Category Archives: HIV

Aids Foundation Chicago Gala in May

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The biggest GALA  of the year!

On Saturday, May 16, 2015, at the Hilton Chicago, we will gather together as Illinois’ strongest HIV/AIDS community to commemorate AFC’s three decades as a leader in the fight against HIV.

It’s the right time to change the story of HIV, but we can only move forward with your unwavering support.

“Our 30th Year Gala will be a rallying point for our most dedicated supporters to stand with AFC in this unprecedented moment in history. Recent medical breakthroughs and shifts in the health care landscape have put AFC in its strongest position ever to prevent new infections and better support people living with HIV and AIDS.”

The evening will include:

  • A program led by Amy Landecker, who stars in the 2015 Golden Globe-winning TV series Transparent
  • A vacation auction and raffle
  • Dinner
  • Dancing to music by DJ Kiss
  • Live Auction includes luxurious vacations to Hawaii and Las Vegas
  • Raffle includes vacations to Aruba and NYC
  • A punch board full of prizes from Chicago restaurants, theaters, spas and more.

AFC will  be honoring Thomas Kehoe with the Community Impact Award and Ernie Rodriguez with the Lori Kaufman Volunteer Award.

Join us at the 30th Year Gala to show your commitment to this vibrant community that has led the fight for 30 years.

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Chicago House Annual Fashion Brunch

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Those of us who remember the headline “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals” in The New York Times on July 3, 1981 also can remember the fear,  the shame, and the hysteria that followed soon after.  It was a full year before the reason for that “rare cancer” had a name: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).  It was even longer before a safety net was in place to catch those falling victim to HIV.

In 1985, Chicago House opened its doors as the first provider of AIDS Housing and Support Services in the Midwest, offering eight beds that would allow those with AIDS a place to die with dignity.  Many of those first residents were gay men. From the start, our founders, our staff, our board, and our residents were people from all walks of life who were:

  • Unified in fighting poverty and homelessness,
  • Unified in support of the LGBTQ community, and
  • Unified in serving those with HIV/AIDS.

It is now 30 years later, and thankfully HIV/AIDS has eased from crisis mode for many. Antiretroviral medications are now so effective that people who are positive are not only living healthy lives, but also are not passing on HIV thanks to undetectable viral loads. Concurrently, the preventive HIV medication PrEP (among other advancements) is now available to help assure that those who are HIV negative remain negative.

Similarly, LGBTQ civil equality has achieved unprecedented success and progress.  In 1985, the founders of Chicago House gathered around a table at The Baton in downtown Chicago to help provide an answer and some relief to the greatest needs of the LGBTQ community.  We can only try to imagine their joy had they been able to see the advancements achieved over these last 30 years.

Unfortunately the gains we have made in HIV/AIDS care and in LGBTQ equality have not been shared by many of those experiencing the first of our three founding calls to action: poverty and homelessness. In fact, those living with HIV/AIDS and those who identify as LGBTQ remain disproportionately affected by poverty and homelessness. Those who are low income are over five times more likely to have HIV, and 29% of all LGBTQ people experienced food insecurity in the last year. It is in the face of those facts that Chicago House recently cut the ribbon on the TranLife Center, and it is in the face of those facts that we continue working tirelessly to serve those most marginalized and most in need in the LGBTQ community and among those living with HIV.

Thirty years of service offers many reasons to celebrate, but the reality of disproportionate homelessness and poverty offers even more reasons to fight harder than ever for the people that we serve.  Thank you so much for remaining with us in the fight.

Chicago House: There at the Beginning. Here to meet the challenge.

This year’s Spring Fashion Brunch on May 3rd   is all about celebrating Chicago House’s 30 Years of Service and the last three decades of fashion.  In fact, all guests are invited to come dressed in his or her favorite fashion moment or trend from the past 30 years.  The fashion certainly won’t be limited to the runway this year!

THIS SELLS OUT EVERY YEAR!    GET  TICKETS  ONLINE  NOW!

 

 

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Amy Landecker in Chicago for AFC Gala in May

amy landecker chicago AFC gala

30 Years of Action: 30th Year Gala Marks AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s Milestone Fighting HIV/AIDS

Actress Amy Landecker to be master of ceremonies at AFC’s 30th Year Gala on May 16!

