WBEZ | AIDS http://www.wbez.org/tags/aids Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en HIV diagnosis leads two friends down different paths http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/hiv-diagnosis-leads-two-friends-down-different-paths-110823 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/StoryCorps-140919-Mark-Rick-bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&ldquo;Drug addiction is really exhausting,&rdquo; Mark S. King says in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps, recorded at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago&rsquo;s Loop, in conjunction with the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association&rsquo;s annual convention. &ldquo;I was here in this very hotel maybe eight years ago, and was in a room upstairs for five days and never left my room.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Why&rsquo;s that?&rdquo; his friend Rick Guasco asks him.</p><p>&ldquo;Because I had a crystal meth pipe in my mouth and was smoking and injecting crystal meth for five days.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s kind of surprising to hear you say that,&rdquo; Guasco says. &ldquo;So how did you fall into it?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;What happened to me&hellip;It was about 1996 and we had just gone through 15 years of pure hell in the gay community, with AIDS. And I had certainly seen that. I had lived through the &lsquo;80s as an HIV-positive person in West Hollywood. And in 1996, at long last, we had these medications that came out&hellip;and for the first time almost since the crisis began the dying seemed to almost stop in its tracks.</p><p>&ldquo;And It was kind of at that nexus of new medications beginning and gay men looking for a reason to celebrate. And it wasn&rsquo;t long until crystal meth started creeping into that equation, creeping into our community.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s where drug addiction takes you: It makes your world very, very small. You keep shutting out everything else and you&rsquo;re left in a small room, in a hotel room, with you and the drugs and nothing else.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Those of us who have lived with HIV for a longtime&hellip;We came out of it one or two ways: Either we came out of it with a strong sense of empathy and sadness and wanting to do our best to help and understand. Or you come out of it with a real sense of judgment and bitterness, as if this is a new phenomenon amongst young people.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I do feel a little sad and scared for younger gay men. I&rsquo;m not judgmental. I worry for them,&rdquo; Guasco says. &ldquo;I had developed Kaposi&rsquo;s Sarcoma&hellip;the spots. And there were more of them on my legs, and I started to get nervous, worried. And I fell into the sense of denial. The first spot came in May. I didn&rsquo;t get tested until December. And a week before Christmas that year, I found out that yes, indeed, I was HIV-positive.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We have two HIV warhorses here,&rdquo; King says. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re learning as we go along. And that&rsquo;s what I try to keep in mind when we are speaking to other gay men, young or old, about how best to get a handle on this epidemic.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/hiv-diagnosis-leads-two-friends-down-different-paths-110823 Global Activism: Princess Kasune Zulu uses her HIV-positive status to save lives http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-princess-kasune-zulu-uses-her-hiv-positive-status-save-lives <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/GA-Princess.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-73944e5e-04bf-ed6e-fccf-5360018697f2">Princess Kasune Zulu was diagnosed with HIV over 17 years ago, at a time when that particular disease carried a heavy burden of stigma in her native Zambia. Since then, Princess Kasune has been advocating for education and healthcare for communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Her journey as the founder and spokesperson for her non-profit Fountain of Life has brought her from a one-room village school in Zambia all the way to the White House. For our <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism"><em>Global Activism</em></a> series, she&rsquo;ll share her experiences as a leader in the fight against AIDS and discuss how the public conversation has changed about the disease since her diagnosis.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141725390&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 10:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-princess-kasune-zulu-uses-her-hiv-positive-status-save-lives Morning Shift: Writer recalls early tragedies of AIDS epidemic http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-03-12/morning-shift-writer-recalls-early-tragedies-aids <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Cover Flickr savonnee.