Iliana Gilliland never planned to move to Chicago.
Bombings and the constant threat of political violence made the choice for her.
Gilliland’s path has led her from the dangers of drug violence in Colombia to a long career in the HIV case management field. She fell into her career almost by happenstance but has stuck with it for 20 years out of a passion forged from the early painful losses of clients in the 1990s and the progress she’s seen since.
Today, Gilliland trains case managers in the Northeastern Illinois HIV/AIDS Cooperative, managed by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), which oversees case management for more than 5,000 people per year who are living with HIV in the Chicago area and collar counties. Her daily goal is to make sure all clients receive the same quality of case management, regardless of what neighborhood they live in.
The acclaimed documentary, "How to Survive a Plague," is slated to open in Chicago at the Music Box Theatre on Friday, Sept. 21.
We expect it to be both a powerful reminder of the past and a clarion call to action for today. The film depicts the dark early days of the AIDS epidemic, the callous disregard of the government to respond to the lives being claimed by the virus, and the inspiring rise of two influential activist groups -- ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and TAG (Treatment Action Group).
Do you ever feel there are critical advances in HIV/AIDS prevention that aren't being properly covered in the mainstream media? Or that there are complex HIV/AIDS-related healthcare and funding issues not being clearly explained? Or that there are powerful HIV/AIDS stories here in Chicago just waiting for someone to tell them? We feel that way, too!
At the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), we’re committed to changing the story of HIV/AIDS. Inside Story aims to take you inside that story, to give you an intimate look at how AFC, and other Chicago and national organizations, are fighting HIV/AIDS through medical, housing and support services; cutting-edge research into prevention and treatment methods; and advocacy for stronger HIV-AIDS public policy from legislators.