Category Archives: Health

Howard Brown Health Center and PrEP

howard brown org prep

Howard Brown Health Center  provides access to Pre- and Post- Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP) to reduce your chance of aquiring HIV. Preventing HIV is part of the full spectrum of primary care services offered at HBHC, and PrEP is offered as part of those services.

To limit the risk of HIV infection, HBHC offers PrEP and PEP to those most likely to be exposed to HIV and those who may have recently been exposed. PrEP is offered without judgment and our staff will work to help you access the medication without prohibitive costs.


 Frequently asked questions:

What is PrEP?
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medication that can reduce your risk of aquiring HIV. If you take PrEP as directed, it can reduce the chance that HIV will be able to infect your body. A once-daily pill is available for patients seeking PrEP.


Who can take PrEP?
PrEP can be taken by an HIV-negative person (in consultation with their heathcare provider) who wants to reduce their chance of acquiring HIV. PrEP is available through prescription only.


Where to get PrEP?
HBHC offers PrEP to patients in our primary care clinics. Staff are available to help patients make an appointment to see a healthcare provider for PrEP. HBHC also helps patients access assistance programs that may pay for the medication in part or in full.

For additional information or to make an appointment, call 773.388.8885 or walk in during our hours of operation. You can also send an e-mail to for more information.


Does PrEP have side effects?
Side effects may include upset stomach, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Patients who experience these side effects often experience them for only a short time while the body adjusts to the medication.

More serious side effects are extremely rare, and may include liver toxicity, renal impairment, and lactic acidosis. Discuss serious side effects with your provider before starting PrEP. 


PrEP is covered by Medicaid and most private insurance plans. Co-pay assistance is available, and many patients with insurance pay nothing out of pocket. If you need help or do not have insurance, ask about patient assistance programs which may pay for the full cost of the medication. Low-income patients may qualify.

More info  at  HBHC/Prep



More Proof Mom passes on our Gay Gene


A new study of gay men in the U.S. has found that male sexual orientation is influenced by genes passed on by the mother.
The British newspaper the Guardian reports that in a test of 400 gay men, genes on at least two chromosomes affected whether a man is gay.

“The study shows that there are genes involved in male sexual orientation,” said Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University in Illinois, who set out the findings at a discussion event held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.
See more at best gay news

Aids Foundation Chicago Women and HIV Luncheon



Please join

Aids Foundation  Chicago

and AbbVie for a candid discussion about the journey of HIV-positive women.  This luncheon will focus on HIV disparaties among people of color and the need for support and better adherence. Q & A session to follow.

Speakers will include Willis Steele, National Advocacy Relations Manager, AbbVie-Virology
and Kathy Bennett, HIV-positive patient advocate, University of Maryland

Join us so you can be inspired for your journey.

Friday, April 25th      11:30-1:30pm

Lawndale Christian Health Center – Skyline Conference Center
3750 W. Ogden Ave      Chicago, IL 60623

Free and open to the public – registration required.
Please click here to RSVP by Tuesday, April 22.
For more information, contact Carole Jakes at

HIV Cure Research – Community Forum April 23rd



Learn about exciting scientific advances to bring about a cure for HIV disease, featuring Timothy Brown, a.k.a. “the Berlin Patient,” who once had HIV. Recovered from a deadly form of leukemia and now virus-free because of a difficult bone marrow transplant, Brown embodies the hopes of scientists and millions of people living with the virus. Brown’s road to a cure is unlikely to be traveled by many others, except perhaps some who also have both HIV and cancer. But his journey provides critical proof of a concept that just may help lead to the end of AIDS-by offering clues for how to develop a safe, affordable cure for all. He also offers inspiration and hope for the road ahead. The evening will also include information about Chicago’s efforts on the HIV cure research agenda, and time for Q and A.

Wednesday April 23, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Chicago Cultural Center
Cassidy Auditorium
78 E. Washington Street
Chicago, IL 60602

Free and open to the public – registration required by Tuesday, April 22.