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) commemorates 30 years of action with the HIV/AIDS community during its 30th Year Gala, taking place at the Hilton Chicago on May 16.

 

The event marks a historic milestone for the organization, which has led the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Chicago metropolitan area since the early years of the epidemic. Thirty years later, AFC commemorates the work its community of supporters, advocates, service providers, and community organizations have done to reduce new HIV infections and provide support for the estimated 43,000 people living with HIV and AIDS in Illinois today.

 

Renowned actress Amy Landecker will be master of ceremonies, highlighting AFC’s impact on HIV/AIDS in Chicago, Illinois and across the U.S. Landecker is known for her role in the Academy Award-nominated film A Serious Man and currently stars in Amazon’s Golden Globe winning comedy series Transparent, which chronicles the lives of a Los Angeles family whose patriarch is transgender.

 

Guests at the 30th Year Gala will also enjoy live entertainment from a special performer (to be announced next year), specialty cocktails, dinner, dancing and a raffle.   Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 6 p.m. to Midnight

WHERE:         Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

TICKETS:     $500 per person. $5,000 per table.  For more information and to reserve tickets, call 312-334-0935

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Chicago House THE TEASE Event 2015

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You won’t want to miss the hottest event in Chicago in 2015!
  
A sensational night of sexy burlesque performances, aerial acts, appropriately raunchy comedy and fantastic cocktails are waiting for you at the Tease.  Tickets available NOW!
Saturday
February 28, 2015
Two shows, 7:30 pm and 10:30 pm
@  an AMAZING space   –     Moonlight Studios

1438 W Kinzie St, Chicago
These shows WILL  SELL OUT!!!
Take me to the Ticket Page!
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AIDS Foundation Chicago Awards $220,000!

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The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is pleased to announce 18 award recipients of its 2014 Challenge Grants — a legacy program that awards financial support to organizations that are making a difference in the HIV epidemic and the lives of people living with the virus in Illinois. A combined total of $220,000 was awarded among the receiving organizations.

 

This year, funding was determined based on four categories: Community Mobilization, Strengthening Communities & Reducing Health Disparities, Integration of Service Systems, and Improving Outcomes at Every Stage of HIV Care. These categories directly align with the initiatives set forth by AFC’s 2013-2015 Strategic Plan.

 

“After an in-depth review process by our Grant Making Committee, we are excited to announce this year’s grant recipients and look forward to supporting an array of innovative and strong HIV/AIDS programs,” said Cynthia Tucker, AFC’s director of Prevention and Community Partnerships.

 

AFC will be providing funding to the following organizations:

AIDS Legal Council of Chicago

Alexian Brothers Housing and Health Alliance

Care2Prevent at the University of Chicago

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago/Lake County Stands Against Stigma Coalition Enhancement

Chicago House & Social Service Agency

FCAN

Heartland Health Outreach

Hektoen Institute for Medical Research/City-Wide Adolescent Sexual Health Roundtable

Howard Brown Health Center

LAF

McDermott Center (Haymarket)

New Age Services Corporation

Open Door Clinic

Planned Parenthood of Illinois

Puerto Rican Cultural Center — Vida/SIDA/MSM Taskforce

The CORE Foundation/Step Up Get Tested Plus

The Night Ministry

TPA Network

The 2014 Challenge Grants prioritize strategies advancing the fight against HIV/AIDS within the following populations identified in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men of all races and ethnicities, African Americans, Latinos/Latinas, transgender people and women of color.

 

“Given the major changes facing the HIV/AIDS service sector, including implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, new prevention strategies and the increasing need for community collaboration, our Challenge Grants give us an opportunity to fund innovative programs that address immediate and long-term priorities in an ever-changing HIV/AIDS landscape,” said John Peller, AFC president/CEO.

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#We are all Clean HIV Challenge

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THIS IS BRILLIANT!

Could this be the HIV equivalent to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? We think so. The concept is the brainchild of well-known HIV activist, Jack Mackenroth who has partnered with Moovz, the leading global gay social app, to launch the project. It’s genius in its simplicity. We are now a selfie-obsessed culture and Mackenroth urges everyone to take a special selfie for an important cause.