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Republican State Senator Kirk Dillard tells us why he should be Illinois&#39; next governor. Also, writer and activist Sean Strub talks about his new memoir about the early days of the AIDS epidemic. And, music from singer songwriter Kate Adams.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-writer-recalls-early-tragedies-of-th/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-writer-recalls-early-tragedies-of-th.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-writer-recalls-early-tragedies-of-th" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Writer recalls early tragedies of AIDS epidemic" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 08:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-03-12/morning-shift-writer-recalls-early-tragedies-aids Global Activism: Expanding sex education in Kenya http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-expanding-sex-education-kenya-108490 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/5 day sex ed training for 23 farmers in the Aberdares.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>When Kathy Tate-Bradish heard about <a href="http://www.vumilia.org/">Vumilia</a>, an organization that supports women and children affected by HIV and AIDS in western Kenya, she felt an urge to get involved. For nearly a decade Tate-Bradish has been working with Rose Ayuma, Kenyan founder of the organization, to expand a peer-run sex education program. She&#39;s also collaborating with <a href="http://africanchildrenshaven.org/">African Childrens Haven</a>, and hopes to ramp up their sex education initiatives. Tate-Bradish, just back from another trip to Kenya,&nbsp; updates us on the work that she has been doing.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F106703768&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 22 Aug 2013 10:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-expanding-sex-education-kenya-108490 $6M awarded to improve housing for people with HIV http://www.wbez.org/news/6m-awarded-improve-housing-people-hiv-104596 <p><p>The Chicago Department of Public Health has awarded $6 million to 22 community organizations for housing assistance and support services for people living with HIV and AIDS and their families.</p><p>The grants come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money goes to agencies that offer rental assistance, housing information services or residential facilities. Organizations awarded grants for 2013 include Christian Community Health Center, Pilsen Wellness Center, Housing Opportunities for Women and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.</p><p>Public health officials say there are more than 22,000 Chicago residents living with HIV.</p><p>The grants are provided by HUD&#39;s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program.</p></p> Fri, 28 Dec 2012 09:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/6m-awarded-improve-housing-people-hiv-104596 How the AIDS epidemic became the first disease to give rise to a vast body of dramatic literature http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/how-aids-epidemic-because-first-disease-give-rise-vast-body-dramatic <p><p><em><span style="font-size:11px;">WBEZ theater critics Kelly Kleiman and Jonathan Abarbanel review the Court Theatre production of&nbsp;</span></em><span style="font-size:11px;">Angels in America</span><em><span style="font-size:11px;">, Tony Kushner's award-winning play about the AIDS crisis. Today on </span></em><span style="font-size:11px;">Eight Forty-Eight</span><em><span style="font-size:11px;">, Kleiman, Abarbanel and UIC Professor Jennifer Brier look at how theater changed the conversation about HIV/AIDS in the 80s and 90s. Brier is a cultural historian and author of&nbsp;</span></em><span style="font-size:11px;">Infectious Ideas: US Political Response to the AIDS Crisis</span><em><span style="font-size:11px;">.</span></em></p><div class="mediaelement-audio"><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1334692258-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/120417 seg b_1.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></div><hr><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/angels.jpg" style="float: left; width: 300px; height: 300px; " title="Court Theatre's 'Angels in America' (Photo by Michael Brosilow)">It was a colleague, another theater critic, who first told me about AIDS, which now has been part of our lives (yes, I mean ALL our lives unless you live on Planet Nine in Outer Space) for 30 years. "Jonathan, have you heard about the gay pneumonia?" he asked me. This was the early 1980's, and he breathlessly told me there was a new type of pneumonia gay men were spreading to each other in bath houses. I didn't believe him. "How does pneumonia know who is gay and who isn't?" I said.