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AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Women and HIV Luncheon PDF Print
Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Women and HIV Luncheon

Please join AFC and AbbVie for a candid discussion about the journey of HIV-positive women. This luncheon will focus on HIV disparities among people of color and the need for support and better adherence. A Q-and-A session will follow.

Speakers will include Willis Steele, National Advocacy Relations Manager, AbbVie-Virology
and Kathy Bennett, HIV-positive patient advocate, University of Maryland

Join us so you can be inspired for your journey.

Friday, April 25th

Lawndale Christian Health Center - Skyline Conference Center
3750 W. Ogden Ave
Chicago, IL 60623

Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Please click here to RSVP by Tuesday, April 22.

For more information, contact Carole Jakes at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

AFC Statement on New HIV Data PDF Print
Friday, December 21, 2012

New national and local HIV data is both affirmation of ongoing efforts and a call to do more.

Media contact: John Peller, 312-334-0921

At the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, we are cautiously encouraged by new data released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that new HIV cases remained relatively stable from 2007-2010 at about 50,000 cases per year.

Data shows that HIV continues to affect gay and bisexual men — particularly young gay/bisexual men of color — and black women disproportionately, demonstrating the need for increased investment in ending health disparities.

It is clear that there remains a tremendous amount of work yet to be done to stem the epidemic among our most vulnerable populations. On a bright note, much of that work is currently underway here in Chicago and the results show early proof that it’s working.

AFC Statement on Federal Funding Ban for Syringe Exchanges PDF Print
Monday, December 19, 2011

On Friday, December 16, Congress sent President Obama the final fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill, which reinstates a prohibition on using federal funding to support syringe exchanges. We implore President Obama to condemn the federal funding ban in the strongest language possible and begin working immediately for its repeal.

“Reinstating the ban on federal syringe exchange funding is a terrible setback and a clear rejection of science and human rights,” said David Ernesto Munar, president/CEO of AIDS Foundation of Chicago. “The debate about needle exchanges was settled in 2009. Congress and the President are reversing a major public health gain at a time in the AIDS epidemic when we cannot afford to take steps backward.”

The federal ban on funding for syringe exchanges was enacted in the 1980s, and was repealed in 2009 by Congress and President Obama. Nine states and one city (Chicago) applied to the federal government to use $2.7 million federal funding for syringe exchanges, according to the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors. Advocates hailed the lifting of the ban as a victory for science‐based HIV prevention services.

“We are dismayed that this year Congress threw in the towel when it comes to HIV prevention. They beat back provisions restricting abortion, workers’ rights and pollution enforcement,” Munar said. “Why aren’t people at risk of HIV just as important?”

By reinstating the federal funding ban, Congress is ignoring irrefutable scientific evidence that syringe exchanges reduce HIV and hepatitis transmission, increase participation in substance abuse treatment, and, in fact, do not encourage drug use.

Progressive sterile syringe exchange policies in Illinois have reduced by two‐thirds HIV cases among injection drug users since 2001, saving an estimated $200 million in lifetime medical costs.

In July 2010, President Obama released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which calls for a 25 percent reduction in new HIV cases by 2015. The strategy lists syringe exchanges as one several “scientifically proven biomedical and behavioral approaches that reduce the probability of HIV transmission.”

We are committed to working anew to repeal the federal ban on funding for syringe exchanges. We call on our state and national legislators to do the same.

Every Day is National HIV Testing Day PDF Print
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No one has to live with uncertainty. That is why, in a city-wide effort, the Step Up, Get Tested campaign has set up free HIV testing in the Chicagoland area for National HIV Testing Day (June 27).

The Step Up, Get Tested campaign aims to test 5,000 Chicagoans through testing events in various locations from now through July 4. Find out where you can be tested today.

Remembering Rosa Rufus PDF Print
Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rosa Rufus never said a bad word about anyone.

She always had a smile on her face.

Such are the memories shared as her friends and colleagues at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago reel from the loss of her presence.

Rosa Lee Rufus died in the early morning of Friday, Jan. 18. For eight years, Rufus worked in the finance department for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), ending her career as contracts coordinator. She was a quiet and deeply private person, but those who knew her remember her as a remarkable and sweet woman who loved to read, cook and spend time with her family.

“She was just a very dear woman, very kind and very gentle,” said Mark Schad, AFC’s contracts manager.

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