Blog

Blog

This ‘magnetic couple’ runs to end stigma

August 9, 2018

Brandon My name is Brandon Strawn, and I pride myself on being an educator, a musician and a delight.  In 2005, I came out as gay, and in 2009, I had my first HIV test. At this point in my life, I was a fairly chaste first-year teacher who spent his days teaching and his nights preparing for more teaching. So when the test came back positive, I was shocked and devastated. ...
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“One little prick of the finger determined my life”

July 30, 2018

By Raven Feagins Hataria James is an outgoing, loving mother of 6 with a passion for giving back to her community. While she is in an incredibly stable place in her life right now, 16 years ago she would have never imagined where she is at today.  Hataria currently works at Men & Women in Prison Ministries (MWIPM) , an organization dedicated to supporting the health, wellness...
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Paying the Price: the truth about HCV treatment on Medicaid

July 27, 2018

By Ashley Brown If you are on Medicaid in Illinois and have hepatitis C, be prepared to wait — potentially decades — for treatment. Illinois has a D-minus rating from the Hepatitis C State of Medicaid Access , the fifth lowest in the nation. Why such a low score? For one, Illinois Medicaid will only treat patients once they reach stage three or four of liver disease (the most...
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His Lifelong Journey to Being Poz and Proud

July 18, 2018

By Rae Colyer My name is Rae Colyer, and I am the youngest of twelve. Out of all my siblings, I happen to be closest with Marlin Jr., my eldest brother (he’s got fifteen and half years on me)! Both of us identify as queer individuals; me as a genderqueer pansexual, he as a gay man. If it were not for his guidance, and his own trials and tribulations coming out, I have no idea where...
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Why we love sex ed (and you should, too): A case for more comprehensive, evidence-based sex ed in schools

July 9, 2018

By Clair Daney This spring, Baltimore made headlines as a federal judge ordered the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to restore $5 million in grant funding it had withheld without explanation from two local evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs.  This story has been a single outgrowth amid the Trump administration’s broader push to eliminate science-based,...
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Supporting my uncle means supporting a community

June 27, 2018

By Isabella Guzman I was invited and inspired by my uncle, Armando Ramirez, whom I love very much, to participate in AIDS Run & Walk Chicago 6 years ago. He was diagnosed with HIV 14 years ago. All I knew at that time was that I was going to be supportive and have fun with my mom and uncles. I would get my own shirt and my own running number and that was exciting in itself! My...
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More than a call

June 25, 2018

 By Raven Feagins  “Imagine putting on multiple hats with each call you receive. Sometimes I’m the person that clients call to laugh and joke with, but oftentimes I’m the person they’re reaching out to because they’re in a crisis. Often, my team and I are the sole individuals that a caller has disclosed their HIV status to at the time of their...
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Mr. Goode Goes to Springfield

June 21, 2018

By Coleman Goode On a dark May morning, I arrived at work before the sun was up fighting off nerves ahead of my first large Springfield Advocacy Day here at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC). Our mission: deliver over 100 advocates to the state capitol to advocate for a positive budget with their state legislators. Our message was clear: they need to fully fund HIV programs and...
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These eight organizations are the top HIV case management providers in Chicago

June 13, 2018

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is pleased to announce the top eight Chicago-area care organizations in its HIV medical and non-medical case management network for Dec. 1, 2016 – Nov. 30, 2017. By connecting people living with HIV to case managers who help them achieve their health goals, these eight organizations support more than 711 members of AFC’s 5,869 clients. ...
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Trans-affirming tips for health care providers from a nonbinary social worker

May 18, 2018

By Jes Scheinpflug I’m greeted with, “Good afternoon, ma’am. How can I help you?” as I walk into the office. “I’m here to see Judy,” I tell the receptionist as I question to myself exactly what about my appearance made her gender me with ma’am. “I have 3 o’clock appointment,” I continue, wondering if I should tell her I am...
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