L. Paul Davis, Jr.|
(? - living) U.S.A.
African American AIDS Educator
L. Paul Davis, Jr. is a Director of Education for the Minority AIDS Project of Los Angeles, (MAP). He is a global health advocate with an AIDS activist background and a worldwide network of contacts. He has a long, successful track record in legislative and political strategy.
Even at funerals of minority men who have died of AIDS, Davis said, "the 'A-word' (= AIDS) is simply not mentioned." Instead, the death is passed off as the result of cancer or pneumonia. To get around that mental wall, Davis' organization takes indirect approaches. The agency sends prevention workers to heterosexual bars that are known as places where men can meet other men.
The outreach pitch is framed in general, rather than gay, terms. A Problem of Denial. Just as minority men see AIDS as a white disease, young gay men perceive it as an older man's dis detected in an HIV test. Recognizing that men are falling off the safe sex wagon and don't necessarily know their status, AIDS educators are turning to peer pressure.
"When men of color see 'gay,' they say 'it's not me,' " said Paul Davis, director of health education for the Minority Aids Project in Los Angeles. Moreover, they think of AIDS as a white disease. HIV prevention has worked pretty well for men over 30: It hasn't worked so well for younger gay men and hasn't worked so well for gay men of color.