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News: Illinois

State Representative Lamont Robinson tackles Youth and PrEP in first bill passed out of IL House

April 10, 2019

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) congratulates State Representative Lamont Robinson (D-Chicago) on successfully passing HB 2665 (the Youth PrEP bill) out of the Illinois House.  AFC thanks the House members who supported this bill and especially Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). HB 2665 would align Illinois law with federal guidance on a minor’s ability to access...
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IL expands Medicaid coverage for trans and gender-nonconforming residents

April 5, 2019

Today, Gov. Pritzker fulfilled a campaign promise and announced that Illinois Medicaid will cover gender-affirming health care services for transgender and gender-nonconforming people!  Read the official statement here. For many years, Illinois Medicaid had likely violated the state’s own Human Rights Act by banning Medicaid coverage for medically-necessary, gender-affirming...
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HIV and Cannabis

March 6, 2019

By Raven Feagins Cannabis has had a long, demonizing and even racist history in the United States. However, throughout the country, laws are changing to legalize the sale and use of cannabis (also known as marijuana, pot and other casual names) for both recreational and medical use. Even Illinois , which currently has legalized medical cannabis and decriminalized possession of small...
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IL Gov. Pritzker proposes level HIV funding in his first budget address

February 21, 2019

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker gave his first budget address on Wednesday, Feb. 20, which included level funding for HIV services in fiscal year 2020 (FY2020). Pritzker stated that his proposed budget is more austere than he would like, but it is the first step in a four-year plan to put Illinois back on the path of prosperity and growth for its people, communities, businesses and economy. The governor...
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Gov. Pritzker signs executive order supporting HIV/AIDS services

February 1, 2019

On Friday, Feb. 1, Governor JB Pritzker expressed his administration’s commitment to ending the HIV epidemic by signing Executive Order 2019-08 in Rockford.  We share our deepest gratitude for Gov. JB Pritzker's commitment to  signing an Executive Order to strengthen investment in HIV services and programs , and to use viral load metrics to ensure Illinoisians living with...
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Policy and legislative wrap up for 2018

January 11, 2019

2018 was another year full of policy and legislative ups and downs on all levels. However, AFC and like-minded advocates across the country stayed strong when faced with sometimes harsh and inhumane policies that threatened the livelihoods of our communities. Here are a few of the most influential policy and legislative highlights of the year.   Illinois Medicaid hepatitis C...
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Getting to zero through sex ed

January 4, 2019

By Raven Feagins This post originally appeared on November 29, 2018 on GTZIllinois.hiv . Conversations around U=U , PrEP and condom use are common among folks in the HIV workforce, but how can these conversations get started in middle and high school classrooms? The Hult Center for Healthy Living addresses this, among other topics, in their comprehensive sexual health curriculum...
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Midterm elections redirect Illinois’ path forward

November 7, 2018

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, people around Illinois and across the country went to the voting booth to participate in the most basic right and responsibility in our republic: to duly elect those we shall entrust to represent us at all levels of government.  Every two years we as a nation make our voices heard, and in Illinois that voice was a clear and ringing denunciation of the type of politics...
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AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Legal Council for Health Justice Statement on Medicaid Hepatitis C Treatment Restrictions

November 7, 2018

Legal Council for Health Justice and AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) laud the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services (HFS) announcement today ending the department’s policy of rationing coverage of life-saving drugs to cure hepatitis C (HCV) for Medicaid participants.  As the deadliest infectious disease in the U.S., HCV affects an estimated 3.5 million Americans. ...
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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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