Shave your Head at Chicago’s VANITE Salon March 30th



St Baldricks Benefit at Scarlet bar March 27

st baldrics benefit chicago

Vanite’ Paul Mitchell Focus Salon is hosting a benefit at Scarlet on   MARCH  27th, from 7-9PM. Kettle One & Nolet’s Gin will be providing cocktails for 2HRS & My Fit Foods will be providing “Cancer fighting foods” for the event.

This is a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation—proceeds to benefit cancer research, development and services for children in Chicago.


Tickets are $30 per person  – – Tickets are available here


Aids Legal Council Chicago Helps Inform Residents About Affordable Health Act, November 2nd

AIDS Legal Council of Chicago to partner with Broadway United Methodist Church and
First United Methodist Church/Chicago Temple
Event to focus on informing Chicago residents about the Affordable Care Act
as a part of “Cover Your Community” day of action

of October 1, 2013, individuals, families, and small businesses in
Illinois can sign up for quality health coverage through Get Covered
Illinois – The Official Health Marketplace by visiting
Through the Marketplace, Illinois residents can get to the right place
to shop and compare all of the health insurance plans offered in the

On November 2,
AIDS Legal Council
will participate in the “Cover Your Community” day
of action, a statewide effort to educate Illinois residents about Get
Covered Illinois and the health insurance options available to them. 
ALCC will partner with Broadway United Methodist Church and Chicago
Temple, covering topics such as what types of coverage are offered, how
to get coverage, plan costs and financial help, Medicaid, local
resources, and more. Specially-trained counselors, also known as
“Navigators,” will be present to assist Chicago-area residents and
answer questions in-person.

  What: Local and Fair Trade Vendor Fair                                  What: Homeless Ministry

When: Saturday November 2, 2013                                         When: Saturday November 2, 2013

10 am to 6 pm                                                                               9 am to 11 am

Where: Broadway United Methodist Church                         Where: First United Methodist                Church/Chicago

3338 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60657                               637 S. Dearborn,
Chicago, IL 60605

Who will be there: Kate Miller & Marina Kurakin                   Who
will be there:
Gregory Gross

Visit to learn more.


First Couples HIV Prevention Strategy for Gay Men in Chicago

  Today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be taking over “Testing
,” the
first-ever couples HIV prevention strategy and program for gay men, and
will be rolling out the program to 21 major cities,
including Chicago, at 70+ HIV testing sites nationwide. 

program enables male couples in the U.S. to learn their HIV status
together and develop a customized HIV prevention and care strategy.
HIV testing programs focus on individuals in the U.S, however, it’s
estimated that one-to two-thirds of new HIV infections came from main
partners among gay couples. 
The Testing Together program was
developed by Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and funded by the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund. 


Why it Matters

  • According
    to research conducted at Emory with the CDC and NIH, it’s estimated
    that one-to two-thirds of new HIV infections came from main partners
    among gay couples and a significant number
    of men in longer-term relationships were unaware of their partner’s HIV
    status. Further, because they were in a couple, they felt less at risk
    for HIV and therefore less likely to get tested for HIV. Current HIV
    testing programs focus on individuals in the
    U.S. Due to the growing rate of HIV among gay couples in the U.S.,
    Testing Together is designed to help stem this spread.  
  •  According to a report released by the Chicago Public Health Department on the health of gay men in Chicago, 35 percent of gay black
    men have HIV. This is followed by 16.8 percent of gay white men, and 12.5 percent for gay Hispanic men.
“Most HIV
prevention programs focus on individuals or groups of gay men when, in
fact, most new HIV infections come from main partners in
a relationship. Our ‘Testing Together’ program is the first HIV testing
service geared specifically toward meeting the needs of male couples,”
said Patrick Sullivan, DVM, PhD and Professor at Emory University’s
Rollins School of Public Health. “We’re happy
that our collaboration with CDC is bringing this program to more HIV
organizations in major cities throughout the nation. Bringing this
service to scale for male couples was made possible by the generous
support of the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund.”


