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Underwear Store Has HIV+ Mannequin In Window

hiv mannequinThe window of an underwear store is an unlikely place for a political statement, but ES Collection in West Hollywood is no stranger to controversy.

You may remember a few months ago, when the shop (also called L.A. Jock) featured a mannequin in a concentration camp outfit to protest Russian human rights abuses. Now, they have a mannequin living with HIV. He’s dressed in a hospital gown and hooked up to an oxygen tank and IV. Good lord.

It’s certainly an arresting image, and one that is terribly familiar to gays of a certain age. Store owner Nir Zilberman is planning a rally this Saturday, April 12, at 9 p.m. to honor the deceased and support those living with HIV/AIDS. There will be speeches and performances and a candle light vigil starting at 10.

“World AIDS Day is everyday,” reads a sign in the window. Officially, World AIDS Day is December 1, but the disease is far from gone. In 2010, men who have sex with men accounted for 63% of estimated new HIV infections in the United States, and 78% of infections among all newly infected men. That’s mind-boggling.

Play safe, everyone. And for heaven’s sake get tested early and often.

By:           matt baume
On:           Apr 9, 2014
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 15 Comments
    • Kangol
      Kangol

      All for it, great idea. HIV/AIDS are still with us, and anything that helps prevention and finding a cure is worth trying.

      Apr 9, 2014 at 8:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mikah
      Mikah

      I don’t see how these particular HIV statistics are accurate considering the fact that most men who have sex with other men don’t even admit it.

      Apr 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nir zilberman
      nir zilberman

      YES, this is my window “STORY” at my ES COLLECTION boutique windows.
      first we are not an underwear store and this is not about my boutique its about

      AIDS WORLD DAY is EVERYDAY. STOP THE HATE. STOP THE STIGMA.

      WE ARE ALL ONE RACE, HUMAN RACE.

      For the last 30 years i support people living with HIV/AIDS. I lost many friends, co-workers and more till this day.
      the true story of my windows is

      RIGHT WINDOW
      HIV/AIDS IN 1983= DEATH

      doctors and nurses did not want to help people living with HIV/AIDS, the all world blame gay men for HIV/AIDS. kids was not allow to go to schools, the shame, the stigma. no real medicine. people are dying
      every day.
      i went to PASSOVER DINNER ( 30 people ) with my Israeli friends, amazing table, flowers and
      ONE PAPER CUP AND PAPER PLATE, PLASTIC SPOON etc… LIORA my “friend” told me this is for me.
      i told her “i do not have HIV/AIDS” and left her house till today i do not talk to any of them. i drove back to my house crying like a 4 years old boy and this change my life. i start organizing events, fashion shows big and small parties to rise money for people living with HIV/AIDS…. AND NEVER STOPED till today.
      i took my real friends to visit hospitals to hug and dance our brothers and sister living with AIDS , we brought balloons and flowers just to see ONE MORE SMILE. it was not always easy but i did not care. i wanted to make the world a better place for them.

      LEFT WINDOW
      HIV/AIDS 2014 (AIDS is NOT OVER)

      TODAY HIV/AIDS = LIFE.
      not easy one but people are living. they have dreams and vision.
      we still have men, women, teen and young kids loosing the life to AIDS.
      ALL COLORS, ALL AGES, ALL RELIGION.
      we still dealing with the stigma the guilt and the shame, why?
      people do not want to get tested because of it.

      LOVE YOURSELF GET TESTED, YOU MUST KNOW YOUR STATUS.

      USING A CONDOM IS A CHOICE, MAKE THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOU.

      BE SAFE, LOVE YOURSELF AND BE PROUD HUMAN WITH OR WITHOUT HIV/AIDS.

      WE ARE ALL HIV =.

      LOVE. RESPECT. nir

      Apr 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DickieJohnson
      DickieJohnson

      @nir zilberman: Thank you, Sir!!! Thank you for caring, for the degree of Love, for the reminder, and for the giving of your time to keep the awareness visible. God bless you!