</p><p>Already by that date, one of my best friends from high school had died of AIDS, only no one called it that yet; indeed, the illness had not been identified. Jeffrey, who was tall, dark and handsome, moved to New York with his girlfriend when he was in his late 20s, came out, and had a picture-perfect life: career success, a penthouse apartment (tiny, but with terraces) and a Victorian house in Sag Harbor. I spent two Thanksgivings there with Jeffrey, the second when he was dying of what his doctors only could identify as lymphoma.</p><p>By 1984, anyone with half-a-brain knew, although that cohort excluded President Ronald Reagan and the health care establishment he controlled. The early acronym GRID (Gay Related Immune-Deficiency Disease) has been superseded by AIDS as scientific authorities recognized it was NOT a gay illness.</p><p>Almost at once, theater communities nationwide began to produce plays that dealt with AIDS in one way or another. Just as AIDS theorists project a "Patient Zero," there was a "Play Zero" about AIDS, and it happened right here in Chicago. The play was <em>One</em>, by Jeff Hagedorn, a young Milwaukee writer (whom I first met in 1979 when I was Literary Manager for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre) who had moved to Chicago. <em>One</em> was produced in 1983. Jeff turned out 11 plays in all, most dealing with AIDS in one way or another, before he himself died in 1995 from AIDS-related illnesses.</p><p>Death and AIDS walked in lockstep for a lot of years. I could fill the remainder of this column with the names of Chicago theater artists who died of AIDS; a handful of women but overwhelmingly men: designers David Emmons and Matthew Hoffman, directors Larry Sloane and David Perkins, writers Jeff Hagedorn and Scott McPherson, actors J. Pat Miller and Gregory Williams, composers Warren Casey and Tony Zito and on and on.</p><p>Equally, I could turn this story into a laundry list of the scores and scores of theatrical works that deal with AIDS, from Larry Kramer's <em>The Normal Heart</em> to Jonathan Larson's <em>Rent</em>, from William M. Hoffman's <em>As Is</em> to Alan Bowne's <em>Beirut</em> (a heterosexual AIDS play), from BLANK to Scott McPherson's profound <em>Marvin's Room</em>, a response to AIDS that isn't about AIDS at all. Indeed, we now are seeing our third generation of AIDS plays along with revivals of some of the earliest major works.</p><p>Here's the point, the real point: major geo-political and socio-political events spawn entire sub-categories of art (poetry, novels, plays, films, musical works, visual works, dance, etc.). Think of the vast, stand-alone bodies of literature inspired by the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement. World War II, for example, inspired theater works as varied as <em>Stalag 17</em>, <em>South Pacific</em>, <em>The Diary of Anne Frank</em> and <em>This Happy Breed</em>.</p><p>But no illness, no disease, no pandemic EVER has given rise to a vast body of dramatic literature...until AIDS. There are individual works about polio or cancer or mental illness but not a continuum of works, not a cohesive and evolving and expanding collection of works as there is about AIDS now, and going forward.</p><p>The reasons why are several. First, theater always is the art form that responds most quickly and accessibly to the world around it. Plays are written in the vernacular and generally lack some of the levels of abstraction of music or dance or some works of visual arts.</p><p>Second, artists create works about their own experiences. Writers write about what they know. For whatever genetic or bio-chemical reasons there may be, the arts have a high percentage of LGBT individuals working in them; perhaps not a higher percentage than other fields of endeavor, but certainly more open about who they are.</p><p>Finally, AIDS may be the very first global pandemic in which those with the syndrome--call them patients, victims, carriers, subjects as you will--refuse simply to lay down and die, or deny and disappear. They embrace instead the dictum of Dylan Thomas: "Do not go gently into that dark night." Artists have been at the heart of AIDS-related political action organizations such as Act Up and Gay Men's Health Crisis, and also at the heart of AIDs-related charitable organizations such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in New York and our own Season of Concern here in Chicago.</p><p>The impact of AIDS on theater reached a threshold long ago; now the relationship is about the impact of theater on AIDS. More than any other force outside of the scientific community itself, American theater has given voice to the various AIDS communities locally, nationally and among developed nations, fiercely refusing to allow those with AIDS to be disenfranchised as they were not so very long ago. Unfortunately, vast portions of the world retain benighted attitudes about AIDS and those who are HIV-positive. Whether at home or abroad, theater will continue to fight such ignorance and indifference one production at a time in one community at a time in the battle for hearts and minds.</p></p> Tue, 17 Apr 2012 08:29:50 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/how-aids-epidemic-because-first-disease-give-rise-vast-body-dramatic Digitizing the fight against HIV http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-11/digitizing-fight-against-hiv-95452 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-12/computer shadows_flickr_doozle.