Category Archives: Wellness

Chicago Liposuction and 3D Abdominal Etching

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January usually brings New Years Resolutions and many men turn their attention to their bodies. Some resolutions include losing weight and/or adding muscle and looking and feeling fitter.

(left: Model photo)

With Summer coming, many people wish they could wave a magic wand and have abs! Or at least reduce the abdominal bulge and waistline inches a bit, to give us a slimmer and tighter body.

As we get older, it’s harder and harder to realize our fitness goals and our bodies may not respond to diet and exercise, the same way they did in our 20’s.

There are various techniques of liposuction and/or 3D Abdominal Etching that may be the answer to help you. Liposuction removes fat from your body using suction. In recent years, improved techniques have made liposuction safer, easier, and less painful. Liposuction is usually done as an outpatient procedure in a properly equipped doctor’s office or hospital. In general, it does not require an overnight stay unless a large volume of fat is being removed. Local anesthesia is used in some cases. And you may or may not be given a sedative to help you relax. The main purpose of liposuction is to reshape one or more areas of your body, not to reduce body weight. Liposuction is typically used on “problem” areas that have not responded well to diet and exercise.

High-definition liposuction or abdominal etching is a great way to improve the overall definition of the abdomen. For some individuals, their genetic makeup restricts them from attaining the chiseled abdomen appearance they desire. Abdominal etching, a technique specific type of liposuction, will thin the remaining fat on top of the stomach muscles and accentuate the natural break points in the wall. The resulting contour lines aid in the creation of the appearance of a muscular abdomen or “six pack”.

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(Actual before and after photos of patient)

Established in 2010, the award winning cosmetic surgery practice of David A Shifrin MD, provides the complete experience by combining excellent surgical results with personalized care. Dr Shifrin has the training, expertise and experience to make your dreams of a healthy appearing, attractive body and abdomen a reality.

A native of Northbrook, Illinois, Dr. David Shifrin is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, respected for his work with cosmetic surgery and breast cancer reconstruction. Dr. Shifrin returned to his home town of Chicago in 2010 after years of training in the Midwest and South. His travels afforded him a learning experience with some of the most respected plastic surgeons. His academic accomplishments, which include multiple peer reviewed journal article publications and national conference presentations, and his love of teaching and mentoring led him to seek out an academic appointment with the University of Illinois at Chicago division of plastic surgery as an assistant clinical professor.

Dr. David Shifrin specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face, breast and body. He is a plastic surgeon who completed a highly sought-after integrated training program in Michigan, followed by two advanced fellowships. The first, at the Medical College of Wisconsin, concentrated on reconstructive microsurgery. The second fellowship focused on Aesthetic surgery under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph Hunstad, a world renowned plastic surgeon in the area of breast and body contouring.

Dr. Shifrin maintains multiple convenient office locations. He focuses his time at Shifrin Plastic Surgery, Downtown Chicago, on improving the aesthetic appearance of his patients through the use of state of the art skin care, botox and fillers and surgery. He prides himself on enhancing his patient’s physical attributes, blending his love of anatomy and science with his surgical expertise to artistically refine the outward beauty of his patients.

Dr. Shifrin is devoted to providing the best possible experience to those he cares for. He has been awarded Top Plastic Surgeon Chicago region 2012 and 2013 by Health Tap, Patient’s Choice Award and Most Compassionate Doctor Award in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by American Registry.

fit mens bodies lipo

(left: Model photo)

In addition to seeing patients at Shifrin Plastic Surgery (680 N. Lake Shore Drive), he currently practices with the Advocate Medical Group at Christ hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Dr. Shifrin looks forward to serving all of his patients with professional and personalized care.

If you like what you have been reading here, request a consultation with Dr Shifrin to learn more about how these procedures can help you achieve your desired appearance. You are encouraged to print your favorite photos and bring them with you during your consultation to help communicate your goals and expectations.

Keep in mind that each patient is unique. Plastic surgery is a blending of art and science and results are thus variable.

David Shifrin MD

CHICAGO: 312.590.3572

OAK LAWN: 708.684.4198

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A Kid Like Jake – Chicago Premiere

a kid like jake chicago broadway

Why Can’t A Boy

be A Princess?