Howard Brown Health Center Opens Aris Health

  Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) is pleased to announce the opening of Aris Health by Howard Brown Health Center,
its new facility which provides comprehensive, primary healthcare and
support services for the entire community – regardless of its ability to


Brown Health Center is focused on creating a patient-centered medical
home for everyone in the community,” said Karma Israelsen, interim
president and CEO of Howard Brown Health Center. “We have designed a
health center that is excellent in every way. Aris Health, the newest
location that is part of the HBHC family, demonstrates our focus and
priority on providing quality healthcare for all.”


in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood at 3245 N. Halsted,
Aris Health offers 9 exam rooms, and increase accessibility as a
standalone, street-level building with free on-site parking. Aris Health
will implement a patient-centered care model which ensures that
patients are involved in the care they receive from their medical
providers. This comprehensive approach focuses on the whole person,
providing coordinated medical and behavioral health services to meet the
needs of patients.


Health will continue to improve the patient experience and ensure they
receive quality medical care by using new technologies and operating
efficiencies. Through GE’s Developing Health™, a program launched in
Chicago in 2011 to increase access to quality healthcare through
skill-based volunteering, GE employees trained staff in strategies
designed to increase patient flow and reduce wait times. They also
helped prepare for the site opening. “Community health care centers
provide essential services and increase access to quality health care at
the local level,” said Linda Fiore, executive champion, Developing
Health Chicago. “We take our volunteer commitment to our community
partners very seriously.”


addition to new technology, Aris Health includes an on-site Walgreens
Pharmacy for patients to receive readily accessible prescription
medication. Walgreen’s has been a committed strategic health partner of
Howard Brown Health Center for more than 30 years. “The Walgreens
Pharmacy at Aris Health is part of our expanded network of
community-based health solutions,” said Denise Scarpelli, market
pharmacy director at Walgreens. “We are proud to work with Howard Brown
Health Center to create better health outcomes for their patients.”


new location will expand HBHC’s specialized geriatric care, which is
critical to the community because aging LGBT members have difficulty
accessing culturally appropriate healthcare. HBHC’s board-

geriatrician and Medical Director Magda Houlberg, M.D. will continue
working with patients and lead the Aris Health team.  Aris Health will
also carry on HBHC’s tradition and specialization in lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) health.


are thrilled that Aris Health will allow us to serve everyone in the
community, regardless of the ability to pay, in a space designed with
patients in mind,” says Dr. Houlberg. “Our team treats each patient as a
part of the HBHC family, ensuring a welcoming, comfortable environment.
The new space will enable us to continue our important work, and serve
more patients in need.”


addition to the support given by Walgreen’s and GE, members of
Chicago’s artist community donated artwork to be displayed in the new
space.  Gethsemane Garden Center donated landscaping services to create a
garden upon entering the facility.


Aris Health will be open Monday, Wednesday thru Friday
from 9a to 5p and Tuesdays from 10a to 7p.  The Walgreen’s Pharmacy
will also operate during these times. For more information, call 773.296.8400


AIDS Run and Walk Chicago September 28th


Area runners invited to help support life-saving HIV/AIDS care, prevention, and housing programs


WHAT:         More than 3,500 runners will lace up their shoes and join in the fight against HIV/AIDS during the 12th Annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago, September 28. The AIDS Run & Walk Chicago is the Windy City’s largest annual fundraising run/walk for HIV/AIDS.


This year’s event kicks off at Chicago’s iconic Soldier Field with the 5K and 10K courses winding along the lakeshore.


raised through the AIDS Run & Walk will benefit programs and
services for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and 34 other city
organizations that work with more than 25,000 people living with
HIV/AIDS in Chicagoland. Since its founding in 2001, AIDS Run & Walk
Chicago has netted more than $4 million to battle the epidemic.


To register, donate, or learn more, visit or call (312) 334-0946. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  


WHEN:         September 28, 2013

                   8:00 a.m. Event registration and packet pick-up

                   9:00 a.m. Opening ceremonies

                   9:30 a.m. 5K Walk begins

                   9:45 a.m. 10K Run begins

                   9:50 a.m. 5K Run begins

                   10:00 a.m. Post-race entertainment


Event registration is $30-$45 in advance; $50 on-site. Registration
includes the official t-shirt and other benefits. To register as a
fundraising individual or as a team, visit or call (312) 334-0946.


