire Families pointed out that more than 1,000 same-sex couples have married in the Granite State since the statute took effect in Jan. 2010.
Sixty-two percent of respondents who participated in a University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll in October said they oppose efforts to repeal the law. Eighty-one percent of them said marriage equality for gays and lesbians has not impacted their life.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Gallup reported on Monday, Dec. 19, that Congress ends the year with a historically low 11 percent approval rating. The congressional approval rating averaged only 17 percent in 2011, which is the lowest in Gallup's history.
A previous Gallup poll found that 64 percent of Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress as either "low" or "very low."
Sunday, December 18, 2011
New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez endorsed marriage for same-sex couples in an op-ed that ran in the Star-Ledger on Sunday, Dec. 18.
“This comes down to an issue of fundamental fairness,” he wrote. “For me, this comes down to the principles I learned as the child of immigrants and that I cherish as an American: that we believe in equality for all people under the law.”
Menendez, who voted for the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, is the 32nd Senate sponsor of a bill that would repeal the Clinton-era law.
“Across our country, the attitudes of millions of Americans have changed on this issue and several states have acted to guarantee the freedom to marry to same-sex couples whose love for each other and life commitment to one another is no different from other couples,” he wrote. “These gay men and gay women defend our streets and our citizens as firefighters and police officers; they are small-business people who create jobs; they are teachers who prepare our children to compete in the future. And they are soldiers, Marines and sailors who have put their lives on the line for our country, fighting to protect our freedoms and to combat terrorists who threaten to attack us again.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee last month voted 10-8 to advance the DOMA repeal bill. A Human Rights Campaign and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll found that 51 percent of respondents oppose the Clinton-era law, but it remains unlikely that the DOMA repeal bill will pass during the current Congress.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney faced questions about pro-gay statements he made during his failed 1994 Senate campaign during the latest Republican presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, on Thursday, Dec. 15.
Fox News' Chris Wallace specifically asked Romney about a letter that he wrote to Log Cabin Republicans' Massachusetts chapter in Oct. 1994. Romney said that he would co-sponsor the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and pledged to work towards ending discrimination against gays and lesbians. He also suggested that he would prove a stronger advocate for gay and lesbian Americans than late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.
"I do not believe in discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation," Romney told Wallace in an increasingly tense exchange. "At the same time, I oppose same-sex marriage. Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman."
Romney's comments come hours after a Log Cabin Republicans and the Human Rights Campaign criticized Romney for saying that he a three-tiered system that would allow same-sex couples who are legally married to maintain their status but prevent other gays and lesbians from following suit. A gay veteran challenged the former governor on his support of a bill that would repeal New Hampshire's marriage equality law during a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., on Monday, Dec. 12.
Only one percent of those who took part in a Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll in February listed "stopping gay marriage" as a top priority going into the 2012 election cycle.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other American officials formally ended the war in Iraq earlier on Thursday, Dec. 15, with a ceremony in Baghdad.
"You will leave with great pride — lasting pride," Panetta told troops after American soldiers officially cased or retired the U.S. Forces Iraq flag at Baghdad International Airport, according to the Associated Press. "Secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to begin a new chapter in history."
The White House also marked the milestone with an interactive timeline on its website.
“American troops have served in Iraq with honor and distinction since March 19, 2003, but the cost to our nation has been great,” it wrote. “December 2011 marks the end of our mission in Iraq, and the fulfillment of a promise Barack Obama made to the American people even before he became president.”
The $800 billion conflict killed 4,434 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqis. Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was toppled, but sectarian violence nearly tore the country apart. Iraq’s infrastructure remains in shambles after nearly nine years of conflict.
Will the end of the Iraq war amount to Obama’s mission accomplished moment?
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a real conservative?
House Speaker John Boehner described Gingrich as such during Politico’s monthly Playbook Breakfast at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
“It would be hard to describe Newt as not conservative,” Boehner told Politico reporter Mike Allen. “I’m not sure he’s as conservative as some people think he is, but Newt is a conservative.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to cast doubt on Gingrich’s conservative credentials ahead of the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3. The thrice-married Gingrich on Monday, Dec. 12, pledged to remain faithful to his wife Callista and defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act when he became the latest Republican presidential candidate to endorse the Family Leader’s so-called “marriage pledge.”