“I was inspired by the use of the word ‘clean’, especially common in gay culture, to describe oneself as STI/STD free. Indirectly this implies that HIV-positive people are somehow ‘dirty'”, says Mackenroth. “I thought a PG or PG-13 shower selfie or Vine video would be a fun way that everyone could easily show their support on social media for finding a cure by using the hashtag #weareALLclean when they post their photo with the link. They then nominate 3 other people to participate and hopefully donate to the project as well.”

The goal of the campaign is to raise 1 million dollars to stop the epidemic and help find a cure and the campaign will be ongoing indefinitely. Donate here. All donations received will be donated to Housing Works, a New York-based nonprofit organization fighting on the front lines to end AIDS and homelessness, not just in New York but globally by 2030. The CDC estimates that there are currently 1.2 million people in the US living with HIV and over 35 million people around the world.

#weareallclean

“As someone who has been living with HIV for 25 years this is very personal to me.” Mackenroth adds, “There is current urgency for funding as we have new treatments that maintain viral suppression and render HIV-positive individuals virtually non-transmissible. Those same treatments can be given to HIV-negative individuals and protect them from infection. Essentially we already have the tools to stop the epidemic from spreading. Exciting new research is bringing us closer to a real cure for AIDS every day. ”

The campaign will launch within Moovz because of the app’s high user engagement rates and it’s history of successful international LGBT social media campaigns. Mackenroth is known as a social media powerhouse in his own right but he is also enlisting many of his “social media superstar” friends to get the campaign off the ground.

Actor, model, singer and social media stud, Chris Salvatore is igniting the campaign from Los Angeles after joining forces with Moovz as well. “It’s time to erase the stigma and unite as a global community. Regardless of your gender or sexual identity—no matter what age, color, size or shape you are, you should be part of this project! Let’s all be one loud, united voice in support of awareness, education, treatment and research for a cure.” says Salvatore. “And have fun with it. Be funny, sexy or silly. Who doesn’t want to see people in the shower soaping up for a good cause?”

“I truly hope this campaign goes viral—no pun intended.” Mackenroth quips.

The campaign launches between now and World AIDS Day, December 1st and is ongoing until the goal is reached. The hope is that there will be traction in the following weeks so that people know about the campaign on World AIDS Day and change their profile photos to show support.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Take a selfie or Vine video of yourself in the shower.** NO EXPLICIT NUDITY**

2) Post your photo now on Moovz and all social media platforms with the caption “Take HIV Shower Selfie Challenge raise $$ for AIDS cure bit.ly/CUREAIDS #weareALLclean

3) Nominate 3 or more other people to participate!

4) (Optional) DONATE!! Please consider a small donation if you are able. Every penny counts! bit.ly/CUREAIDS

5) On World AIDS Day (or before) : Monday, December 1st, please change all your social media profile pix to your shower selfie photo and spread the word!!

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AIDS Foundation Chicago Walk Run Sept. 14th

aids walk run chicago

PRE-REGISTRATION ENDS TOMORROW on September 3 for the 2014  AIDS Run/Walk Chicago!

Sign up to join our community of passionate individuals and partner organizations gathering to support vital services for those living with HIV/AIDS in the Chicagoland area!
www.aidsrunwalk.org

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AIDS Run Walk Chicago September 14 2014

aids run walk chicago

AIDS Run & Walk Chicago raises funds to support life-saving care, prevention and housing services

 

WHAT:         Ready… Set… Go!Thousands of Chicago-area runners will hit the lakefront path on Sunday, Sept.14 for this year’s AIDS Run & Walk Chicago, the city’s largest annual fundraising run/walk for HIV/AIDS. The event kicks off at Arvey Field in Grant Park with 5K and 10K courses winding along the lakeshore. Runners and walkers will be treated to post-race performances by local dance companies as well as entertainment along the route.

 

Funds raised through the AIDS Run & Walk Chicago will benefit programs and services for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and local partner 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 raised more than $4 million to battle the epidemic.

 

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

 

WHEN: September 14, 2014

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

 

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

 

WHERE: Arvey Field in Grant Park, 1501 S. Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, Illinois 60605

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FREE Hiv Tests at Chicago Walgreens June 27th

free-hiv-testing-chicago-walgreens

As part of its ongoing commitment to fight HIV/AIDS, Walgreens is collaborating with Greater Than AIDS to help offer free HIV testing in support of National HIV Testing Day, June 27.

