Gere Leads Condom Chant

RICHARD GERE enjoyed a magical moment at an AIDS rally in India recently when he led a chant of "No condoms, no sex" at a soccer stadium. The movie star joined Bollywood's biggest names to host a free awareness benefit for 15,000 Indian sex workers in Mumbai and admits the event was among the highlights of his life. Gere says, "Thousands of these sex workers brought their kids, their significant others; there were transsexuals, men and women. It was the widest range of sex workers. "They were all given white hats with insignias on them and a sense of belonging to a community that was meaningful; someone cared enough to do this. "I got up onstage and they didn't really know who I was, but they were very respectful. I asked the girl who was translating for me if the people understood the word 'sex' and she said, 'Yeah, absolutely.' I said, 'Do they understand the word condom,' and she said, 'Absolutely.' "So I started chanting, 'No condoms, no sex,' and 15,000 sex workers were chanting that with me as a family. It was really extraordinary and one of the most moving moments I've had. "There was one girl there who had never had a health check-up in her entire life because no one ever cared... She has become the best spokesperson for healthcare, for wearing a condom every time."


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