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Prince Coleman watches an online soap opera. The lead characters are entangled in tricky love affairs.<br> <br> This story line focuses on young gay and bisexual men—men like Coleman. One character tries to guess if his new lover is HIV positive—a dangerous practice.<br> <br> “In the gay community a lot people do hook ups,” Coleman said. “It’s always sex first and then get to know each other later. And I think that where we go wrong.”<br> <br> The video is part of a study by Northwestern University researchers looking at how effective online interventions are in reinforcing safe sex practices to young, gay and bisexual men. Northwestern took the message to where this digital-savvy demographic feels most comfortable—the internet.<br> <br> Getting that information to young African-American men is especially vital since new HIV infection rates for this group jumped nearly 50% between 2006 and 2009. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, black men had the highest rate of new HIV infections of all groups studied.<br> <br> “We don’t really know why all the reasons in this particular group HIV is increasing,” said Dr. Brian Mustanski, professor at Northwestern’s department of medical social sciences. He led the study conducted by IMPACT— The Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Health and Development Program. This group focuses on research aimed at eliminating physical and mental health disparities experienced by the LGBT community.<br> <br> “We know they are less likely to get relevant sex education in schools,” Mustanski said. “We know their parents are less likely to talk to them about sexual health, sexual prevention than other kids. And so we really need to find ways to reach them with this important information.”<br> <br> The study involves a program called “Keep It Up” and includes different online modules. Along with the soap opera, there’s a video game and short documentaries on gay relationships. Each delivers prevention messages, including always use a condom, and never assume a partner is HIV negative.<br> <br> To find participants, IMPACT partnered with clinics that do HIV testing around Chicago.&nbsp;<br> <br> “They had to come in for their HIV test. So they were already concerned about their health,” said Jill Dispenza, director of HIV testing at Chicago’s Center on Halsted.<br> <br> Once a man’s tests came back negative, staffers offered one-on-one counseling. If these men were between 18 and 24, they were invited to join the study.<br> <br> The online video game is a virtual reality club and one of the more popular activities.&nbsp;<br> Players can order drinks in the lounge or pick up a guy on the dance floor.<br> <br> “There are a lot of objects you interact with in the club that teach you different information about HIV prevention,” Mustanski said.<br> <br> Each time a player makes a decision for safer sex, the reward is condoms—which IMPACT then sends participants in the mail.<br> <br> “It’s a fun game but it’s consistent, important fact-based messages that they’re getting in a really fun way though it doesn’t feel like someone is lecturing them,” Dispenza said.<br> <br> The study’s results are under review for publication. But early findings are hopeful.<br> <br> “We found there was almost a 50% reduction in HIV risk behaviors of those men in the keep it up intervention compared to those in the control group,” Mustanski said.</p><p>Following President Obama’s lead in placing disease prevention as a national priority<br> Chicago’s Department of Health is following suit.&nbsp; Last month, the City granted $5 million in HIV prevention funds throughout the city.<br> <br> “There are 20,391 residents living with HIV in Chicago,” said Dr. Bechara Chourair, the city’s public health commissioner.&nbsp; “We also think there is around 5,000 more but they aren’t aware of their status. So we know there are over 25,000 residents living with HIV in Chicago.”<br> <br> As part of the prevention program, the city granted $225,000 to Center on Halsted, allowing the Keep It Up program to continue.<br> <br> “It focuses a lot of innovation and social media. And it’s a very strong method to reach out to these young men who have sex with men population that we want to reach out to,”&nbsp; Chourair said.<br> <br> Mustanski hopes it is a first step toward allowing the program to continue throughout Chicago….and eventually rolling it out nationally, allowing others to view the soap opera that Coleman watched.<br> <br> The video shows what young men can face in their relationships and how these issues affect their safe sex choices. In the story where a man assumes his partner is HIV negative, he finds out the hard way that his new lover is not.<br> <br> “And that’s the kind of dangerous assumptions that people can make in relationships that it’s someone else’s job to bring up HIV,” Mustanski said.