WHERE:      Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605


CountyCare a New No Cost Health Insurance Program

 To celebrate Pride Week, Cook County Health and Hospital Systems and Howard Brown Health Center
demonstrated their unique collaboration to provide medical and
behavioral care for the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ allies by encouraging
Howard Brown patients to apply for CountyCare, a new, no-cost health
insurance program. 

On Thursday, June 27, Dr. Robert Weinstein, Chief
Operating Officer of the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center and Chairman of
the Department of Internal Medicine at Cook County Health and Hospitals
System, and Karma Israelsen, interim President and Chief Executive
Officer of Howard Brown, welcomed visitors to the center and offered a
tour of their facilities that serve the community.  


                        Cook County residents interested in applying should call 312-864-8200 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., or Saturday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. To learn more about CountyCare, visit

CountyCare is a new Illinois Medicaid program. Patients choose a primary care site from
participating local hospitals and healthcare sites throughout the
county, including Cook County Health and Hospitals System  locations.
The patient is assigned a doctor, nurse, social worker and medical assistant to manage their health care through a new Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model.


CountyCare program was approved under the federal government’s 1115
Medicaid Waiver, which permits CCHHS to early-enroll 115,000 individuals
who will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014 through the Affordable Care


Illinois’ subsidized high risk health insurance pool IPXP to stop accepting applications March 2nd, 2013


 The federal office charged with implementing health
care reform announced this past Friday that the subsidized  plans that
are currently insuring more than 100,000 individuals nationwide, will be
closing their doors to new enrollees months before other coverage is
available on the new insurance exchanges.

most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act do not become
effective until January 1, 2014, the law set up interim plans, called
“Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans” for people who could not buy
health insurance on the private market because of serious health
conditions, including HIV.  In Illinois, the state opened the Illinois
Pre-Existing Insurance Plan (“IPXP”) in August 2010.  Approximately 3000
people now have insurance though IPXP.  Although those people currently
enrolled in those plans will continue to have coverage until January 1,
2014, when they will be able to move to private insurance coverage,
Friday’s announcement means that no new applications will be accepted
after March 2, 2013. 

Fisher, Executive Director of AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, explained
why this is bad news for people with HIV or any other pre-existing
condition that blocks them from getting private insurance.  “IPXP has
been an important source of health care coverage for people with HIV,
including people on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program  whose income
climbs above 300% of the federal poverty level (about $35,000) but do
not have health insurance on the job and cannot afford to pay for their
medications themselves. “  The state has been able to refer those
individuals to IPXP, and to help pay the IPXP premiums, so that they do
not lose access to their medications.     

explained that IPXP was always meant to be a temporary program, set to
expire once pre-existing conditions no longer prevent people from buying
insurance.  “But,” she added “we always assumed that IPXP would
continue to accept new enrollees until very close to January 1st.” 
“It appears,”  she added,” that IPXP is a victim of its own success. 
There was a limited pool of money available for the plans, and in order
to make sure they can continue to pay claims of current enrollees, they
now have to cut off future ones.”     

Legal Council is getting out the word about the closing of enrollment,
and encouraging anyone who has been without insurance for at least six
months to quickly apply for IPXP. NOW!!

  ALCC is available to answer questions or assist with the enrollment process and can be reached at 312-427-8990.


25 years ago, AIDS Legal Council of Chicago works to preserve, promote,
and protect the legal rights of men, women, children, and families in
the metropolitan Chicago area impacted by HIV and AIDS.  The Council
provides free direct legal services to people in need, educates the
public about HIV-related legal issues, and advocates for social policies
that ensure fair treatment for all people affected by HIV and AIDS.


AIDS Foundation Chicago Need2KnowHIV

More than 20,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Chicago – three times the national prevalence rate.

In some Chicago neighborhoods, HIV rates have climbed to a staggering 53 percent in recent years.

