On April 15, 50 advocates traveled to Springfield to speak to their elected officials and demand a stop to Governor Bruce Rauner's proposed budget cuts to HIV funding, Medicaid and the African American HIV/AIDS Response Act Fund. These funds provide essential programs and services that keep HIV-positive individuals and those vulnerable to HIV healthy. The governor’s proposed cuts are a serious threat to the HIV community in Illinois.
During their time at the capitol, several advocates and AFC staff were invited to meet with Governor Rauner and his LGBTQ Liaison Marcos Peterson to talk personally about how these cuts will impact their lives and the lives of others living with HIV in Illinois.
Governor Rauner heard personal accounts from members of the community who struggle to access fair and affordable care. Advocates provided information on the importance of HIV prevention services as treatment for the epidemic. Governor Rauner was also provided information about the positive outcomes of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a prevention option for those who are HIV-negative. Funding for a PrEP drug assistance program, PrEP4Illinois, was cut by Governor Rauner early this year.
While Wednesday was a great day of action, there is still work to be done. Sign up for May 13 Advocacy Day today!