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Seven ways that Chicago embraced World AIDS Day

December 29, 2016

Every Dec. 1 marks World AIDS Day, an annual opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV and show support for those living with and lost to HIV and AIDS-related illness. Many took to social media to voice their support and raise awareness. Check out World AIDS Day in seven posts from our friends and partners!   1.       This World AIDS...
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A vital link to HIV care and so much more

December 21, 2016

Darren is 56 years old. He walks with the assistance of a walker – the toll that physical labor and illness has had on his wiry frame is obvious, but it does not dampen his energy. Behind his smile are years of hardships. Born and raised in the Chicago area, Darren was one of ten children. His parents divorced when he was three, after his sister was kidnapped walking home from school. As...
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Next to — or better than — normal

December 12, 2016

Jeff Tomlinson is what you might call a “normal guy.” He was born and raised in rural Illinois; he has worked as a teacher in the U.S. and in other countries; he goes out and dates and volunteers. But he worries about things that some don’t have to worry about: as someone living with HIV who depends on vital, threatened programs like ADAP, he knows that his health care...
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Better care for better lives

December 7, 2016

By Cotrell Loftin Alaina Kennedy is a self-proclaimed “daughter of Chicagoland” who recently joined AFC’s staff as its first-ever Manager of Health Equity. Her passion for the city of Chicago doesn’t stop at the food or the amazing architecture: Alaina wants to build up the people, especially those who face inequity in quality of life because of stigma surrounding...
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Loud, proud and HIV+

November 17, 2016

Joseph Varisco, Program Coordinator for Art AIDS America Chicago , writes about the first exhibition to explore how the AIDS crisis forever changed American art Four years ago, I was diagnosed HIV+. Since that time, I have been working across communities with one vital directive: create productive, powerful and engaging interactions. As a performing arts curator and producer, I use...
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In conversation: AFC’s housing leadership shifts in a promising moment for housing and health care

November 16, 2016

At the end of September, Arturo Bendixen retired from his role as the executive director of the Center for Housing and Health, a supporting organization for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago that has focused on innovative housing models to shift the landscape of supportive housing in Chicago and across the U.S. Art worked at AFC and the Center for a combined 13 years. Taking his role as the Center’s...
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HIV and mass incarceration: How Black lives are impacted

November 3, 2016

by Raven Feagins and Cotrell Loftin The Black Lives Matter Series: Race, Politics and Restorative Justice Conference on Oct. 6 explored the relationship between mass incarceration, racial equity and social justice in the criminal justice system. Raven Feagins and Cotrell Loftin attended this conference to investigate the challenges and opportunities of transitioning from incarceration to...
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These runners and walkers 'grammed for the cause — and won!

October 14, 2016

by Cotrell Loftin AIDS Run & Walk Chicago was back on Saturday, Oct. 1, but we’re still feeling the excitement! In the week leading up to the event, we held an Instagram challenge that received many great entries. Congratulations to the daily winners and the grand prize winner @Ricanflava who won a ticket to World of Chocolate! See the winning posts below and stay tuned...
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Empowerment En Español

October 14, 2016

What do you do when you’re 15 years old and your good friend comes out to you as HIV-positive? Alfredo Flores (now 21) knows how it feels. After he came out as gay in his teens, Flores joined Mpowerment , an HIV prevention program for young gay and bisexual men. Mpowerment runs programs across Chicago to help people stand up to the stigma around HIV. “When I first...
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Rep. Robin Kelly recognizes National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

September 26, 2016

by U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) Today, on National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we ponder the significance of HIV and AIDS as an American and international reality. 35 years have passed since our country initially confronted the biological challenges of this epidemic. We still grapple — oftentimes clumsily — with stigma and our social response, while contending...
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