<br> <br> For Colman, the story line hit home.<br> <br> “It actually felt like I knew the guys. I was there, was maybe in a situation where I was seeing someone who was in a situation like that,” he said. “So now, every time I meet a guy or want to hook up with a guy I will definitely want to ask those questions first. And I will always use protection.”<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 11 Jan 2012 14:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-11/digitizing-fight-against-hiv-95452 Bolivians with AIDS slowly begin fight against stereotypes http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-01/bolivians-aids-slowly-begin-fight-against-stereotypes-94505 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-01/aids1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On World AIDS Day, <em>Worldview </em>looks at Bolivia's nascent effort to raise awareness of the disease. Though the epidemic is growing rapidly around the world, Bolivia has the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the region. In the last three years, the Bolivian government has made a concerted effort to educate the public about the epidemic and provide free drugs to those who need them.</p><p>But Bolivia’s mix of tradition and cultural diversity are proving to be major challenges when it comes to fighting AIDS. Ruxandra Guidi reports.</p><p><em>This piece was provided to us through the <a href="http://www.prx.org/" target="_blank">Public Radio Exchange</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 17:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-01/bolivians-aids-slowly-begin-fight-against-stereotypes-94505 Worldview 9.1.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-9111 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-september/2011-09-01/fta2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After the August recess ends next week, Congress plans to vote on new free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. We’ll sift through the facts and myths of free trade agreements with Laura Carlsen, director of the <a href="http://www.cipamericas.org/" target="_blank">Americas Program at the Center for International Policy</a> in Mexico City. Also, WBEZ’s South Side Bureau Reporter Natalie Moore reports on a South Side public school that wants to create an Arabic language and culture center. And on <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalactivism" target="_blank">Global Activism</a></em>, we speak with <a href="http://www.jesuits-chgdet.org/">Jesuit</a> priest Father Terry Charlton, founder of <a href="http://www.sagnairobi.org/">St. Aloysius Gonzaga</a> High School in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya. This massive squatter community is home to nearly one million people, including more than 30,000 children who are orphans of the AIDS epidemic.</p></p> Thu, 01 Sep 2011 14:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-9111 AIDS housing facility to open on Chicago’s South Side http://www.wbez.org/story/aids-housing-facility-open-chicago%E2%80%99s-south-side-90141 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-04/005.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>When Bettendorf Place opens in September, it will be one of the only permanent housing facilities for HIV/AIDS patients on Chicago's South Side.</p><p>Alexian Brothers, a Catholic religious order that focuses on health care, is providing 23 studio apartments for low-income residents in the South Chicago neighborhood. The building is a former convent at St. Mary Magdalene Parish.</p><p>Michelle Wetzel is CEO of the AIDS ministry, which has two other facilities in the region: one on Chicago’s North Side, the other in a northern suburb. Wetzel said it was fitting to expand south.</p><p>“We felt it was important to open a facility in the community that had the need so that people could stay in their own communities, near their families, near their connections, near their faith communities,” Wetzel said.</p><p>The facility, located at 8425 S. Saginaw Ave., will have a computer center and offer GED classes.</p><p>“We looked at the demographics of where the HIV population is most populated in the city, and this is one of the neighborhoods that’s most impacted,” Wetzel said.</p><p>Thirty years ago, AIDS housing was hospice care. Today, people with HIV/AIDS are living longer and can live on their own. Wetzel said estimates show that 50 percent of people who are HIV positive will need housing assistance at some point.</p><p>Earlier this year, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago released a <a href="http://www.aidschicago.org/housing/119-housing-plan/317-the-chicago-area-aids-housing-plan-year-3-report-card-march-16-2011">report</a> stressing the HIV/AIDS housing crisis. The March study said 11,624 housing units are needed in the metro area but there are only 1,367 available units.</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 17:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/aids-housing-facility-open-chicago%E2%80%99s-south-side-90141