“[A] smart, fluent drama…Pearle has found an intriguing subject of real currency, and one that stirs our natural sympathy.”
—New York Times.
Relevant and compelling –
A KID LIKE JAKE
begins previews in only 16 days!

The Chicago Premiere of     A KID LIKE JAKE
Written by Daniel Pearle |  Directed by Keira Fromm

FEBRUARY 6th thru MARCH 15th
Thursdays thru Saturdays @ 7:30p
Saturday and Sunday Matinees @ 3:00p

Discounted PREVIEW TICKETS are still available, but they won’t be for long! Be among the first to see A KID LIKE JAKE – grab yours today.

Alex and Greg’s intelligent and precocious four year-old son Jake is a leading candidate for enrollment in one of Manhattan’s top kindergarten programs. But when attention turns to his passion for Cinderella and dress-up, Jake’s behavior becomes a lightning rod, calling into question assumptions about gender, class, education and acceptance through the lens of 21st century parenting.

 

PREVIEWS: Adults $20 | Students + Seniors $10
Adults $35 | Students + Seniors $20


The Greenhouse Theater Center 
2257 N Lincoln Ave. in Chicago

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Board Certified Hair Restoration Surgeon

best-hair-less-techniquesMinimally Invasive Hair Restoration
With (FUE) Follicular Unit Extraction And Surgical Robotic Technology

 

International lecturer and teacher, Dr. William Yates, M.D., Board Certified Hair Restoration Surgeon, breaks through the old stereotypes of hair loss and hair transplant and brings Chicago’s North Shore the very latest cutting edge technological advancements in the field, offering patients an array of state-of-the-art facial and hair restoration services. He is a world-renowned expert in Follicular Unit Extraction.

He is so passionate and confident the Follicular Unit Extraction technique is superior to traditional methods; he only performs this highly skilled technique for hair transplantation.

Dr. Yates specialized skills make him one of the elite surgeons to educate and train other physicians to perform this specialized technique both locally and internationally.

ARTAS-hair replacement machine

What is FUE?

While performed under local anesthesia, the hair or follicular units are individually harvested or punched from the back of the scalp or donor area in the hands of Dr. Yates using whatever instrument is best for his patient to obtain optimal results. He utilizes the most advanced ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant System or various manual, hand-held instruments to delicately punch out each individual hair follicle.

The camera system and algorithms in place with the robot or Dr. Yates skilled eyes and hands, choose the most robust hairs to remove for transplantation. With the traditional strip method for hair transplantation, not only do you have to take all hairs (even weak hair), the patient also incurs a painful cut, stitches and scar that they have to live with and conceal the rest of their lives.

hair-regrowth-restoration-chicago-best

Dr. Yates utilizes state of the art biological solutions such as Hypothermosol and ATPv (adenosine triphosphate) to store, protect and ensure optimal survival of these valuable grafts while awaiting transplant into the balding areas of the scalp for both men and women.

The finishing touch is completed by Dr. Yates artistic ability to create a natural hairline and hair density in his patient’s areas of thinning throughout the scalp. He uses micro-incisions to create sites to place each individual follicular unit, which will grow into a natural, undetectable pattern over the next year.

The results – – Phenomenal, Natural, Permanent Hair that patients can style anyway they desire without a scar in the back of the scalp. It’s cutting edge methodology like this that separates Dr. Yates’ concierge practice from the cookie cutter competition, who still rely on the antiquated guesswork with a scalpel from when they started 30 years ago.

 

“It’s permanent and not many people can do it right,” says Dr. Yates. “This is the investment that lasts.”
WITH FUE THERE ARE NO TRANVERSE VISIBLE SCARS ACROSS THE BACK OF THE HEAD

If someone is unable to shave the back of his or her scalp for FUE, he also has an answer for this. Dr. Yates is able to creatively trim the hair so that the donor area is completely concealed and you can return to work immediately without any visible signs of a procedure.
Dr. Yates is also very skilled at restoring facial hair such as beards, mustaches, goatees and eyebrows.