Free testing provided by health departments and AIDS service organizations will be available to the public with no appointment necessary at 27 Walgreens stores in Chicago. For more information, including a complete list of participating Walgreens locations, visit www.greaterthan.org/walgreens.

 

What:             Free HIV testing, no appointment necessary

When:             Thursday, June 26, 3-7 p.m.

Friday, June 27, 3-7 p.m.

Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:           27 locations in Chicago including:

  • 151 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60601 – phone: 312-863-4249
  • 5401 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago, IL 60609 – phone: 773-268-5664
  • 2340 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60612 – phone: 312-226-7913
  • 953 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60613 – phone: 773-935-6414
  • 1554 E. 55th St., Chicago IL 60615 – phone: 773-667-1177
  • 3405 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60616 – phone: 312-326-4058
  • 2924 E. 92nd St., Chicago, IL 60617 – phone: 773-721-6603
  • 11 E. 75th St., Chicago, IL 60619 – phone: 773-224-1211
  • 8628 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL 60619 – phone: 773-651-8500
  • 3401 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60624 – phone: 773-542-1232
  • 3800 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60624 – phone: 773-826-1817
  • 7410 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60626 – phone: 773-743-6784
  • 6330 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60637 – phone: 773-324-8500
  • 5440 N. Clark St., Chicago IL 60640 – phone: 773-596-5022
  • 833 W. 115th St., Chicago, IL 60643 – phone: 773-568-4034
  • 5222 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60644 – phone: 773-287-0380
  • 1601 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60647 – phone: 773-342-9161
  • 2015 E. 79th St., Chicago, IL 60649 – phone: 773-734-2492
  • 7109 S. Jeffery Blvd., Chicago, IL 60649 – phone: 773-665-8990
  • 912 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60657 – phone: 773-665-8990
  • 2817 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60657 – phone: 773-327-6119
  • 3046 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657 – phone: 773-325-0413
  • 3201 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60657 – phone: 773-327-3591
  • 3245 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60657 – phone: 773-248-3160
  • 111 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60661 – phone: 312-463-9142
  • 522 Torrence Ave., Calumet City, IL 60409 – phone: 708-868-5669
  • 12854 S. Ashland Ave., Calumet Park, IL 60827 – phone: 708-239-1136

Why:               According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.1 million people nationwide are living with HIV/AIDS.  Yet, one in six do not know they are HIV/AIDS positive.1

 

Early diagnosis and treatment can improve health, extend life and help to prevent the spread of the disease. In fact, people with HIV who take prescribed medication regularly reduce the risk of transmitting the virus by as much as 96 percent.2

 

Community pharmacists at Walgreens HIV-specialized pharmacies are specially trained to provide continued support to meet the unique needs of HIV-positive patients. Walgreens HIV-specially trained pharmacists can help patients better manage their health by encouraging patients to take medications as prescribed and providing tips related to coping with barriers to care.

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PrEP and Howard Brown Health Center

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Howard Brown Health Center Celebrates its Past and Future at Annual Meeting

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Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) has stood as a beacon for LGBTQ equality for 40 years, and our services only grow more vital in today’s changing healthcare landscape. To commemorate past accomplishments and unfold plans for the year ahead, HBHC will hold its Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 29, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the future home of the HBHC’s Brown Elephant Store in Lakeview at 3020 N. Lincoln Avenue.

Together with funders, community partners, and patients, HBHC’s newly appointed President and CEO David Ernesto Munar will trace the narrative of this remarkable community health center, which has provided compassionate and LGBTQ-affirming healthcare and wellness services to diverse patient populations since 1974.

“For 40 years, Howard Brown has led community-based efforts to improve the health and lives of sexual and gender minorities and our allies,” Munar said. “Since our founding in 1974, the modern gay liberation movement has made extraordinary gains we can all be proud of. But sadly, severe health disparities persist in our community as compared to the population at large. The next frontier of our struggle must seek full health and socio-economic justice for everyone, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

The event will take place at the future home of HBHC’s flagship Brown Elephant resale store, opening for business on July 1. This new store symbolizes the expansion of HBHC’s affordable and community centered mission, with proceeds from all Brown Elephant locations expanding access to essential healthcare services to all people, regardless of their ability to pay.

