WBEZ | HIV http://www.wbez.org/tags/hiv Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Charlie Sheen’s Announcement Puts HIV In The Spotlight http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-17/charlie-sheen%E2%80%99s-announcement-puts-hiv-spotlight-113830 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_181374675069.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_96249"><img alt="Actor Charlie Sheen waits on the set of the “Today” show before formally announcing that he is HIV positive in an interview with Matt Lauer on November 17, 2015 in New York City. Sheen says he learned of his diagnosis four years ago and was announcing it publically to put an end to rumors and extortion. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/11/1117_charlie-sheen-today-624x416.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Actor Charlie Sheen waits on the set of the “Today” show before formally announcing that he is HIV positive in an interview with Matt Lauer on November 17, 2015 in New York City. Sheen says he learned of his diagnosis four years ago and was announcing it publically to put an end to rumors and extortion. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)" /><p>The Centers for Disease Control reports that 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV infection, and that nearly one in eight &ndash; that&rsquo;s more than 156,000 people &ndash; do not know they&rsquo;re infected. And though HIV doesn&rsquo;t grab the headlines that often these days, there are still 50,000 new infections here every year.</p></div><p>Many remember the day back in 1991 when Lakers NBA star Magic Johnson announced simultaneously that he had HIV and that he was resigning from basketball. At the time, most assumed the 32-year-old had been granted a death sentence.</p><p>Today, HIV is again thrust into the headlines with actor Charlie Sheen. He announced on NBC&rsquo;s &ldquo;<a href="http://www.today.com/health/charlie-sheen-reveals-hes-hiv-positive-today-show-exclusive-t56391" target="_blank">Today</a>&rdquo;&nbsp;show that he is HIV positive.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ng5WSbZ9M08?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/d4REoJTxG5A?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VbdOQUARrEU?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/11/17/charlie-sheen-hiv" target="_blank"><em>Here &amp; Now&nbsp;</em></a>host Jeremy Hobson speaks with&nbsp;Terry Smith, associate director for prevention at the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.apla.org/?referrer=https://www.google.com/" target="_blank">AIDS Project Los Angeles</a>, about what an HIV diagnosis means today, and about the hurdles that HIV patients continue to face.</p></p> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-17/charlie-sheen%E2%80%99s-announcement-puts-hiv-spotlight-113830 Emanuel pitches privatization of HIV/AIDS primary care clinics, cuts to training http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-pitches-privatization-hivaids-primary-care-clinics-cuts-training-113133 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_471755110302_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-074d446a-2090-467c-a274-feda1848bdc1">Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is strongly considering privatizing primary care services for HIV/AIDS patients on the South and North sides. He is also ending an <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdph/provdrs/sti_hiv_aids.html">HIV/AIDS training program</a> for city agencies. Local advocates and community health groups say the Chicago Department of Public Health has already informed them of their intentions.</p><p dir="ltr">Currently, the city&rsquo;s public health department runs <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdph/provdrs/sti_hiv_aids/svcs/hiv_aids_early_interventionservices.html">two primary care clinics</a> - one in Englewood and the other in Uptown - that provide medical care, mental health assistance and other support to any Chicago resident living with HIV/AIDS.</p><p dir="ltr">Officials with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union that represents the at least 17 employees who would be affected by the changes, said they&rsquo;re concerned about job losses and access to quality care.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We&rsquo;re especially concerned about the services provided in Englewood, because there aren&rsquo;t as many other options for folks to go to and we&rsquo;ve already made it pretty clear from research that having services in close proximity makes a difference in terms of people being able to get the care they need and follow the regime they need to do,&rdquo; said Jo Patton, Director of Special Projects for AFSCME.</p><p dir="ltr">The mayor&rsquo;s office is selling the outsourcing proposal as a way to &ldquo;expand community-based primary care services.&rdquo; In the 2016 budget book, the city pledges to serve 2,000 low-income HIV positive residents through &nbsp;a $1.5 million investment, granting access to a &ldquo;wide array of services through the City&rsquo;s delegates, including primary medical care, mental health, substance abuse treatment, case management and other supportive services.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">A budget office spokeswoman said right now, the city provides care to less than 500 HIV-positive residents, and outsourcing would allow them to reach an additional 1,500. The city is planning on including a requirement in the request for proposal, which isn&rsquo;t available yet, that the new care provider works within the current Englewood facility.