He also performs recovery and repair work on patients who have had multiple, visible scars; old-fashioned and undesirable plug procedures; and creative body hair (beard, chest, back hair) harvesting for transplantation for individuals who are “tapped out” of donor hair in the back of their scalp.

 

dr yates illinois hair doctor

State of the Art

        Non-Surgical Options…

 

PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)
This therapy has been FDA approved and utilized for over 30 years for advanced wound healing. Now, we are seeing exciting results with PRP for hair growth. A patient’s blood is drawn and spun in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets to a specific concentration effective for hair growth. The platelets are then activated and injected back into the scalp at the level of the hair follicles. This process stimulates the body’s own growth factors and stem cells to slow hair loss, reverse miniaturized hair to produce a strong, visible hair again, and if used at the time of a hair transplant, it encourages faster graft growth. This has been very effective for both men and women.

Stromal Vascular Fraction or Stem Cell Therapy with Fat Transfer
Adult stem cells are most concentrated in our bodies in bone marrow and even more so in fat tissue or adipose. Dr. Yates is able to harvest these fat cells and concentrate and purify them in a centrifuge system. He then combines the fat cells with PRP to inject into the scalp to stimulate hair growth and stabilize further hair loss. This process offers even more benefits than just PRP alone by replacing the lost layer of subcutaneous fat in the scalp where the hair follicle thrives.

Scalp Micro-Pigmentation (SMP)
With SMP, pigment is used on the scalp to create the appearance of real hair follicles recreating hairlines, adding the appearance of density to thinning areas and covering unsightly scars. This advanced solution for hair loss replicates real shaven hair follicles on the scalp. The appearance is so realistic that it actually looks like you have hair. We know how the hair should look when pigmented, because that’s all we do everyday – HAIR! If someone has limited donor hair and has been told they were not a good candidate for a hair transplant procedure, they now have a great option! This is perfect for those who wear a very closely cropped hairstyle!

Hair Styling for Thinning Hair

Since hair loss affects so many people and everyone’s self-esteem, Dr. Yates even offers an onsite Licensed Cosmetologist with over 17 years of experience. She studied in Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, New York, Miami and Chicago. She specializes in styling and educating patients to look their best if they suffer with hair loss.

 

Someone doesn’t have to be bald to feel the confidence shaking reality of hair loss. For many, it can appear as a lack of volume and expanding thinness. Slowly, their scalp becomes more apparent through the diminishing volume of their hair. Dr. Yates can stop that hair loss in its tracks and reduce the appearance of thinning hair for men and women using the most advanced treatments available in the industry.

 

When hair transplantation is done correctly by a proficient surgeon, the results look so natural that nobody would know you had a procedure. To achieve the best, natural, and attractive results, you need a meticulous surgeon with proven results.

The team at Yates Hair Science Group delivers the best care and quality everyday and are recognized leaders in the field.

213 N Stetson Ave,  Chicago IL  60601

PHONE: 312-261-0872 or visit them online at dryateshairscience.com

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LGBTQ Homeless Youth Chicago

750 club chicago LGBT youth

Apartment Adoption Project starts for      homeless Chicago youth

The 750 Club Apartment Adoption Project is launching this week in Chicago to provide private apartments for youth moving out of transitional housing. The project was initiated at the LGBTQ Homeless Youth Summit hosted earlier in 2014 by Windy City Times newspaper.

The 750 Club aims to provide additional scattered-site housing to unstably housed youth who are in school or working at least part-time. There will be a special focus on LGBTQ youth, but the program is not exclusive.

Studies show that stable housing is a basic necessity to maintain health and safety. Without it, youth have difficulty attending school, finding and keeping jobs, eating right, staying healthy, and more.

The 750 Club will address this issue by raising funds for private “adoption” of apartments. Existing homeless youth agencies and their case manager programs will provide supportive services to the residents. The program will cover young adults ages 18 to 25, or emancipated minors.

Every $750 raised will get approximately one youth in one apartment for one month.

Team Captains who agree to recruit 10 people to each give $75 a month for two years will have adopted one apartment for one youth for two years, which is the average minimum time agencies recommend for stabilizing a formerly homeless young person.