Is this enough to convince traditionally conservative Iowa caucusgoers?
A Public Policy Polling survey found that 22 percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers support Gingrich, compared 22 percent who back Texas Congressman Ron Paul and 16 percent who endorse Romney.
“We have a lot of good candidates out there,” said a non-committal Boehner when asked whether he would endorse Gingrich. “I’m sure the primary voters will select one of them. Whoever it is, I will be there to support.”
Monday, December 12, 2011
A gay Army veteran proved once again that New Hampshire voters can prove particularly problematic to presidential hopefuls who descend upon their state every four years.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made small talk with Bob Garon during a campaign stop at Café Vachon in Manchester earlier on Monday, Dec. 12, before he sat next to him and his husband Bob Lemire. Garon asked Romney whether he supports efforts a bill that would repeal the Granite State’s marriage equality law.
“I support the repeal of the New Hampshire law,” said Romney. “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s my view.”
A University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll in October found that 81 percent of respondents said nuptials for gays and lesbians in New Hampshire have not impacted their life, but Romney continued to defend both the repeal bill and the federal Defense of Marriage Act in an increasingly tense and awkward exchange with Garon.
“I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” said Romney.
A new Gallup poll finds that a record 64 percent of Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress as either “low” or “very low.”
In the same poll that was conducted between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1, 62 percent of respondents categorized the honesty and ethical standards of lobbyists as either “low” or “very low.” Eighty-four percent of respondents described the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as “very high” or “high.”
A Gallup poll last month found that only 13 percent of Americans approve of the way that Congress has handled its job. President Barack Obama’s approval rating averaged 43 percent during the last week of November.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño indicated to reporters on Friday, Dec. 9, that he supports the island’s current hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
The governor answered questions about the proposed changes to Puerto Rico’s penal code during a press conference at the Executive Mansion in San Juan.
“We hope he sticks to his word and uses his leadership to ensure those provisions remain in the penal code—and not only maintains those provisions, but orders his administration to enforce them,” said Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Singer Ricky Martin, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez are among those who have publicly spoken out against a proposed provision that the Puerto Rico Senate approved last month that would eliminate sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion and ethnicity from the island’s hate crimes law. More than 14,000 people have signed a petition that Jorge Sepulveda posted to Change.org earlier this week that urges Puerto Rican lawmakers to reject the measure.
The Puerto Rico House of Representatives is not expected to vote on the revised penal code during the special legislative session, but Fortuño said he hopes lawmakers will approve it sometime in early January.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
The country's largest LGBT rights organization has once again blasted a proposed provision of Puerto Rico's new penal code that would eliminate sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and other categories from the island's hate crimes law.
“It would be unconscionable for Puerto Rico’s leaders to remove sexual orientation and gender identity from existing hate crime protections,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “This sends the dangerous message that it is acceptable to harass or harm LGBT people and would leave victims of hate crimes with no legal recourse. I urge Puerto Rico’s lawmakers not only to reject this homophobic legislation, but to push more aggressively to protect the well-being of LGBT Puerto Ricans.”
Singer Ricky Martin, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez are among those who have publicly spoken out against the proposed provision. Jorge Sepulveda posted a petition to Change.org late on Wednesday, Dec. 7, that urges Puerto Rican lawmakers to reject the measure.
"It is ironic that in the same week, we see President Obama and Hillary Clinton going to international groups and telling them to pass more laws to protect minorities, then in Puerto Rico you see the government doing the exact opposite," he told Boy in Bushwick earlier on Thursday, Dec. 8. "It’s shameful to see that."
Puerto Rico lawmakers are poised to debate the proposed provision when they consider the revised penal code during a special legislative session this week. Puerto Rico Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz criticized House Judiciary Committee President Liza Fernández’s criticism of the proposed amended hate crimes law in an interview with Vocero on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Gutierrez urged Attorney General Eric Holder earlier on Thursday that he create a federal task force to investigate and prosecute hate crimes on the island. The U.S. Department of Justice cited the Puerto Rico Police Department's inadequate response to hate crimes as one of the PRPD's endemic deficiencies in a scathing report it issued in September. The Puerto Rico Department of Justice's own statistics indicate that prosecutors have not convicted anyone under the island's hate crimes law.
