WASHINGTON -- Three women AIDS activists saying they wanted tohighlight the "naked truth" about potential spending cuts in HIVprograms were arrested Tuesday after taking their clothes off in thelobby of House Speaker John Boehner's office.
The trio had thewords "AIDS cuts kill" painted on their bodies and had linked arms withfour men who also disrobed as part of the protest. The nude protesters,along with dozens of other clothed demonstrators chanted slogans,including: "People with AIDS are under attack. What do we do? Fightback."
The three women were arrested by Capitol Police as theymingled with other protesters in the hall outside Boehner's districtoffice after putting their clothes back on. The naked male protestersappeared to have left.
"People with AIDS are sick and tired ofbeing pushed over the cliff," said Jennifer Flynn, 40, of New York City,who was among those arrested. "We need to make sure they stop goingafter people with AIDS."
Michael Tikili, 26, of New York City, said he is HIV-positive and depends on Medicaid for treatment.
"Just the idea of these programs being cut is horrible," Tikili said.
Theprotest occurred as congressional leaders and President Barack Obamaseek a deal to avert automatic spending cuts and tax increases inJanuary. A coalition of AIDS activist groups gathering in Washington forSaturday's World AIDS Day organized the protest.