“This is an amazing, one-on-one way our community can make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth,” said Tracy Baim, publisher of Windy City Times. Baim is overseeing the project, and is seeking help from team captains willing to recruit friends to commit to raising $75 each for two years. “A small group of just 10 people can change the world of one youth. The case managers will handle the logistics, but we also help to provide mentorship opportunities as well.”

All funds raised will be collected and administered by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s (AFC) housing program, so all donations will be tax deductible. Agencies who utilize scattered-site youth housing options will then apply for the use of the funds.

“AFC has the infrastructure to pay rents on behalf of residents, and we coordinate services for over 750 supportive housing residents each month,” said John Peller, president & CEO of AFC. “The 750 Club is a cost-effective extension of our existing programs that will help youth, including LGBTQ youth, a population that is highly vulnerable to HIV. We are grateful for Tracy’s leadership to address a serious, long-standing community need.”

The donation categories are:

Bronze: $75 one time – House one youth for three days

Silver: $75 per month for 10 months – House one youth for one month

Gold: $75 per month for 24 months – Partnered with nine others, you will house one youth for two years

Platinum: $750 a month for 6 months – You will house one youth for six months

Titanium: $750 per month for 24 months – You will house one youth for two years

Online donations and monthly pledges can be done via the AFC website, http://tinyurl.com/ApartmentAdopt .

For landlords interested in donating the use of an apartment at no or low-cost, please contact Baim to discuss options. Email: editor@windycitymediagroup.com.

Note: The average studio apartment rented through the agencies is $750 a month. The 750 Club will use this as the target goal to raise funds for two-year leases for youth who are working through agencies to find stable, long-term housing. In some cases it might be a two-bedroom apartment at average rent of $1500. Because this is an average number, in some cases the funds will help more than one youth, and in others additional money will be needed. Any extra funds will roll over into additional apartment rentals.

 

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Men 13-24 NEEDED for Safer Sex Study

 

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Recruiting  men ages 13-24 years old

and if they complete the study they could walk away with up to $50!

DETAILS   HERE

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Howard Brown health Center – Discussions on Transgender and Youth Issues

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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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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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More Proof Mom passes on our Gay Gene

Homosexuals-are-born-that-way

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
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Howard Brown Town Hall Meetings on Health Issues

howard-brown-health-center-chicago-gay

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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Justin Jedlica Plastic Surgery Expert and Consultant

justin jedlica

If you could have free plastic surgery, what would you have done?

I think many gay people, especially gay men, pay A LOT of attention to their looks and to their body. Feeling good about yourself and getting compliments on how you look, give a person a boost of self confidence.

If I had the money, there are a number of things I would have done, trust me.

So why do so many judge Justin Jedlica, the human Ken doll,  which by the way, I hate that label.  Justin recently said, “I would say more of my inspiration stems from ‘manga’ or anime. I find that much more appealing in all honestly than a Ken doll. It’s sort of that over-stylized, cartoonish version of human form [that I like]. I have all these haters on my page being like, ‘Does that mean you want to cut off your penis?’ And I’m like actually, I wish it was dragging on the ground like anime. [Laughs] There’s actually this subgroup of people do that—they cut off their nipples and bellybuttons and castrate themselves!”

I have known Justin personally for about 2 years. He is very down to earth, very well traveled and educated. People assume he is a rich spoiled brat when in fact, he comes from a very simple lower middle class background. People who do not know him try to judge him and hate on him. I don’t understand that.

Justin and his husband of 5 years relocated to Chicago last year but Justin finds himself traveling all of time and most of his clients are in New York and Los Angeles naturally, where plastic surgery is more prevalent.

Your body is your temple, and Justin  can act as the architect–your design specialist. From his many years of personal experience within the body modification arena, Justin now retains an arsenal of the most skilled, accredited, cosmetic medical specialists who act with the utmost discretion. Through his discreet referral, consultative and coordinator services, Justin and his team can assure you the most direct and comprehensive route to achieve your desired result (whether subtle or more extreme).

THERE IS A GREAT INTERVIEW THIS WEEK WITH THE DAILY BEAST.

