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Inside Story

How a community leader eliminates stigma, one client at a time

January 29, 2015

Stigma: In and Out is a monthly series profiling the clients, providers and leaders of AFC's Corrections Case Management program, which helps HIV-positive people emerging from prison or jail get the support they need upon reentry. Gaining freedom from jail or prison can be a bittersweet experience for people who were formerly in prison or jail. For most, life is not much better when...
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After the rescue, a new housing program targets HIV-positive youth

January 21, 2015

For years, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) has partnered with Vida/SIDA — a project of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center — to ensure the health and well-being of the Latino/Latina community by offering free HIV testing, counseling and other services crucial to prevent the transmission of HIV. Under their umbrella falls a program called “El Rescate,” a new initiative...
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15 ways we're changing the HIV epidemic in 2015

January 2, 2015

A new year means new challenges — and new opportunities to make a positive impact on the HIV epidemic. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) team has a number of new initiatives planned for 2015, and here are 15 highlights:   15. Prioritizing the health of women and transgender women of color Launching in 2015, Project Elevate will build innovative HIV and STI...
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For Northern Trust, there’s more than one way to give to the cause

December 8, 2014

For 25 years, Northern Trust has been a steadfast supporter of the fight to end the HIV epidemic — and support those living with the virus. Ever since making its first charitable contribution to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) in 1989, Northern Trust has demonstrated its commitment to improving the quality of life of people living with and vulnerable to HIV in communities across Chicago...
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Staying afloat — and helping others tread water as they manage their HIV status

December 4, 2014

For some people living with HIV and AIDS, staying afloat each day is no easy task. But when they have a counselor and peer in the water with them, it can make treading water that much easier. As a health educator for Project VIDA, John Dawkins is one of those people who jumps in the water with his clients and tread the waters with them. He’s been in the water by himself —...
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AFC commemorates World AIDS Day with new website, World of Chocolate and more

November 29, 2014

Each year, Dec. 1 offers the world an opportunity to ponder the HIV epidemic and remember the millions who have died from HIV-related complications over the last 30 years. On World AIDS Day, people around the globe will take a moment to consider the impact this virus has had on the course of human history — and look ahead to the future and a world without new HIV transmissions. The...
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“It is hard being positive”: An AFC client makes the most of every day

November 28, 2014

Four years ago, AFC was introduced to Scott Christian. In life, Scott has had his fair share of health difficulties. Having endured tuberculosis as a child, it was hard for Scott to hear of his new HIV-positive diagnosis in 2010 — and to hear that his T-cell count was 233, just 33 counts above the threshold for AIDS. Today, Scott is doing better and lives in Chicago’s South Shore...
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Turning a personal story into a platform for action

November 28, 2014

Melanie Paul knows firsthand the challenge of learning about an HIV-positive status when it’s least expected. She knows what it’s like to experience homelessness — to live on the Red Line and friends’ couches. She knows how difficult it is to make sense of a new medical status while wrestling with the stigma of a lifetime of HIV. And yet, she has an incredible...
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Dramatic shift in AFC's work, thanks to decades of change

November 28, 2014

One of the most remarkable things about Lori Kaufman, and there are many, is the strength of her commitment. A Board member of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) since 1989, Kaufman has dedicated 25 years of her life to the fight against HIV/AIDS — and she’s seen it all. As AFC begins its 30th year of action in 2015, few people are as well equipped to reflect on AFC’s...
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Media-driven stigma continues with new HIV criminalization case

November 10, 2014

Despite the immense progress made in the battle to destigmatize HIV and end HIV criminalization laws, the mainstream media is failing to catch up and join the fight. In some cases, the media’s coverage of HIV criminalization becomes the source of stigma. A new case under an outdated HIV criminalization law in Illinois demonstrates the media’s inability to handle sensitive...
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