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News: Chicago

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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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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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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Finding a safe haven

May 8, 2018

By Raven Feagins When Rex Gaimari was homeless, he was constantly concerned about his safety. He was in and out of shelters for about 3 years, which was the direct result of losing the home he shared with his mom. Rex had been her caretaker for years, but when she passed away he needed to find a new place to live. He tried several times to move in with extended family, but nothing ever...
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Healing through art

March 29, 2018

by Raven Feagins Having a stable place to live can determine our health , including our vulnerability to HIV. This is especially true for young people who already account for 22% of new HIV diagnoses in the US. In Chicago , an estimated 15,000 youth experience homelessness each year and of those young people, about 3,000 identify as LGBTQ. Some of the top needs of LGBTQ youth...
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AFC announces 2018 Ryan White award recipients

February 2, 2018

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is proud to announce the 12 organizations selected to receive non-medical case management funding to serve people living with HIV throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Organizations will be receiving funding through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, which distributes $2.3 billion nationwide to fund services specifically for people living with HIV. This funding...
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Too focused on survival to be sick

February 1, 2018

By Raven Feagins When the weather is nice, Donald King bikes over to Lake Michigan to go fishing. It brings him back to memories of his childhood in New Orleans and spending time with his mother before she passed away. His charming smile and laid-back personality could fool anyone into thinking that he has lived an easygoing life, but he’s had an arduous journey that has led him to...
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Chicago is ready to get to zero

January 18, 2018

By Raven Feagins Dec. 13, 2017 was a cold night on the west side of Chicago, but just over 30 community members from across the city made the trip to gather at Malcom X College for the first Getting to Zero Illinois town hall . Getting to Zero is a state-wide initiative that will end the HIV epidemic in Illinois by implementing a statewide plan that is informed by communities most affected...
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