That’s why the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is marking this World AIDS Day by announcing a new campaign called
Need2Know HIV, an initiative to educate people about the importance of HIV testing.

partnership with Abbott, a Chicago-headquartered global health care
company, AFC is using social media platforms such as Facebook and
Twitter to increase awareness and encourage conversation
about testing. The campaign began on World AIDS Day, December 1, and
continues through the month.

What sets Need2Know HIV
apart from other HIV testing campaigns? It highlights the importance of
diagnosing HIV in its earliest stages, as well as ongoing viral load
molecular testing
for those living with HIV.

many HIV-positive people are not diagnosed in the early phase of the
disease — when they are most contagious — and unknowingly spread the
virus to others. Testing is critical
to stopping the spread of HIV, though many people are not getting
tested and may not realize significant advances in testing technology
that are now available.

simple: we can’t end AIDS without a stronger commitment to HIV testing,
and that starts with educating people about the importance of testing
to know their status and manage HIV,” said
David Ernesto Munar, AFC president/CEO.

People can show their support and educate others by visiting and “liking” the
Need2Know HIV campaign on Facebook, Munar said.

diagnostic testing allows individuals to know within two weeks of
exposure if they are infected. The newest HIV combo tests can detect
both antigens (the actual HIV virus) and antibodies
to HIV (the body’s response to fight the virus). HIV combo tests allow
people to know their status weeks sooner than they potentially could
with traditional antibody-only HIV tests.

those individuals who live with HIV, monitoring the disease plays a key
role in their overall treatment. Ongoing viral load molecular tests help
patients and their health care providers
monitor the response of the virus to antiretroviral drug treatments,
helping to guide treatment decisions.

detection provides information to help people make decisions that may
reduce risky behavior. It also allows people who are HIV positive to
start on antiretroviral therapy sooner, which
benefits long-term health and may also reduce HIV transmission rates by
96 percent.

nearly 30 years, Abbott has been committed to fighting HIV by developing
important tests and therapies for patients,” said Brian Blaser,
executive vice president, Diagnostics Products,
Abbott. “Our commitment to HIV continues today as we partner together
to launch efforts such as
Need2Know HIV to help educate people about the critical role testing can play in stemming the tide of this virus.”

People can learn more by visiting the AFC’s
website and
Facebook page.


Neck, Back, Shoulder Pain and Holiday Stress? 5 Tips To Help Prevent and Reduce Your Holiday Sufferings

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year for many. Families and loved ones get together and give thanks. People celebrate and take time to reach out to neighbors, friends and their favorite charitable organizations. It is a time Michael and I  thoroughly look forward to each year.

Entertaining, shopping, decorating, socializing, cleaning, cooking-yikes! The added anxiety and stress of all the holiday hustle and bustle can increase our level of physical activity and mental stressors, beyond our usual day-to-day, and intensify chronic neck, shoulder and/or back pain or aggrivate “bad backs” for those occasional sufferers.

Holiday travel may be a huge factor as well. Long, cramped car rides, horrible airplane seats with almost no padding, and for what seems to be hours on end to reach your final destination…  We’ve all been there.  Then, to be taken away from our normal comforts of home, like our heated ergonomic chairs and fluffy, pillowtop mattresses and instead, find ourselves sleeping on Aunt Barbara’s couch or an inflatable twin mattress on the floor. You get the picture.

So here are 5 tips we hope you may find helpful in minimizing physical pain and mental stress this Holiday Season:

1.)  Set yourself up for success!  Establish realistic goals that you truly can accomplish in one day or over a weekend and strive not to be the ultimate people-pleaser, nicely say “No”. Decide what’s most important, prioritize and seek to not overextend yourself.
2.)  Get enough rest and sleep. Yes, you have to get to the store, wrap those gifts, pick up dry cleaning, bake that cake, etc…but sleep deprivation is a big contributor to aggrivating physical pain, especially in the neck, back and shoulder regions.  Do your best to be disciplined and strive to go to bed and get 6 to 8 hours of sleep! If you have difficulty sleeping due to stress or chronic pain, you might want to check with your primary care doctor regarding possible over-the-counter and/or prescription sleep aids or pain medication options so that you can get the rest your body needs.