"If Puerto Rico doesn't want to protect its residents from attacks, violence and murder, then the federal authorities need to step in and ensure the most basic rights of life and liberty are protected," wrote Gutierrez.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Does Rick Perry think homophobia is a viable way to court voters ahead of the Iowa caucuses?
His latest campaign advertisement seems to suggest he is willing to throw LGBT Americans under the bus to bolster his languishing campaign ahead of the Jan. 3 caucuses.
"You don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know something's wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas and pray in school," said the Texas governor in a spot that appeared on his website earlier on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Log Cabin Republicans and other LGBT groups on Tuesday, Dec. 6, blasted Perry for assertion that taking a country's LGBT human rights record into account when considering the allocation of American foreign aid is a war on "traditional American values." Perry also sparked criticism in late October when he applauded efforts to repeal New Hampshire's marriage equality law.
The latest Des Moines Register poll found that only two percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers support Perry.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Speaking in Geneva on Tuesday, Dec. 6, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called upon countries to end human rights abuses against their LGBT citizens.
"Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights," she said.
Clinton's landmark speech coincided with the release of a presidential memo that directed government agencies that carry out American foreign policy to promote LGBT rights abroad. Clinton also briefly met with LGBT activists before she delivered her remarks in the Palais des Nations.
The White House announced on Tuesday, Dec. 6, that it has directed government agencies to take a country’s LGBT rights record into account when they consider the allocation of foreign aid.
In a memorandum; President Barack Obama directed the State Department, USAID and other agencies that carry out American diplomatic and foreign aid programs to promote and protect the human rights of LGBT people abroad. These include supporting efforts to decriminalize homosexuality, protecting LGBT refugees and asylum seekers, enhancing existing initiatives that advance non-discrimination bills and carrying out “swift and meaningful U.S. responses” to LGBT-specific human rights abuses abroad.
“The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights,” wrote Obama, who further expressed his deep concern about anti-LGBT violence and discrimination around the world. “Our deep commitment to advancing the human rights of all people is strengthened when we as the United States bring our tools to bear to vigorously advance this goal.”
Obama issued his memo roughly six weeks after British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to cut foreign aid to Commonwealth countries that continue to criminalize homosexuality. This directive is the first time the United States government has specifically addressed LGBT human rights abuses abroad.
“As Americans, we understand that no one should be made a criminal or subject to violence or even death because of who they are, no matter where they live,” said Human Rights President Joe Solmonese. “Today’s actions by President Obama make clear that the United States will not turn a blind eye when governments commit or allow abuses to the human rights of LGBT people.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cited the memo in a landmark speech on LGBT equality that she delivered in Genera later on Tuesday, Dec. 6, to commemorate Human Rights Day.
"When one part of humanity is sidelined, the rest of us cannot remain on the sidelines," she said.
Puerto Rico House of Representatives President Jenniffer González announced on Monday, Dec. 5, that she would review a proposed provision to the penal code that would remove sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and ethnic ethnicity from the island’s hate crimes law.
“I have been very consistent about hate crimes,” she said, according to Primera Hora. “I have presented special laws against hate crimes that are there, so I am on the record about this topic.”
González’s announcement coincided with House Judiciary Committee President Liza Fernández’s criticism of the proposed amendment that the Puerto Rico Senate approved late last month.
“For me, it was an error to eliminate these factors from the code,” she said, as el Nuevo Día reported on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and other activists and elected officials blasted the proposed provision. New York Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and New York City Councilmembers Melissa Mark-Viverito, Rosie Mendez, Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer urged lawmakers to reject the measure in a joint statement they issued late on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
“When we take into account the horrific hate crimes that have occurred in recent years, this decision is even more egregious and nonsensical," said Mark-Viverito, who was born in San Juan. "The Puerto Rican government is creating a dangerous environment for those who have been and potentially could be attacked or even killed solely on the basis of their identity without any additional penalties for the perpetrators. This strategy to de-classify hate violence directed against LGBT Puerto Ricans and ethnic groups as a separate crime cannot stand."
Nearly two dozen LGBT Puerto Ricans have been murdered on the island since gay teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado’s decapitated, dismembered and partially burned body was found along a remote roadside near Cayey in 2009. With more than 1,000 reported homicides so far this year, 2011 has already proven to be the deadliest year in Puerto Rico.
