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Overcoming guilt and moving towards self-compassion and acceptance

January 11, 2022

By James Cotromanes   I remember how I felt anticipating my HIV diagnosis. As I walked into the clinic and heard the door shut behind me, I felt an uneasy calm, but also unwittingly, a fearful expectation of a positive result. A positive result would be life changing on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. I asked myself what if it turns out I have...
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When it comes to ending the HIV epidemic, these T2 athletes aren’t slowing down

December 20, 2021

By Ella Shapiro In 2013 , Neil Halpin’s coworkers encouraged him to sign up for a half marathon in Las Vegas at the same time as a work conference they were attending. Reluctantly, Neil, who was not an experienced runner, agreed and started training. At the last minute the conference was cancelled, forcing Neil...
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What my internship at AFC taught me

December 17, 2021

By Ella Shapiro As a member  of Generation Z, the HIV epidemic has always felt distant to me. Growing up in the early 2000s and 2010s, I remember hearing stories about the epidemic. I heard about how it impacted the LGTBQ+ community, how Princess Diana famously shook the hand of a person living with AIDS in 1987, but ultimately...
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How Life is Work is supporting transgender and gender non-binary communities of color

December 15, 2021

By Ella Shapiro  Growing up  in Garfield Park, Zahara Bassett remembers having to frequently travel to the North Side of Chicago to access gender-affirming spaces and receive medical care, food and housing assistance. Despite loving her neighborhood, it was clear to Zahara, as a Black transgender woman, that...
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Housing is Healthcare

December 9, 2021

By Ella Shapiro For those of us working to end the HIV epidemic it is not news  that housing is health care, but perhaps for others that connection is not so obvious.   When you have a  house, steady employment and a primary care provider it becomes easy to prioritize your health because your basic needs are...
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Three ways the GTZ-IL Dashboard can help you

December 9, 2021

By Brian Solem When I hear the word “dashboard,” the first thing that comes to mind is the illuminating glow of a car’s control panel, telling me how fast I’m going,  what song is playing and whether I need to refill my gas tank (usually, the answer is “yes”).  The Getting to Zero Illinois (GTZ-IL) Dashboard...
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How Margaret supports people living with HIV through AIDS Run and Walk Chicago

November 10, 2021

By Ella Shapiro Before  Margaret Russell began her medical career as a family physician and certified HIV specialist she worked in technical theatre. While working as a stage manager, Margaret made many friends within the LGBTQ+ community. As her friendships developed, Margaret shared her...
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Davon Lawrence, AFC’s new Director of Prevention Capacity Building, brings a passion for service to AFC

October 13, 2021

By Ella Shapiro   Davon Lawrence ’s passion for service was inspired by his mother. Raised in New Jersey, Davon grew up watching his mother work for the Salvation Army as an Intake Counselor. He saw the way that his community improved through the work she and her colleagues did by caring for others. From a...
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Illinois residents share experiences, ideas to improve the state’s Medicaid program

October 12, 2021

By Bailey Williams For more than 50 years,  Illinois Medicaid  has offered millions of  residents access to health insurance for free or reduced rates. Illinois Medicaid is the largest health insurer in the state, providing coverage to about 25 percent of the state’s residents including people living with HIV, working families,...
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Dear God, I'm Here

October 4, 2021

By Timothy S. Jackson October 3 marks 12 years of living with HIV for AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC)'s Director of Government Relations. A Black man. A Black gay man. A Black gay man living with HIV. I am all of those and greater than the sum of the parts. My intersecting identities. The things that make me who I am and who I want to be. The identities...
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