An activist and her dolls

┬áHere’s a great article from the L.A Times

Dolls of Hope promotes HIV/AIDS education and discussion

L.A. health activist Cynthia Davis has people make and exchange cloth dolls worldwide, from Compton to Tanzania, to break stigma.

By Ari B. Bloomekatz

Cynthia Davis, one of Los Angeles’ best-known HIV/AIDS activists, has logged 580,000 miles on her Camry station wagon and replaced the engine twice in her decadelong campaign of using dolls to educate young and old about the deadly disease.

Her latest stop was at Westchester High School a few days before Christmas. As usual, Davis brought along her Dolls of Hope: hand-stitched pieces made by AIDS awareness groups around the world.

She used the colorful cloth dolls to help lure students to her information booth. Once she had their attention, Davis went to work.

“Did you know that the rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia in Los Angeles County are increasing fastest among black and Latina women between 15 and 24?” she asked a group of four Latina students.

The young women shook their heads no, listened to Davis and then grabbed a stick of lip balm and a few fliers titled “Get Informed, Get the Facts” and “What’s Up With HIV/AIDS.”

Davis, the director of HIV education and outreach programs at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, has been a titan of activism for more than two decades.

Read the rest of the story over at the LA Times website.