The U.S. Department of Justice noted the Puerto Rico Police Department’s inadequate response to hate crimes as among the PRPD’s endemic deficiencies in a damning report it released in September. A federal DOJ spokesperson on Monday declined to comment on the proposed hate crimes provision, but the Puerto Rico Department of Justice’s own statistics confirm that prosecutors have not convicted anyone under the island’s hate crimes law.
Singer Ricky Martin added his voice to the growing chorus of those who oppose the proposed provision.
“All citizens are equal under the law and have, without exception, the right to equal protection under the law,” he wrote on his website, citing the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The House is expected to vote on the revised penal code later this week during a special legislative session.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Puerto Rican lawmakers are poised to vote on a revised penal code this week that could eliminate LGBT-specific categories from the island’s hate crimes law.
The Puerto Rico Senate late last month approved a provision that would eliminate sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ethnicity and religion from the current statute—political status, age and disability would remain. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the amended penal code during a special legislative session.
Representative Héctor Ferrer, Sen. Eduardo Bhatia and LGBT and Dominican activists blasted the proposed provisions earlier on Sunday, Dec. 4.
“It’s an outrage and now we’re calling upon the House to restore this to where it should be,” said Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Nearly two dozen LGBT Puerto Ricans have been murdered on the island since gay teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado was stabbed to death before his decapitated, dismembered and partially burned body was found along a remote roadside near Cayey in Nov. 2009. The Justice Department noted a lack of prosecution under the island's hate crimes law in damning report on the Puerto Rico Police Department it issued in September.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on Saturday, Dec. 3, suspended his campaign amid allegations that he carried on a 13-year affair with a Georgia businesswoman and sexually harassed several other women while head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
"I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction and hurt caused on me and my family," he said as his wife Gloria stood by his side.
Cain also criticized the media for promoting what he repeatedly described as false allegations that he said sidetracked his campaign. "The voice of the people is more powerful than the media," he said. "Message is more powerful than money."
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Speaking at a World AIDS Day candlelight vigil in Dupont Circle on Thursday, Dec. 1, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray stressed his administration remains committed to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Washington.
Gray pointed out to the roughly 75 people who gathered in the circle that 122,000 HIV tests took place in the District last year. The city also distributed 5 million female and male condoms.
The mayor said the number of new HIV cases in the District dropped by 50 percent last year--60 percent among intravenous drug users in 2010. The city's prevalence rate, however, remains roughly 300 percent higher than the national average with 3 percent of Washingtonians living with HIV.
"We have made enormous strides over the years in fighting this epidemic, but we have a long ways to go," said Gray.
Gray also presented Whitman-Walker Health Executive Director Don Blanchon with a proclamation that proclaimed Dec 1, 2011, World AIDS Day in the District.
President Barack Obama used his World AIDS Day speech at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Dec. 1, to reaffirm his administration's commitment to fighting the domestic and global AIDS epidemic.
Obama announced an additional $50 million for HIV medical clinics and state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. He also unveiled new targets to further combat the spread of the global AIDS epidemic. These include providing anti-retroviral drugs to more than 1.5 million pregnant women with HIV over the next two years and an overall goal of getting six million people with the virus on these life-saving treatments.
An estimated 33 million people around the world currently live with HIV. 1.2 million Americans currently live with the virus.
President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are among those who will participate in a World AIDS Day forum at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., later on Thursday, Dec. 1.
ONE and (RED) will host a forum that will focus on "the beginning of the end of AIDS." Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete; CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; California Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Bono; Alicia Keys; Dr. Patricia Nkansah-Asamoah, director of the PMTCT Clinic at Tema Hospital in Accra, Ghana; Florence Ngobeni of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Kay Warren are also slated to participate.
More than three decades after the first cases of what became known as AIDS were reported, more than 33 million people around the world currently live with the virus.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told federal health officials and HIV/AIDS service providers during a speech at the National Institutes of Health on Nov. 8 that a so-called AIDS-free generation is possible. A Centers for Disease Control report earlier this week indicates that only 28 percent of the 1.2 million Americans with HIV have viral counts that are considered under control.