He says, (and I totally agree), “Who are people to tell me that [my surgeries] looks weird? I mean, why is western culture the only correct perception of beauty? That’s just ridiculous. It’s a completely ignorant statement. There seems to be this overwhelming idea that you should be happy with what God gave you or what you were born with. There’s this weird stigma around allowing yourself to feel ownership over your own body and really take charge of how people view it. I don’t understand that at all.”

Don’t Hate! Appreciate!

 

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Sad News for Gay Illinois Teens – Conversion Therapy Ban Shot Down

Conversion-therapy gay non gay chicago illinois

Illinois House Shoots Down Ban On Gay Conversion Therapy

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – An effort to ban the controversial practice of “conversion therapy” to turn gay, lesbian and bisexual youth heterosexual has been defeated in the Illinois House.

The proposed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) lost on a 44-51 roll call vote Thursday.

Cassidy, a lesbian who helped spearhead the legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois, told her colleagues people are born heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual, and so-called “conversion therapy” can only harm the youths it purports to treat.  SEE MORE  AT  CBS

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HIV Cure Research – Community Forum April 23rd

stoping-aids-curing-aids

 

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

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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

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Meet Robert Kingett – Our New Columnist Sharing His Thoughts on being Blind – and Gay – And Dating

Do you ever stop and think about those who are less fortunate than us?  Those who have a harder life than us?  Those who face daily challenges in life? Do you ever give gratitude and thanks for the life you are living?

