Blog

Blog

Seeking treatment beyond medication

September 25, 2018

By Raven Feagins McHenry, Illinois, has been Jamie Braxton's home since she was 8 years old. She loves the familiarity that living in a smaller city brings (McHenry has a population of 26,600). Jamie (pictured at left, in center) grew up in a two-parent household, regularly attended church and describes her upbringing as overall normal. In 1995, when she was 33 years old, she even began...
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Remembering our Seniors on National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

September 18, 2018

By Earl Fowlkes The HIV/AIDS pandemic has been with us since 1981 and I have worked in the HIV/AIDS prevention and care field since the mid-80s as a caregiver, volunteer, service provider and administrator. I have often referred to those days as the “time of darkness,” as an HIV diagnosis meant pain and heartache, both physical as well as emotional, as there were very few medicines...
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The national movement to decriminalize HIV right across state lines

September 17, 2018

Chris Wade is more than just your average HIV advocate.        His longstanding work and organizing in downstate Illinois contribute to education and advocacy for the rights of people living with HIV. He attended the 2018 HIV is Not a Crime National Training Academy (HINAC 3) back in June in Indianapolis, Ind., which trained advocates from all over the nation to talk about...
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Building the pipeline toward bathroom equity in Chicago

September 12, 2018

Avery Matthew grew up in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and moved to Chicago 11 years ago. “I was starving for diversity, things to do, culture, museums,” they said. “A lot of my growth and identification was defined in Chicago.” Avery works in Accounting and Finance recruiting for a management consulting firm. They also support passion projects like serving on the...
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Seven community leaders join AFC’s Board in 2018

September 11, 2018

The day-to-day operations of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago focus on improving access to services for people living with and vulnerable to HIV and other chronic illnesses; this vision emerges from AFC’s 27-person Board of Directors . These community leaders bring a variety of skills and interests to cast the vision for the organization and lead it in achieving its mission. In 2018, the...
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A day in the life of a case manager

August 20, 2018

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) coordinates 135 case managers throughout the Chicago metropolitan area to support clients who are living with HIV and related chronic diseases. Case managers are there to connect with clients directly and help them achieve goals such as obtaining stable housing or getting connected to a medical provider that may help them reach an undetectable viral load...
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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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