      Apr 9, 2014 at 11:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JohnnyRayLA
      JohnnyRayLA

      I say stop by and see it in person .
      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152323914577072&set=a.10151190508007072.479754.508902071&type=1&theater

      Apr 10, 2014 at 7:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nir zilberman
      nir zilberman

      @JohnnyRayLA: love you, see you and the dogs, please confirm.
      do you have a banner?

      Apr 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nir zilberman
      nir zilberman

      @DickieJohnson: love. love love. from all of us in L.A.

      Apr 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nir zilberman
      nir zilberman

      @Mikah: thanks, this why we are asking everyone to get tested.

      Apr 10, 2014 at 3:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nir zilberman
      nir zilberman

      @Kangol: thank you for your support we must stop AIDS.
      and love every one HIV POZ or NEG. we are all ONE people.

      Apr 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • frshmn
      frshmn

      Is portraying an HIV+ person in a wheelchair and hooked up to an oxygen tank the most effective way to get out the message? I agree we shouldn’t trivialize the condition, but a lot of (ignorant) people presume HIV+ guys are sickly in appearance and have noticeable symptoms that are identifiable. Realistically many otherwise healthy looking men have extremely high viral loads and can easily transmit the virus if protection isn’t used. I do think Nir’s heart is in the right place though.

      Apr 10, 2014 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nir zilberman
      nir zilberman

      @frshmn: I AGREE MY DREAM IS NOT TO HAVE TOSE WINDOWS EVER AGAIN, BUT YOUNG PEOPLE THAT HIV/AIDS IS OVER. 1980’S PEOPLE USE TO DIE , TODAY PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS. THE MESSAGE IS FIRST IS NO HATE, NO STIGMA, NO SHAME. BUT WE STILL DON’T HAVE A CURE.
      LIVING WITH AIDS IS NOT EASY, WE ASK PEOPLE TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICH SAFE SEX. USE A CANDOM.
      2 OF MY FRIENDS ARE LIVING WITH AIDS FOR MANY YEARS, NOW IT’S THE LAST STAGES, THE ARE NOT GOING WITH ME MUCH LONGER. EVERY DAY, MEN, WOMEN, TEEN, KIDS AND BABIES ARE LOOSING THEY LIFE TO AIDS.
      WE MUST FIND A CURE, BUT TILL THEN, HAVE SAFE SEX.
      THE RIGHT WINDOW IS AIDS IN THE 1980’S AND THE 1990’S . THE LEFT WINDOW IS 2014.
      YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS POZ WHO IS NEG. WE MUST LOVE OURSELF AND USE A CONDOM.
      I GET SO MANY PEOPLE TELL ME THAT AFTER THE SEE OUR WINDOW THE START USING SAFE SEX. AND FEW OF
      THEM START GETTING TESTED. AGAIN THANK YOU. BUT WE MUST TEACH EVERYONE AIDS IS NOT OVER!

      Apr 10, 2014 at 5:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PozSince1985
      PozSince1985

      @nir zilberman: Please post a link to a picture of the window showing the modern face of HIV. I’m sure it is a much a better vision than the one Queerty chose to show. Ideally they should have shown both.

      I’m sorry that your friends lives are drawing to a close. Those of us who have been here since the beginning have seen way too many friends pass on.

      Sadly the “condoms, condoms, condoms” message now mostly falls on deaf ears. Ignored by many. Deflected to the gutter by screaming “Condom Nazi.” Adding Nazi to anything makes it instantly repulsive, right?

      We need new messages, that are at least different so people might actually HEAR them. The new message needs to be Testing, Testing, Testing, Testing. If you’re sexually active get tested every three months. We need to normalize testing, and widely deploy 4th and 5th generation rapid test, so people don’t have to worry for a week waiting about the results.