The Annual Meeting, free of charge, will start with light refreshments. The presentation will include the introduction of HBHC’s newly elected members of the Board of Directors. At the event, HBHC will launch a year of activities commemorating 40 years of service to the community. HBHC thanks AbbVie, Barefoot Wine, Jewell Events Catering, MillerCoors, and others for providing generous support to make the Annual Meeting possible.

Please stand proudly with HBHC on May 29. RSVP online here or by calling 773.572.5117. Space is limited.

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IGNITE Chicago Rooftop Party for AFC May 16th

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Light our fight. Ignite our future.

Igniting our 30th year of service –

AIDS Foundation of Chicago

IGNITE  Fantastic Rooftop party coming May 16th!

Open bar, delectable world fare and dancing. Guests will also enjoy live glass artistry, roof-top views of the sunset over the skyline, and chances to win Luxury Vacation Packages in our raffle.

Friday, May 16 – 6-9PM  |  Tickets: $185

Ignite Glass Studio – Map
401 North Armour Street
Chicago, Illinois 60642

Valet parking will be available upon arrival at 401 North Armour Street. 

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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 prep@howardbrown.org 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. 

 

Payment
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

PrEPCover

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Howard Brown Town Hall Meetings on Health Issues

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Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) invites community members to participate in a series of town-hall meetings to discuss the health and wellness needs of Chicago’s diverse LGBTQ community. The sessions are part of HBHC’s community needs assessment, conducted every five years to gauge health-related concerns for HBHC’s patient populations.

“Respondents to the 2012 LGBT Community Needs Assessment overwhelmingly identified affordable health services and care as their leading concern,” said David Ernesto Munar, President and CEO.  “Our series is designed to dig deeper in order to better understand the community assets and barriers affecting the health of people in our community.”   

 

HBHC will rely on the community needs assessment for planning and quality improvement initiatives. Input from the meetings will be shared widely to spur public awareness and support for LGBTQ health promotion activities.

 

Sessions will be held at HBHC’s Brown Elephant in Lakeview at 3651 N. Halsted, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. on the following dates: 

 

Monday, May 12: LGBTQ Older Adults

Facilitators: Medical Director Magda Houlberg, MD and Cecilia Hardacker, Manager of Geriatric Education

 

Monday, May 19: Lesbians, Bisexual and Queer Women

Facilitators: Betsy Rubinstein, Manager of Lesbian Community Care Project, and Michelle Wetzel, Sr. Vice President for Policy, Strategy and Business Development

 

Monday, June 2: Gay, Bisexual & Queer Men

Facilitators: Staff Physician Alfred Torrence, MD and Serette King, Health Educator

 

Monday, June 9: Transgender Individuals

Facilitators: Blue, Program Manager of the Transgender Women of Color Project, and Taylor Casey, Manager of Transgender Health

 

Monday, June 16: LGBTQ Youth Under 24

Facilitators: Imani Rupert, Director of HBHC’s Broadway Youth Center, and Kristin Keglovitz, PA, Director of Clinical Operations

Interested participants who cannot attend in person can join the discussion virtually on Twitter with the hashtag #HBHCTownHalls.

 

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Aids Foundation Chicago Women and HIV Luncheon

women-with-hiv

 

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 carole.jakes@abbvie.com.
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HIV Cure Research – Community Forum April 23rd

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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.

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AIDS Foundation Chicago IGNITES in May

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Ignite Sparks a New Era for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago

Annual fundraising event takes on a new look and ignites hope for the HIV community

 

WHAT:          Light up your night at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s annual spring event Ignite: Light our Fight. Ignite Our Future on Friday, May 16. Kindle your creativity with live glass blowing demonstrations by top artists. Enjoy  drinking cocktails,  worldly cuisine and dancing the night away to music from DJ Moose. This year, the event will take place at a new location: Ignite Glass Studios, offering guests a chance to enjoy the modern space both indoors and out. The event will kickoff AFC’s 30th year of service.

AFC will honor two of distinguished advocates—Michael Bauer, Civic Leadership Award; and Robert Mink, Volunteer of the Year Award.

Funds raised through Ignite will support AFC’s policy, outreach and public education programs. AFC is the largest source of private HIV/AIDS philanthropic support in the Midwest. To learn more visit www.aidschicago.org.