3.)  TAKE TIME OUT for yourself.  Treat yourself to whatever it is you consider a treat within your budget so you’re not adding even more stress to yourself. Maybe it’s a massage or some time at a spa to relax and rejuvenate and recharge your batteries. Consider asking one of your besties to join in if that would make it more enjoyable for you.

4.)  Think Small(er)!  Plan a small(er) gathering of friends and loved ones, rather than a huge extravaganza. Hosting a large event has many stressors, consider scaling back or hosting 2 small events perhaps instead of one large one.

5.)  Exercise.  #1 on the list should be exercise, but often, it is the fist activity to be nixed and neglected. Exercise is so important because it helps rid the body of stress and stressful toxins. Do what you can do… Take a walk, run, ride a bike, go to the gym…or workout in your home. Nothing beats exercise during times of stress.

If you are in too much pain to exercise, consider visiting a chiropractor for relief. Chiropractic adjustments help to re-align the spine and remove pressure from the nervous system allowing our bodies to better heal themselves once the nerve interference has been removed.

Michael and I both suffer from chronic back pain and regular problematic neck and shoulder pain from too much time spent sitting and on the computer without proper stretching and enough exercise.  We LOVE the chiropractic work of Dale A. Zuehlke, D.C., at Greater Chicago Chiropractic and recommend him highly (561 W. Diversey Suite 221). We do our best to see him regularly for preventative care and maintenance, but to often it is when we are crippled in pain we show up at Dale’s office pleading with him to fix us… fast!

For a free consultation to discuss how he may help you, or to make an appointment for an adjustment call (773) 871-7766 and please tell Dr. Dale Michael and Derrick sent you his way

Greater Chicago Chiropractic   Dale on YELP

Hope This Helps and Wishing Happy Holidays To All!



CHICAGO HOUSE Selected for National Grant to Support Care and Treatment of Transgender Community

It was announced that local
non-profit leader in AIDS services, Chicago House, was selected as one of eight
national grant sites to study the link between HIV and retention in care of
transgender women of color.  The study, which will be housed in Chicago
House’s all new TransLife Center (TLC), will allow $300,000 per year for
the next five years from the Health Resources and Services Administration
(HRSA) as a Special Program of National Significance.


The TLC programming will serve as a
collaborative comprehensive and multi-strategy approach to identifying HIV-positive
transgender women of color who are out of care, while engaging them
successfully in accessible, quality HIV primary care.  


In leveraging
the resources and expertise of five project partners – AIDS Foundation of
Chicago, Center On Halsted, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Heartland Health
Outreach, and South Side Help Center – Chicago House will identify
transgender women of color living with HIV, create a broad network of
culturally competent healthcare providers, and deliver an array of services that
help marginalized transgender women overcome barriers to care.  


“The TransLife Center Programming will incorporate
three tiers of support to the habitually overlooked “T” in the LGBT
community,” commented Chicago House CEO, Stan
Sloan.  “TransHousing
will provide a safe and understanding home to transgender men and women,
through the rebirth of our original 24-hour-care building in Edgewater and
multiple scattered site units throughout the city.  TransWorks, an offshoot of our highly
successful employment program, will work with trans men and women to identify
their unique employment placement needs and prepare them for the workplace
through resume writing, interview skills, and connections to culturally
competent job opportunities.”  Sloan continued, “The final
element, TransHealth, will
connect trans men and women to non judgmental health care addressing their
unique needs through Dr. Rob Garafolo of Lurie Children’s Hospital.”  


HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care
services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. 


“Chicago House remains committed to providing the best
in services to the homeless and HIV affected, and the integral TransHealth funding from HRSA further validates
the needs that we have identified within the transgender community,”
Sloan said.  “The growth in reaching out to this population
represents the same trailblazing growth our founders had in mind 27 years ago,
and it is a wonderful next incarnation for our former hospice site.  The
transgender community has been so strategic and receptive in helping us develop
the programs, and we are excited to begin this next step of Chicago
House’s history.”


