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Author and AIDS activist Larry Kramer told a crowd of 200 last night the United States government is responsible for the genocide of millions of people because it has not taken a strong stance against AIDS. Kramer, the keynote speaker for Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Awareness Days, spoke before a packed seminar room in the David Rittenhouse Laboratories last night for over an hour. The event was one of the highlights of BGLAD. The day also featured a rally in College Green and Jeans Day, in which students, faculty and staff were asked to wear jeans in support of bisexuals, gays, and lesbians. Kramer, who wrote the books Reports From the Holocaust and Faggots and is co-founder of ACT--UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, began his speech with a list of facts which left the audience silent. He said one person dies in an AIDS-related death every eight minutes, over six million people are HIV infected and, by the year 2000, over 20 million people will be infected worldwide. The 55-year-old Yale University graduate, who has tested HIV positive, said he feels younger than his years even though he may look old. "Hope is the only thing that keeps us alive," Kramer said. "I still have hope." Throughout his speech, which was peppered with biting comments about political leaders, Kramer blasted the government for its discrimination against AIDS victims and its poor leadership decisions. "AIDS. . . is a metaphor for hate -- the hatred of the reigning class for the minorities," Kramer said. "Minorities are the expendable ones, the ones who can be left to die." Kramer said the government is responsible for all AIDS-related deaths because it has not formed an organization to deal with the crisis. He also added that the leaders appointed by the government, which he called conservative and right-wing, have not acknowledged the crisis. Kramer related how one of the doctors in charge of AIDS research was described to him. "[I was told if] Dr. Windom's IQ was any lower, you'd have to water him," Kramer said. "We laugh, but he was in charge of our lives." Kramer said the only solution to the crisis would be an all-out effort by the President, the United States government and governments throughout the world to unite to find a cure. "Twenty-million people are going to die," Kramer said. "Will you be as silent as your President? Are you going to be an accomplice to this holocaust?" Kramer, who ended his speech with a plea for the audience to join in his fight, recieved a standing ovation from the audience. Helen Kolenda, a Philadelphia resident and a member of ACT--UP, said Kramer's speech pushes people toward activism. "His whole experience is enough to make anyone angry," Kolenda said. "He's very bitter and with good cause."

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