 

WHEN:           Friday, May 16, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

WHERE:         Ignite Glass Studios, 401 North Armour Street, Chicago, IL 60642.

TICKETS:      Admission: $185 — Includes heavy appetizers, live glass-blowing demonstrations, open bar and dancing.

For tickets and information, www.aidschicago.org/ignite or call (312) 334-0935.

 

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Dallas Buyers Club at ShowPlace ICON Theater

An imperfect man fights for survival during an uncertain time in
America. Inspired by true events, Ron Woodroof’s story of strength is
told in Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Jean-Marc
Vallée from an original screenplay by Craig Borten & Melisa
Wallack. Spirit Award winner Matthew McConaughey portrays the real-life
character, whose self-interest is galvanized into something much more.

A son of Texas, Ron Woodroof is an electrician and rodeo cowboy. In
1985, he is well into an unexamined existence with a devil-may-care
lifestyle. Suddenly, Ron is blindsided by being diagnosed as
H.I.V.-positive and given 30 days to live. Yet he will not, and does
not, accept a death sentence.

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The Normal Heart – 2 Nights for Charity

Larry Kramer’s The
Normal Heart
returns to Chicago for the first time since its Tony
Award-winning Broadway revival in 2011.

 

This fall, TimeLine Theatre Company will breathe
new life into one of the strongest historical dramas of the 20th
Century.

 

For younger audiences who never knew the dark,
deadly days of the early epidemic, the play relives the fear and panic of the
early 1980s in urban America. To expose young viewers to this era—and the
grassroots activism it galvanize—seemed to me its greatest virtue.

But of course The
Normal Heart
is so much more. 

TimeLine Theatre Company graciously provided me a
behind-the-scenes viewing of The Normal
Heart
, directed by Nick Bowling. I was moved to tears.

Yes, the drama chronicles the dawning of AIDS
activism in the wake of unconscionable political and institutional neglect.
Fueled by judgmental and homophobic disregard, the early crisis gained strength
in the absence of a robust government response. Yet a humanistic virtue will
always be at the heart of this drama.

Timeless and poignant, the play’s call to action
is as relevant now as it was when play debuted in 1985.

Ned Weeks, played by David Cromer, is a
confrontational activist in New York, fighting to bring attention to a disease plaguing
gay men. He organizes likeminded individuals and creates a grassroots movement
that struggles to gain steam in a culture that would rather turn a blind eye.

That’s not merely a glimpse at where we were. It’s
a commentary of where we are today.

Modern medicine has given many affected individuals
opportunities to survive and thrive with HIV, where once they faced certain
death. Yet the stigma associated with HIV continues to result in delayed or
deferred care for hundreds of thousands of Americans with HIV.

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) estimates
that more than 35,000 people are living with HIV in the Chicago metropolitan area;
however, less than half enjoy access to care. Half. That means that less than 50 percent of this population is
living with a life-threatening disease. Without interventions, they will remain
at risk of serious health decline. What’s more, studies indicate that more than
6,000 individuals in metropolitan Chicago don’t even know that they are HIV-infected.
This group is at high risk for other serious medical conditions and may
inadvertently be exposing others to HIV.

 

The Normal
Heart
confronts these disparities and it does so with gifted acting and
storytelling.

Every character is deeply complex. Even in rehearsals,
the acting was so crisp and powerful that I looked beyond the lack of costumes,
beyond the missing props, beyond the bare stage, and I returned to the early
‘80s. I stood with Ned who knelt by his partner’s bed in the hospital room. I sat
in the grassroots campaign office, as the fledgling organization struggled to
get the government’s attention. I was
there because the characters became real to me. 

Yes, I encourage young people to see The Normal Heart for historical reasons.
But more than that, this drama is about our time. It’s about spurring people
into action whether they’re gay or straight, government officials or private
citizens. Everybody has a role to play in ending this epidemic, and we can only
end it if we work together.

AFC isselling tickets to The Normal Heart
for two nights:
Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, December 1, which is World AIDS Day. Proceeds benefit
AFC—but only on these dates and only if you reserve your seat through AFC.

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First Couples HIV Prevention Strategy for Gay Men in Chicago

  Today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be taking over “Testing
Together
,” 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. 


The
program enables male couples in the U.S. to learn their HIV status
together and develop a customized HIV prevention and care strategy.
Current
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.”

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