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News: Chicago

Meet Derrick Kimbrough: CPS administrator, former educator and lifelong learner

December 22, 2020

By Bailey Williams When Derrick Kimbrough was growing up on Chicago’s South and West Sides, he loved school so much that he’d often play school in his free time with his cousins. In each skit, Derrick insisted on acting out the role of the teacher by performing a lesson to his eager students. Decades later, Derrick transformed that early love of school into a career. After...
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AFC remembers Ben Montgomery

December 16, 2020

AFC is heartbroken to learn that long-time HIV advocate Ben Montgomery passed away. Ben was a campaigner from the West Side of Chicago and fought for health care access, HIV funding and equity and justice. Ben raised hell when he needed to — and got results. He was one of the driving forces behind the first-in-the-nation HIV/AIDS Quality of Life scratch-off lottery ticket, which has raised...
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Tyshon’s journey to finding Purpose and Joy in Fatherhood

December 16, 2020

By Sacha I. Urban  Content warning: This piece includes conversations about depression, sexual assault and suicide. Tyshon Shepard is a proud father of 3 boys. He spends his days taking care of his 2 younger sons, aged 1 and 2. His sons have given him purpose, leading him to set a goal of starting a business he can one day pass on to his sons.  “My kids...
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Meet some members of AFC’s Ryan White Community Advisory Board

December 9, 2020

By Bailey Williams   Each year, several people living with HIV volunteer to serve on AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC)’s Ryan White Community Advisory Board. Having received services and case management under the Ryan White Care Act, the Board members bring firsthand experience to their advocacy on the Board. Their feedback and insights on new AFC initiatives, programs and case...
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'I was sick and didn't even know it': How Medicaid helped Darrow Improve His Health

December 8, 2020

By Bailey Williams   Darrow Alexander, 57, of Chicago, started having pain in his pancreas, breathing problems and occasional chest pain. He wasn't sure what was going on and knew his options were limited because he was uninsured, but one day, he decided to go to Rush University Medical Center and inquire about his ailments.   While there, a staff member recommended...
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New HIV cases in Chicago declined in 2019, but racial health disparities must continue to be addressed

December 2, 2020

AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) is heartened by the dramatic decrease in the number of Chicagoans newly diagnosed with HIV in 2019, as the city’s public health department announced on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day . 652 Chicagoans were diagnosed with HIV in 2019, down from 760 in 2018, a 14% decrease. This year’s numbers build on a 29% decrease in new HIV cases since 2015. The new data...
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Meet some of AFC’s behind-the-scenes, COVID-era essential workers

September 17, 2020

By Bailey Williams When the new coronavirus (COVID-19) sent most AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) staff home to work remotely, many members of our finance and contracts team continued to come to the office. A lot of the work this team does cannot be done remotely. Though this work often happens behind the scenes, it is essential to the many services AFC provides to help people living with HIV...
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This year, experience AIDS Run & Walk Chicago however you want

September 15, 2020

By Bailey Williams  I spent most mornings in the summer of 2016 running before work. I’d run a neighborhood route, often in the streets when cars were few, the sun was rising, and nothing but birds and insects could be heard. I was in the best shape of my life and had finally gotten down to easily running 7-minute miles. When the annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago came around...
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HIV HUB’s COVID-19 financial assistance has “changed the lives” of 289 people living with and vulnerable to HIV

September 1, 2020

By Bailey Williams After receiving an eviction letter, a man in emotional distress called the HIV Resource Coordination HUB. The phone line led by AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) and Center on Halsted is dedicated to providing information and resources related to HIV. By the time Oscar Solis, a Rapid Responder for the HUB at Center on Halsted, answered his call, the man was extremely upset,...
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Ryan White case manager stops opioid overdose minutes after receiving training from AFC

August 27, 2020

By Bailey Williams  For the past three years, Mayra Olivares has helped people living with HIV and AIDS achieve better health outcomes. As a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program case manager at Erie Family Health Centers, Mayra makes sure her clients receive needed medication, medical appointments and referrals for vital services like housing. Prior to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Mayra...
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