Longtime AIDS activist Larry Kramer blasted the US government while accepting the inaugural Larry Kramer Activism Award from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis on Monday night.
Kramer, who turns 80 in June, came to speak his mind.
He pointed out that around the world an estimated 78 million people have become infected – 39 million of whom have died – from AIDS in the past 34 years.
‘When we first became acquainted with HIV there were 41 cases,’ said Kramer who believes genocide is being inflicted upon gay people.
‘The main difference between the Larry Kramer who helped to start Gay Men’s Health Crisis in his living room in 1982 and ACT UP in 1987 and the Larry Kramer who stands before you now is that I no longer have any doubt that our government is content, via sins of omission or commission, to allow the extermination of my homosexual population to continue unabated.
‘Thirty-four years is a long time for every president and every Congress to sit back and let us die.’
‘We should have had more in 35 years. These are not what most people would call bad people. But these heterosexuals are not people who are losing any sleep over the death of so many millions of people.’
Kramer says he ‘no longer hears the word cure’ since there are drugs that can prolong the lives of those infected.
It is not enough for him.
‘The power to change history is still within our grasp,’ Kramer told the crowd at the Cipriani in New York City. ‘We cannot wait another 34 years. This evil still being waged against us must cease.
‘The battle cry now must be one word: CURE. CURE. CURE.’
Below is Kramer’s full speech which begins at the 9:30 mark. He is introduced by Mark Ruffalo who portrayed a fictional version of Kramer in The Normal Heart which aired on HBO last year.