Meet Robert Kingett: Watching Robert walk into his local college with his red and white cane isn’t amazing.
What is amazing, however, is listening to the story of struggle to success that he so captivatingly tells as a motivational speaker.
Today he is an honors student at The City College of Chicago getting his general transfer degree. He has been on the Deans’ list ever since his first semester ended. He’s always on the honor roll. In his spare time he’s just like any other young adult. Frequent nights at the movies with his friends, an arcade game or two at the local mall, a nice fun trip to the coffee shop where his friends embrace life along with him, or a solitary quiet trip to the library or the bookstore are just a few of the activities that he does amongst his hard work.
Even with the plethora of activities he likes to frequent the bookstore the most.
“I’ve always been a veracious reader… book worm… my audio book count is way higher than my body fat,” he said laughing.
He’s not just a hard worker in college. He’s a hard worker in the literary market. He’s a writer, having published many reviews, literary essays, poems, and accessibility related articles for a wide range of media both print and online. He’s a regular editor for Americascomedy.Com while also maintaining a third hobby of motivationally speaking.
He tells his story at personal bookings that he schedules himself throughout many venues. He tries to speak at schools the most if he can.
Kingett hopes to bring some of the troubles that abused kids endure, and ways to overcome and shine. “I want to inspire others to do way more than I have accomplished!”
Every story has a once upon a time. With the exception of his premature birth, the first six years of Kingett’s life were his most tranquil. Weighing a mere 6 ounces, a hospital error would lead to his disabilities on September 9, 1989.
“They placed me in an incubator because my lungs weren’t developing adequately and they were not monitoring the oxygen level,” he said. “It was too much so it caused me to have cerebral palsy and blindness.”
While his mother visited occasionally, his maternal grandparents raised him in St. Augustine Florida
Even though his grandmother had Alzheimer’s and dementia, he said, “I lived a spoiled life.”
Shortly before his eighth birthday, his grandmother had a stroke and had to go into a nursing home. Shortly after, his grandfather died from cirrhosis of the liver.
He had no idea what he was in store for when he first moved in with his mother and younger half sister and brother.
“I realized it pretty quickly after the first argument between her and her husband that this was not going to be a good situation,” he said. “They were both intoxicated and they got physical and verbal.”
Afterward, she would come into his room.
“She didn’t know how to let that anger go and so she’d turn it on me and my sister,” he said.
Kingett said his mother’s words varied but they often reflected what he believes she really wanted to say to her boyfriends and ex-husband.
If he or his sister ever talked back, she would then get physical he said, slapping them multiple times, and calling them pitiless names. Cries and complaints were not heard as the mother’s intoxication took over.
Sometimes he would hit back, but he said that only made her hit harder.
While the physical abuse happened only about four times a week, the verbal abuse was constant he said, attributing much of it to his mother’s constant alcohol abuse.
Kingett never called the police about the abuse. Even when the police came due to his mother’s domestic violence situations, he would lie to keep her out of jail.
“To me it was normal,” he said. “I was trying to protect the roof I had over my head. Facing the expected was a lot better alternative than going into an unknown foster system.”
Kingett said he feared what life would be like if he was removed from the home by the government. Numerous times, DCF, Department of children and families would have to investigate a suspicious complaint about Kingett or his siblings.
A smart kid, Kingett would ace tests at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind but he consistently neglected homework.
It was during a meeting with the principal at age 14 when he had his first life changing epiphany.
“I came to the conclusion that if I stayed here, I’m not going to be successful at all,” he said.
At age 16, he began researching how to get his social security disability checks signed over to his name instead of his mother’s. The plan was to take the $625 a month and move out. The research wasn’t easy, as he was also trying not to flunk his classes while the neglect and abuse was still taking place at the home. Eventually, the research was replaced by diligent schoolwork until a year later.
At 17, he called the social security office and was told the only way the money could be signed over to him was to attend a hearing.
“I froze when I was told that because I knew that my mom had to be in on the knowhow,” he said. “I tried to keep it a secret from mom as long as I could but she could see the mail coming in and I could not. When she saw that hearing notice, she became extremely angry because that was I taking her money away. She said, ‘How could I do such a thing. Your sister and I live off that money. That’s how you are able to have a roof over your head.’”
The day of the meeting was a mere week from his 18th birthday.
Kingett said his mother tried to make him look incompetent, telling the social worker that he didn’t know how to clean his own room much less tie his own shoes.
The social worker sided with Kingett, but there was one big problem.
“I couldn’t cash any of it,” he said.
Kingett did not have a bank account, a state id, or even access to his birth certificate.
Once he got home, the violence escalated.
“She hit me so much it knocked me out and into consciousness,” he said. “I had to leave because I didn’t know what was going to happen to me if I stayed there. I grabbed my cane and backpack, threw old dirty clothes in it, and walked out the front door.
Kingett left his home and soon stayed with a family friend, Kevin, until he moved in with a woman named Debra. Knowing Robert had nowhere to go; she offered him a place to stay. Kingett stayed there until his high school graduation.
He graduated in June of 2010.
Graduating high school was only half the battle. Kingett’s plans were to attend a college and pursue his long awaited dream of getting a degree in journalism or English. He needed a way to pay for school, and that’s when the scholarship hunt began.
“I had a really hard time meeting the requirements of a scholarship, any, for that matter.” He said. “My high school grades were not good due to my negligence of school work despite my intelligence, so I had a low grade point average.”
Kingett would apply to many scholarships only to be denied.”
Determined to find a place where he could be independent he scoped the internet hunting for a place to live.
“I admit I can’t cook. I can definitely eat though.” he said laughing. “I needed a place that wasn’t a nursing home, per say, but just a fractional inch more assistance I could use. I have cerebral palsy and there are just some things that I simply need help with.”
After months of looking he found Freedman Place. Friedman Place is a non-profit Supportive Living Community for blind and visually impaired adults in Chicago. Their building has been designed with the needs of the blind and visually impaired in mind. Each resident has a private studio or one-bedroom apartment, with a kitchenette and bathroom. A full range of services and activities is provided so that residents’ days are healthy, dignified, and stimulating
“I needed a place to stay. This place sounded wonderful! That way, flux would be minimal. No more would I ever have to rely on friends.”
Since Kingett has stayed at this helpful place, he can finally let the past go and have a little fun at last.
“It’s not about the horrors I’ve gone through it’s about me overcoming so many things,” he said, attributing his sense of humor to his positive outlook.
His reward comes in the form of emails and postings on his website from students who say their lives were changed by his tale.
“I can’t tell you how awesome it was that I could make someone happier,” he said.
But now that Kingett has secured his present, what is his future dream? “I dream that one day I could be standing in a bookstore at a book signing of my own and knowing in my mind that I have improved so many lives.”
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TPAN Moves Offices to 5050 N. Broadway in Uptown Chicago

