This Halloween, local students and AIDS activists had a slightly different take on trick-or-treating.
Dressed as ghosts representing people with HIV/AIDS 'killed by Abbott's greed,' about 40 Chicago-area students from local Student Global AIDS Campaign ( SGAC ) and American Medical Student Association ( AMSA ) chapters attempted to deliver letters to Abbott Laboratories' CEO Miles White's Lake Forest home on Halloween night.
Abbott Laboratories is a major pharmaceutical company. SGAC feels that White has failed to responsibly address the AIDS pandemic, and have been pushing the drug company to increase global access to the drug Kaletra/Aluvia, which the organization says is ideal for use in poorer countries, but is currently only available in the U.S. and Western Europe.
Grant Gordon of SGAC told Windy City Times that when the students arrived in White's neighborhood, a number of police cars and security guards from Abbott blocked off White's cul-de-sac. 'We weren't even allowed to go up to his door to deliver a letter, which is testament to the fact that he doesn't want to communicate with community members of Chicago,' Gordon said. 'His self-imprisonment and unwillingness to correspond with us—he hasn't responded to personal requests for an in-person meeting—reveals that his company has horribly transgressive HIV policy. Otherwise, he would be willing to talk with us.'
The students decided to split up and approach White's neighbors to engage in conversations and hand out fliers. According to Gordon, many neighbors were 'extremely responsive.'
See fightglobalaids.org .