      Decriminalization against Poz people is so rampant. Most Neg guys are 100% sure that HIV is spread by the men who were responsible enough to get themselves tested, and know their status. For about 40-50% of Negative men, their prime safe sex strategy is to immediately reject anyone who says they are Poz. The decision of what kind of play they want is made in the context of “he’s Neg too.”

      Since the only question they ask is “What was the result of your last HIV test,” they don’t have enough info. How long ago was that test? How often does he get tested? Has he barebacked since that result? Did he bareback in the three months before that last lab work?

      The most dangerous POZ guy you’ll meet, was negative at his last test. It takes the body between three weeks and three months to mount an immune response to HIV. During that time, he’ll have a viral load of well over one million (more than 250,000 times mine), and still test Neg. Even after his immune system kicks in, his viral load will be over 100,000 (>2,500 times mine). With testing every six months, he’ll be POZ for 9 months before he knows it. Once a year testing – he’ll be POZ for 15 months before he gets the result. But you’ll play with him because his last test was Neg.

      Over the last couple of years many doctors had begun saying that HAART and achieving an undetectable viral load, provided as good protection as condoms, if not better. That’s been backed up by the preliminary report from the European based Partner study. In that study the couples were doing it bareback an average of once a week. But NONE of the Neg partners caught HIV from their Poz undetectable spouse, in the first two years of the study. Based on the number and type of sex acts, had the Poz partner NOT been on ARVs, researches would have expected about 86 gay Neg partners to seroconvert. The study is enrolling 450 more gay serodivergent couples, and will publish it’s final report in 2017.

      No – I’m not suggesting people bareback with a Poz guy. What I am saying is that playing safely with a Poz guys is a belt & suspenders level of protection. It’s condoms times two!

      There is a certain irony in the fact us Poz guys, who the Neggies are most afraid of, and immediately reject, are probably going to turn out to be the ones least likely to infect them! Our status is 100% known verses all the “think they’re neg” guys. Many of them don’t test regularly, if ever.

      Monday was my Birthday. Chat with a guy on a hook-up site had gone great — Hot, Sexy, & Fun. We were going to get together so I could blow out a birthday “candle.” We had already discussed that if we did anything more, we would only play safely. He asked, and I disclosed my status. The response I received was, “Ewww! You’ve got AIDS. You are tying to infect me! What the hell is the matter with you! You’re sick!” I was immediately blocked, with no further chance to discuss or educate.

      Sadly that is one of the many realities of HIV in 2014. Gay and Bi guys know less about HIV than they did ten years ago. Many act like it still is 1983.

      Apr 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nir zilberman
      nir zilberman

      SAT APRIL 12, OUR EVENT IS ALL ABOUT LOVE.

      “LIGHT A CANDLE”

      OUR MESSAGE IS VERY CLEAR.

      FIGHT AIDS NOT PEOPLE WITH AIDS.

      GET TESTED.

      KNOW YOUR STATUS.

      BE HONEST.

      MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU.

      WE KNOW, USING A CONDOM IS A SAFER CHOICE.

      AIDS IS NOT OVER.

      LOVE NO MORE HATE.

      LOVE=LIVES=LIFE.

      NO MORE STIGMA.

      NO MORE SHAME.

      WE ARE ALL ONE PEOPLE.

      LOVE. nir.

      Apr 11, 2014 at 12:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Connor_Chase
      Connor_Chase

      I have been following this story ever since is was brought to the forefront. I have to say, Nir is a completely awesome guys for doing what he has done. So many people sweep everything they can under the rug and someone needs to smack them in the face with it and “THIS IS STILL REAL AND A PART OF YOUR LIFE!” I think we need more people in this world that are not afraid to just say it like it is and let other people just deal with it. The Holocaust window was another issue that so many people go upset about. With enough reminders, people will change. Keep it up Nir, when people get pissed off about something or offended, they will talk about it with everyone and especially in this case, that is a VERY good thing.

      Apr 11, 2014 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yiannis
      Yiannis

      @nir zilberman: Sir, you are one inspiring person!

      Apr 14, 2014 at 3:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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