</p><p dir="ltr">The city also confirmed it would be ending the HIV prevention training program, and union officials estimate that at least six jobs will be lost. A city spokeswoman said the health department is in talks with the Illinois Department of Public Health and other agencies to make sure that the training is covered.</p><p dir="ltr">David Ernesto Munar, President and CEO of the Howard Brown Health Center, said he agrees with the plan, as the city currently can&rsquo;t provide the different levels of care (like behavioral health or mental health) that some HIV-positive patients need, but he&rsquo;ll be watching the city&rsquo;s execution. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really all about how it&rsquo;s done, and making sure that the transition is handled carefully, and particularly that the transfer of care for patients is done in a way that nobody is lost,&rdquo; Munar said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s been the concern of HIV activists around the city that in this system redesign we don&rsquo;t lose sight of making sure the patients are stewarded to the new model of care or that nobody&rsquo;s care is interrupted.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Munar said Howard Brown recently hired Dr. Cori Blum, the physician who used to staff these city clinics, which he hoped would alleviate some of the pressure on patients who might want to leave the Uptown clinic. He also added that Howard Brown might compete in the future bidding process to take over the city&rsquo;s private clinics. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Roman Buenrostro, Director of Special Projects for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, says the idea to privatize is not a new one. Buenrostro also serves as community co-chair for <a href="http://www.cahisc.org/">CAHISC</a>, where the idea has come up a number of times in the past as a way to maximize resources. Buenrostro said his number one concern is also to make sure no patient is left behind in the transition, but that outsourcing could be a &ldquo;creative&rdquo; way to continue care in an era of budget crises on both the city and state crises.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;What the city is saying is, if we turn this money over to community-based organizations to provide these services, we can serve a lot more people with the same amount of money,&rdquo; Buenrostro said. &ldquo;And why wouldn&#39;t we want to do that? So that&rsquo;s where I don&rsquo;t think that the word privatization is necessarily a bad word.&rdquo;</p><p>Privatization has been a popular word lately around city hall, as the mayor is also considering outsourcing the city&rsquo;s 3-1-1 services, which would cut 72 jobs. Officials have said the non-emergency phone system requires costly upgrades, potentially $25-30 million dollars over four years, and private vendors could suggest better or cheaper options.</p><p>The Chicago Department of Public Health is scheduled to appear in front of aldermen Thursday for a budget hearing. On Wednesday, both aldermen who represent the clinics said they hadn&rsquo;t heard definite details about the potential privatization.</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-074d446a-2084-9829-7a15-c92ab0befffa"><em>Lauren Chooljian covers Chicago politics for WBEZ. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda"> </a><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 18:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-pitches-privatization-hivaids-primary-care-clinics-cuts-training-113133 Global Activism: HIV/AIDS education in Malawi http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-30/global-activism-hivaids-education-malawi-112523 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/USAID%20U.S.%20Agency%20for%20International%20Development.jpg" title="USAID U.S. Agency for International Development" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217078355&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Global Activism: Fostering HIV/AIDS education in Malawi</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Challenged by her Malawian friends to get involved in &ldquo;the warm heart of Africa&rdquo;, Phyllis Wezeman started Malawi Matters, Inc. Its mission is to develop culturally-inspired HIV and AIDS education in the southeast African nation. For our Global Activism segment, she&rsquo;ll update us on some new initiatives she&rsquo;s working on in sub-Saharan Africa, a region with two-thirds of the world&rsquo;s HIV infections and three-fourths of the globe&rsquo;s AIDS-related deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Wezeman is author of the book Through the Heart: Creative Methods of HIV and AIDS Education, a handbook of activities that enable children and adults to better understand the disease.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-d19007d5-e093-2873-79b1-9e7bd2dc5427">Phyllis Wezeman is the founder and director of <a href="http://malawimatters.org">Malawi Matters, Inc</a>.