Test Positive Aware Network, (TPAN),  moved from its offices  in Edgewater Beach over the weekend  to an office building at 5050 N.
Broadway, in the Uptown neighborhood. It will reopen at the new location
on Oct. 1, with all groups and services running normally by Oct. 7.
The social services agency  will take over the third floor of the former headquarters of
Combined Insurance—presently a division of AON.
It’s a bigger space and new space and will accommodate more people. If you are going in for services next week, it is recommended you call
in advance to make sure your group or appointment is still scheduled to
meet.  (773) 989-9400   TPAN
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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
pay.

 

“Howard
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.”

 

Located
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.

 

Aris
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.”

 

In
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.”

 

The
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-

certified
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.

 

“We
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.”

 

In
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

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AIDS Legal Council of Chicago Summer Benefit, Lost in Space August 14 at Sidetrack

AIDS Legal Council of Chicago (ALCC) is proud to announce its annual summer benefit, set for Wednesday, August 14th from 6 to 9pm at Sidetrack in Chicago. Building on a history of other-worldly themes, this year’s benefit is Lost in Space.

Lost in Space will
offer attendees a chance to explore the galaxies through amazing
cocktails, food, and prizes, plus a spectacular silent auction with more
than 150 items from businesses from across Chicagoland. Raffle prizes
include round-trip tickets to South America courtesy of Orbitz, hotel
stays courtesy of Kimpton Hotels, and neighborhood packages from around
the city. As ALCC continues to commemorate 25 years of service, this
event will be its biggest and best benefit yet.

Tickets, which include cocktails, food, and entertainment, are just $50 and can be purchased at www.lostinspace2013.eventbrite.com or by calling 312-427-8990.

Founded
twenty-five years ago, ALCC uses the power of the law to provide to
provide health, dignity, and stability for people with HIV and their
families. 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.

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Pamper Yourself with Great Personal Services in Boystown

In the last few months, some new personal service businesses
have popped up in Boystown, joining the ranks of long time style makers like
Tim Weber  of Restorations Salons .

We have been a fan of Tims Restoration salon since it’s
first opening in 1993, in Lincoln Park. (2151 N. Sheffield)  Tim steadily grew his business and
later opened 2 more locations, one in Andersonville (5349 N. Clark) and the newest spot in
Lakeview (3255 N. NBroadway).

What makes 
restoration different? or special? “Restoration Salons’ pride themselves on having experienced
professional stylists, a comfortable relaxed atmosphere, and the focus is on
hair and our goal is to restore
,” says Tim.

 Do guys in Chicago follow the trends?  or do their own thing, when it comes to
hairstyles?

 “Trends can be tricky, by the time some of them catch on, its
time to move on… Some heads can pull off trends and some should never try
them… I usually try to make the client look there best; whether it is a trend
or timeless!”

How to choose a good salon or stylist?

“I  always say that a client needs to find 3 things: A salon that they like (the atmosphere,location,style) a stylist that they love (enjoy talking too, and happy to see them) and a stylist that can achieve a great cut/color. If you can find all three you will be happy for a long long time! Our staff is always ready with a friendly smile. We ensure you a great service and a high quality experience, that will leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and restored!”


The new girl on the block is Kinley Preston, owner of the new VANITE‘  Paul Mitchell Focus Salon at  3161 N. Halsted. There are only 5 Focus Salons in the entire Chicagoland area and this is the 3rd such salon, in the city. 

So what is a “focus salon”? Kinley explained, “We carry the entire Paul Mitchell product line, including the pet products. The staff is Paul Mitchell trained and educated. 

We are happy to be a flourishing Local
Independent Business and active
in giving to our community. 
As a “Paul Mitchell Focus
Salon” we have the opportunity
to receive advanced training
from Premier National Award
Winning Stylists several times
each year. We are committed to
keeping up to date and pleased
to deliver these techniques with
the latest ideas to you! 
Cut and Coloring is our
specialty. We don’t settle for
average and neither should you! 
We offer you more than just a
cut.. get an experience! We think we offer a better quality service for the same price as some of our competitors.

