Why Cheyenne Jackson Is Doing More Than Wearing An AIDS Ribbon

Cheyenne Jackson says his involvement in amfAR, the global AIDS group, began with a 2006 letter from his best friend from his twenties. It recounted how his friend entered the crystal meth scene (yes, it is a scene), began having bareback sex, and contracted HIV, as these individuals are hella likely to do. For Cheyenne, the frustration in seeing his friend’s downward spiral comes in part because he is an educated, bright guy who knows the risks of drugs and unsafe sex. And did it anyway. Of course not all of us are as famous as Mr. Jackson, which is why you should also hear about folks like David Carel — your average college students-cum-AIDS activists, who aren’t in it for the AIDS Inc. money, but to effect change. The Times describes Carel (who heckled President Obama about his AIDS policy) and the “loose-knit band of about two dozen Ivy Leaguers, mostly from Harvard and Yale, [who are] using more confrontational tactics, as well as some high-powered connections, to wangle encounters with top White House officials in a determined, and seemingly successful, effort to get under Mr. Obama’s skin.”