News: International

Tracking AIDS in 2016: a year in the epidemic

February 14, 2017

by Cotrell Loftin 2016 was quite the year for HIV and AIDS. Last year, reducing stigma, broadening HIV prevention, and breakthroughs in treatment were all the rage. From research to advocacy to innovation — and even some forays into pop culture — the epidemic was front and center. Cheers to an even more newsworthy 2017 for HIV and AIDS! Here's a roundup of 10 interesting...

Advocacy groups report to UN on US failures to address the HIV epidemic in communities of color

August 6, 2014

CHICAGO —HIV/AIDS activists have found a unique way to pressure the U.S. to prioritize and address rising rates of HIV among communities of color. In a report submitted to the United Nations, a national coalition of HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations details the disparate impact of HIV/AIDS on communities of color, and identifies the lack of U.S. action on social drivers of the epidemic in those...

New International Report on HIV Prevention Urges Localized Consideration of Antiretroviral Strategies

June 19, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS AIDS Foundation of Chicago – Jim Pickett +1 773 600 6407 RAND Europe – Claire O’Brien +44-1223-273860 New International Report on HIV Prevention Urges Localized Consideration of Antiretroviral Strategies First Report on Antiretroviral Drugs for HIV Prevention...

World AIDS Day

November 29, 2012

World AIDS Day is here! Every year, World AIDS Day is a time of reflection and action. World AIDS Day, observed every year on December 1, is an opportunity to celebrate the gains made in ending the epidemic, embrace those living with HIV/AIDS and honor those we’ve lost to AIDS throughout the years. Here are some things you can do this World AIDS Day to...

Once Jailed in Iran, Global Health Pioneers Visit Chicago to Talk HIV

October 23, 2012

UPDATE: The venue for this event has been changed to the large conference room at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago office, located at 200 W. Jackson, Suite 2200. Please join the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Amnesty International in welcoming Dr. Arash Alaei and Dr. Kamiar Alaei, Iranian physicians and pioneers in HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, to Chicago on Tuesday, Nov...

AIDS Foundation of Chicago in Vienna

September 28, 2010

The world’s largest public health conference, the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010), kicked off this past weekend in Vienna, Austria. The event brings together 20,000 people from across the world to discuss the current state and the future path of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.   There are a TON of online outlets covering AIDS 2010 but here are a few links...

By Ashley Brown 


Lillian Weir is a natural activist, whose strong beliefs and voice rise up to fight for what is right. For years she has marched in the Chicago Pride 

Parade, right in the thick of the crowd, waiving a flag and dancing in support of the rights of marginalized communities nationwide. She’s also loaned her innate activism to the C

hicago Teacher’s Union, the Women’s March in Chicago, marriage equality and for acceptance of all gender identities and sexualities. And she’s accomplished all of this by the young age of 13.  

So, when an opportunity to fundraise for AIDS Run & Walk Chicago presented itself, Lillian jumped at the chance. Lillian and her mother Cynthia both walk and fundraise for the Season of Concern team, a Chicago-based non-profit that provides care and support for those in the entertainment industry experiencing health-related emergencies and medical issues, including HIV and AIDS.

For Lillian’s first walk in 2016, even the rain couldn’t dampen her enthusiasm. Both Lillian and her mother were impressed by the energy, excitement and camaraderie of the teams and the sense of unity and acceptance that permeated the air. Lillian was particularly impacted by the diversity of identities represented.

“I believe people should be represented, so that was a really good experience for me,” she recalls. 

In particular, Cynthia remembers her daughter’s infectious enthusiasm.  

“She didn’t walk the 5k walk, she ran it,” recounts Cynthia with a laugh. “She would run ahead and we wouldn’t see her and then she’d run all the way back because she was so excited and having such a great time. Lillian jumped up at the end of the event and said ‘Let’s do this again every year; this is our tradition!’” 

Lillian agrees, and particularly remembers the excitement of creating a tangible impact for those living with and vulnerable to HIV to allow them to live with dignity and purpose. 

“The general experience of being there was enlightening,” Lillian remembers. “I thought it was incredible to be a part of that.” 

Lillian is excited to continue her involvement into 2017 and beyond, and hopes to continue to raise more funds and get more people involved in the fight to end new HIV infections and health inequity. While Cynthia helps her run her fundraising page, Lillian sets the goals and creates unique incentives to get people excited to give, including a home-cooked meal for people who give more than $100, as well as an original artwork by Lillian for the top contributor. She also spreads the word to family and friends and excitedly monitors her fundraising progress before the big day. To date, Lillian has already surpassed her fundraising goal. 

But despite her passion and dedication, Lillian is modest about her involvement and believes that everyone should stand up for what they believe in, regardless of age. 

“I don’t think age matters,” she says. “If you believe in something, you should protect it and defend it. Stand up for what you believe in.”