Kinley’s new salon is sleek and elegant. I was pampered with a shampoo and cut recently. The comfort experience begins with the chairs and shampoo bowls. Both from Japan. Both providing comfort and allowing the guest to fully relax and enjoy the 5 minute scalp massage in the dimly lit, LED glowing room!

Kinley herself was a graduate of the Paul Mitchell School but chose to be an owner and manager, instead of a stylist.  A great side story –  FYI – John Paul Jones DeJoria, the mastermind behind Paul Mitchell, was born the second son of an Italian immigrant father and a Greek immigrant mother in Los Angeles. His parents divorced by the time he was two years old, and at nine he began selling Christmas cards and newspapers with his older brother to support his family. When his single mother proved unable to support both children, they were sent to an East Los Angeles foster home.

DeJoria spent much of his youth in a street gang in East Los Angeles, but changed when he was told that he would “never succeed at anything in life” by a math teacher at John Marshall High School. He graduated in 1962 and spent two years in the United States Navy, after which he floated through a series of jobs ranging from janitor to insurance salesman.

DeJoria entered the world of hair care as an employee of Redken Laboratories. He was fired from this position and in 1980, he formed John Paul Mitchell Systems with hairdresser Paul Mitchell and a loan for $700. In 1989, Paul Mitchell died and was replaced by his son, Angus as company co-owner. As of 2011, John Paul Mitchell Systems had revenues of $900 million annually.

So DeJoria understands personal struggles and hurdles. And he in fact, played a key role in Kinley’s life and was instrumental helping making her salon, a reality. “Three years ago, I was destitute. Living in my car. He really took a personal interest in my story, at a time when I was going through a lot. I wrote a business plan, and the company loved it.”

Now Kinleys salon is a reality and she is very involved with the community and sits on various boards from the local Chamber of Commerce to the Joffrey Ballet Auxiliary board.


The world is all about pure, natural  and organic these days. People are willing to pay a little more, for better products and services. 

There has been a global shift taking place in the food, water and health sectors, as we face consequences of environmental damage due to pollution, global warming, agricultural trends and pesticide usage. 

Enter Vincent Dinh of Savon Spa. (3635 North Halsted Street) “Growing up in Vietnam, everything we ate was organic.” explains Vincent. “There were no chemicals used. Poop was used to fertilize! With that experience growing up and then moving to America, it was like culture shock. OMG, the cucumbers are so big here! And no taste. My food was growing up was small, beqautiful and SO MUCH TASTE.

At Savon Spa, Amy, Vincent and their staff strive to give clients a luxurious, purifying organic spa experience in an elegant setting reminiscent of old world Paris. In fact,  much of the furniture inside the spa is eco-friendly reclaimed and/or refurbished.

Indulgent, Earth-friendly, organic products, hand-made organic soaps, scrubs, masks, lotions and treatments.  In atmosphere of serenity, warmth, and beauty, Savon Spa offers a soothing array of services. From  various massages (60 minute deep tissue $110), advanced facials (24k gold mask or placenta treatment $200), body treatments (Hungarian mud wraps $80), manicure, pedicure, waxing for men and women and non-surgical skin rejuvenation services by cutting-edge aestheticism Dr. Randa Sawan. “We offer a great no lift, non-yellowing nail treatment. There is no chemicals and no odor. And it’s stronger than acrylic or gel nails,” explained Vincent.

Every experience can be customized to the guests’ desires to provide the perfect escape from the city, whether it’s for a quick massage or an entire day devoted to absolute bliss. 

Savon Spa even offers “Beauty on the Go”, a mobile spa, designed to pamper you at home, in the office, or wherever your travels lead you.

Savon Spa is committed to giving you a perfect, joyful spa day every time you come in. “I have always had expensive taste.  And when I was a computer consultant I was able to travel the world a lot and stay at 5 star hotels and spas. Our goal here is offer a high end experience and make it more affordable. You’ll leave Savon Spa with brighter, softer skin and a brighter, softer soul.”

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