About Chicago

The first organization of it’s kind in the Midwest, since 1985 Chicago
has provided permanent housing and supportive services to men,
women and children living with HIV and AIDS.  Their programs have since
expanded to include community case management, substance abuse counseling, HIV
prevention, medical adherence and the Midwest’s
first employment training and placement program specific to people with
HIV.  Chicago House also
offers free, anonymous rapid HIV testing.
  For more information, visit


AIDS Foundation of Chicago “Change My Story” Campaign Debuts Smartphone-Driven Ads

Smartphone-Driven Ads to Connect People to HIV Prevention and Care Services

mark National HIV Testing Day, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC)
debuted a series of smartphone-driven bus shelter ads on the South and
West Sides of Chicago to
help African Americans connect to HIV testing and care services.

larger-than-life ads, featuring community ambassadors, are part of the agency’s community-level educational campaign, known as
Change My Story, designed to inspire communities of color to connect to life-extending health care services. A

2010 report

from the Pew Research Center on technology trends indicated
African-Americans boast the highest rates of any demographic group when
it comes to interacting with the community via text message
and other non-traditional platforms.

Change My Story
is about empowering people to take control of their life and health,
with respect to HIV/AIDS and all life-changing illnesses,” said David
Ernesto Munar,
AFC President and CEO. “Nowadays it seems people rarely go anywhere
without their cell phone. But it’s actually more than a phone – it’s a
lifeline to testing, care and support.”


smartphone-driven bus shelter ads feature scannable “quick response”
(QR) codes to instantly direct mobile users to videos from community
ambassadors and to the HIV testing
and care website, The videos are
It Gets Better-style testimonials from young Black men, women,
clergy, and members of the “ball community,” a dynamic LBGT subculture
in which individuals compete for prizes and respect by “walking” or

Change My Story asks individuals to “join the movement” in three distinct ways:

 Say yes to the test. It’s about getting tested for HIV/AIDS, but also other diseases that can steal moments from your life (hypertension, high cholesterol, hepatitis, diabetes, and cancer). Make your health a priority and experience more of the moments in life that are important to you.

 Connect to care. will help you connect to care services that are right for you and the experts who can help. Find out what you need to know to take control – whether or not you have health insurance.


Spread the word. Each one, reach one. Spread the word to your friends and family. Encourage them to take control of their own health – like you did.

For more information, visit



Northwestern Memorial Hospital Ranks High with Gay LGBT Healthcare

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of only three hospitals in Illinois named a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the 2012 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) report.

The HEI is an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) organization. Northwestern Memorial was commended for its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families who can face challenges in accessing adequate healthcare.

My partner and I both see  Dr. Eric Christoff, at the NMPG office on Halsted. He has been our doctor for 8 years and we highly recommend him and NMPG  to  EVERYONE WE KNOW!


“We are proud to be recognized for our commitment to serving the LGBT community in Chicago,” said Dennis Murphy, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Northwestern Memorial. “We treat a very vast, diverse patient population and have long recognized the value of tailoring care to an individual’s unique healthcare needs. Our Patients First mission drives us to assure every patient receives the best care—period. And we think this recognition underscores that commitment.”


Northwestern Memorial was named a Leader in Healthcare Equality after demonstrating its ability to meet several key indicators for equitable care, including nondiscrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and training in LGBT patient-centered care for key staff. Only 234 healthcare facilities nationwide were recognized as leaders.


To further meet the needs of the LGBT community, Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group (NMPG) employs several physicians who specialize in the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. They strive to educate both patients and other medical providers about the unique healthcare needs of LGBT patients. They are also strong advocates for creating a welcoming environment where their patients can receive quality non-judgmental care. To learn more about NMPG’s program, visit  


Beyond its commitment to serving LGBT patients, Northwestern Memorial also strives to provide an inclusive work environment for its employees with nondiscrimination employment policies and same-sex domestic partner benefits. An affiliate-wide networking group called the Northwestern Chicago Out Network exists for the support and encouragement of LGBT faculty, staff, students, fellows, and residents on the Northwestern Chicago campus.


