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Illinois is #GettingtoZero to put an end to the HIV epidemic in our state. Below, our community members and staff shared their thoughts on this new initiative and what getting to zero new cases of HIV in Illinois means for them.
Want to join us in #GettingtoZero? RSVP for our first town hall on Wednesday, Dec. 13 to share your hopes about ending the HIV epidemic in Illinois and let us know what getting more people on PrEP and in HIV treatment means to you.
"Getting to Zero brings me joy because I see that there is the possibility to end this epidemic in our communities. Allowing ourselves to envision the end of the HIV epidemic is empowering. It is possible, and we can get there together. ”- Sara Semelka, Getting to Zero Project Manager
"Getting to Zero means my queer family could live their longest and healthiest lives in order to have the biggest impact on our society and our world" - Alex Corona, LGBTQ advocate
"Getting to Zero means that my decades-long dream of a world without HIV/AIDS is one step closer to reality. This would truly be a milestone beyond compare in the fight against HIV!" - Tom Menard, Vice President of Operations
"We have the tools to end the epidemic by reducing new infections and getting those diagnosed to undetectable. Getting to Zero is the state rolling up of our sleeves to say we know we can end the AIDS epidemic and we are going to work together to make that a reality." - Roman Buenrostro, Director of Special Projects and Planning
"To me, Getting to Zero means that people living with HIV achieve viral suppression. With access to case management services and adherence to medication and medical treatment this goal is achievable." - Angela Jordan, Intake and Referral Manager
"Getting to Zero means no one will die from lack of access to HIV medication or affordable primary health care." - Peter McLoyd, HIV advocate
"Getting to Zero would rely on strong relationships between people in Illinois and their doctors. I’m looking ahead to a time when all Illinoisans can trust their medical professionals and feel comfortable going to them with health needs. That can’t happen without securing the Affordable Care Act’s many game-changing provisions and ending the shame and stigma around sexual health, which can act as a barrier between doctor and patient." - Brian Solem, Senior Director of Communications
"Getting to Zero means deepening relationships with community leaders and people living with and vulnerable to HIV across the state. I’m so grateful to the many people who are stepping up to lend their expertise as we collectively build a realistic, achievable, statewide plan. " - John Peller, President & CEO
"Getting to Zero means that we are continuing to provide services and resources to individuals that are HIV positive, so they can live longer healthier lives. Getting to Zero means we are continuing to break down the myths associated with HIV/AIDS and educating individuals who are disproportionately impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic to find prevention methods that work best for them." - L'Oreal Bailey, Special Projects Manager - Prevention
"Fostering a Chicago community that cares relentlessly for our own, like never before. Getting to Zero is a race to a healthier, more beautiful and thriving future, and I can’t wait to cross that finish line." - Tony Guerrero, Associate Board Co-Chair
"For me, Getting to Zero means huge improvements in access to and delivery of voluntary, rights-based, culturally literate, intersectional, holistic, empathetic, loving, robust and sustainable prevention and care services for all of our communities heavily impacted by HIV." - Jim Pickett, Senior Director of Prevention Advocacy and Gay Men's Health
Kickstart #GettingtoZero with us by donating $10 at aidschicago.org/donate, and keep an eye out for upcoming town halls at aidschicago.org/GTZ.