</span></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217078841&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">What next for the Taliban</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>On Wednesday the Afghan government said that it had credible information that Taliban leader Mullah Omar was dead and that he had died in 2013 in a hospital in Pakistan. Pakistan has not confirmed the news. This is not the first time that information has surfaced about Omar&rsquo;s death. Just a couple of weeks ago the Taliban released a statement that it said was from Mullah Omar. That statement backed peace talks with the Afghan government. Anand Gopal, author of &#39;No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes&#39;, joins us to discuss the latest news of Omar&rsquo;s death and what it could mean for the peace talks between the militants and the Afghan government.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-d19007d5-e097-20ac-2746-e222608169d6"><a href="http://twitter.com/anand_gopal">Anand Gopal</a> is a journalist and author of &#39;No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan eyes&#39;.&nbsp;</span></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217079197&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The effect of military spending on the environment</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Peace activist Kathy Kelly, who is co-coordinator of the peace group Voices for Creative Nonviolence, was just released from FMC Lexington Satellite federal prison camp. She was convicted of criminal trespassing onto the Whiteman Air Force Base in Kansas City. Kelly and a group of activists were protesting what they believe are the extrajudicial killings of innocent civilians by U.S. drones. While in prison, Kelly began to think about the connection between climate change and militarism- things like the carbon footprint of the U.S. military and the use of federal dollars for military initiatives, rather than efforts to combat climate change. She&rsquo;ll explain why she believes &ldquo;the Earth&#39;s military crisis, its climate crisis, and the paralyzing economic inequalities that burden impoverished people are all linked&quot;.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<span id="docs-internal-guid-d19007d5-e09a-26b3-e76f-d8534ee555e3"><em>Kathy Kelly is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence</em>.</span></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-30/global-activism-hivaids-education-malawi-112523 Global Activism: 'Give Hope, Fight Poverty' helps HIV victims in Swaziland http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-give-hope-fight-poverty-helps-hiv-victims-swaziland-111360 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/GA-Swaziland.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-55ad30fc-ca71-7448-d356-c5fe34b22aa5">Getting her PHD led Annie Elbe Todt to the small African country of Swaziland. </span><span id="docs-internal-guid-55ad30fc-ca71-7448-d356-c5fe34b22aa5">It&rsquo;s a country with the highest rate of HIV in the world. Annie began helping some of the orphans and child headed houses she saw all around her. For <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism"><em>Global Activism</em></a>, we talk with Todt about her organization <a href="http://www.ifightpoverty.org">Give Hope, Fight Poverty</a>. It supports 33 child headed households. Their network of support extends to 1500 </span>children. They dig wells, build homes and send children to school. A remarkable number of people have joined on service learning trips.</p><p dir="ltr"><em><strong><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/185104920&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe>EVENT:</strong></em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><a href="http://www.hamburgermarys.com/chicago/bingo.php">Hamburger Mary&rsquo;s &lsquo;HamBINGO&rsquo;</a></em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Sun, January 11, 8pm &ndash; 10pm</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Andersonville...5400 N. Clark</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>$15 to play all night. Proceeds go to &lsquo;Give Hope, Fight Poverty&rsquo;</em></p></p> Thu, 08 Jan 2015 09:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-give-hope-fight-poverty-helps-hiv-victims-swaziland-111360 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 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 Settlement for man denied HIV drugs in jail http://www.wbez.org/news/settlement-man-denied-hiv-drugs-jail-108404 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP110622086517.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A settlement has been reached between the Bureau County Sheriff&#39;s Office and a Chicago man who claimed in a lawsuit he was prevented from taking his HIV medication while being held in jail.</p><p>The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois announced the settlement Wednesday.</p><p>The agreement was filed in federal court in Peoria. The sheriff&#39;s office agreed to conduct mandatory training for jail staff and to pay $20,000 to Arick Buckles of Chicago.</p><p>Buckles filed a lawsuit last year claiming he was denied his prescribed medication for a week at the jail in Princeton.</p><p>Skipping HIV medications can raise a patient&#39;s virus count, making the patient more contagious and raising the risk of developing drug resistance.</p><p>Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson declined to comment on the settlement.</p></p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 11:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/settlement-man-denied-hiv-drugs-jail-108404 $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 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