The Most Delicous Nutritious Snack – from Farrells eXtreme Bodyshaping of Chicago

You all know by now, Derrick and I are enrolled in Farrells eXtreme Bodyshaping, and are evangelists for the program!

I always knew I could not live on pizza and pasta and have the body I wanted! But I also am very unimaginative in the kitchen, and find myself eating a lot of the same things.

I have been a long time fan  of protein and nutrition bars – you just have to pay close attention to whats in them.  Some of them ARE NOT HEALTHY  AT ALL! Loaded with Sugar! And they can get expensive to eat every day.

So I was happy when Farrells owner Jason, gave me this super easy, very healthy, make at home recipe for chocolate protein bars! It literally takes 5 minutes to make a batch.

1 C. Peanut butter (you should be eating natural peanut butter without the trans fat)
a couple teaspoons of honey
1 C. rolled oats
1 TBSP.  baking Cocoa
1 1/2 C. Chocolate Protein Powder
1/4  c  water

All you do is take the peanut butter and the honey and microwave it for about 30-45 seconds.

Then add the oats and cocoa and stir it together a bit. Add the Protein powder and water and just mix and mash it all together. Sometimes a dash more water is needed – if it is not all mixed well and clumping together nicely.

Then I take a sheet of foil, and spray it with PAM or something similar. Dump the mixture onto the foil. Then I wet my hand, and smash it and smooth down and out.  I like mine about  1/2″ thick. Lay it in the fridge for a few hours and when it starts to harden up, you can cut it into pieces, which you can snack on all week.  It’s easy. And TOTALLY healthy.

At night, Derrick takes one small low fat yogurt and dumps it into a bowl.  Takes a bar and crumbles it over the yogurt and sprinkles on  a few almonds. It is the most decadent, healthy desert you have ever eaten!

FYI – Farrells is in the final days of accepting new members for their summer session – and if you mention this article, Jason will offer you a sweet deal on certain time slots!

821 W. Blackhawk
Off Halsted, S. of North Ave.



Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping – Chicago Spring Deals

My partner and I
discovered Farrell’s eXtreme Body Shaping this Winter. We joined the
first 10 week session to officially launch in Chicago, in January. 

When they launched in January they offered  3  class choices – 2 in the AM, and 1 in the evening.

The next session  will run  April 14  thru  June 23. And they will now offer 6 classes a day!

If you mention our site, you can get a big discount for the 7am, 6:30pm, or     7:30pm   classes!

(see classes and pricing online)

We  have both  seen great results, and plan to continue on with the program in April. We have both seen our body fat drop, inches melt off our waistline and our muscle mass

In 45 minutes a day, six days a week, (yes!  6 days  a week!)   Farrell’s can help you make
real changes in your fitness and overall health. Results are typical
with the Farrell’s program. In 10 weeks with Farrell’s, you will see the
eXtreme changes you expect out of your fitness and nutrition

To enroll you must make an appointment to sign
up in person at the facility before Friday April 13th. OR, come in
during their evening hours of 5pm to 8pm.

Farrell’s eXtreme Body Shaping
821 W. Blackhawk        Off Halsted,     S. of North Ave.


*If you do not get through when calling –
leave a message. Sometimes  the staff is tied up leading classes or
helping other clients.


Get Paid! HIV Vaccine Study Needs YOU!

We’re looking for 18-50 year old, HIV-negative men and transwomen who men to volunteer in a vaccine study.

More than 30,000 people around
the world have volunteered
in an HIV vaccine study. BUT MORE ARE STILL NEEDED.

Every 10 minutes, someone in the United States is infected with HIV. A
preventive vaccine against HIV offers the best long-term hope to end
this worldwide epidemic. Finding a safe and effective HIV vaccine that
will protect people is a huge task. We cannot do it without your help.

Don’t worry…you cannot become infected with HIV
from the vaccine.

You will be compensated for your time.

Call  312-413-5897     Ref. #  0417