HIV-AIDS

What you need to know about HIV criminalization

Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, individuals living with HIV have faced countless acts of discrimination, violence, and unnecessary punishment based on their HIV status. Despite progress made on what we know about HIV and how we treat the virus, many Americans–including Illinoisans–still must face laws that criminalize HIV transmission. As longtime members of…

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Trump Administration Pledges to End HIV Transmission

As his second State of the Union, President Trump announced a commitment to ending the transmission of HIV in the U.S. by 2030. Many are surprised by this announcement, given his administration’s track record on addressing the HIV epidemic. Last year he fired the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. The Trump…

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Paying the price of HIV

Chicago resident Jared Wile can no longer afford his $1,600/month HIV prevention medication. Up until a few months ago, Jared never had to pay any out-of-pocket costs. Instead, he used a copay coupon to cover the costs of the medicine PrEP, an HIV prevention medication that, when taken daily, is proven to be 90% effective in preventing HIV. But in May, Jared learned that he could no longer use the copay coupon for the medication.

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Beyond Shame & Stigma

Our sold out panel discussion “HIV Criminalization: Beyond Shame & Stigma,” co-sponsored with our friends at TPAN, was a great success this past Thursday, Feb 15. The expert panel included Maurice Chapman formerly of South Suburban HIV/AIDS Regional Clinics, Dr. Trevor Hoppe of SUNY-Albany and author of Punishing Disease, Vera Lamarr of Sex Workers Outreach Project, and Scott Schoettes…

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Speech, speech

  On May 5, 2016, our esteemed colleague Justin Hayford, who has been working at the Council for 25 years, was presented with the Liberty Bell award by the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) of the Chicago Bar Association as part of its annual Law Week celebration. It is the highest honor that the CBA bestows on a…

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Justin’s 25 for 25

June 1, 2016 Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues: In my first week at AIDS Legal Council, almost exactly 25 years ago, I took two calls back to back.  First, a successful LaSalle Street banker told me that after his landlord found out he had HIV, the locks on his apartment were changed, his possessions thrown…

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Red ribbon cash money

Born ready for his closeup, our very own case-manager-paralegal extraordinaire, Justin Hayford, is featured in this year’s promotional video for the Red Ribbon Cash game, which raises funds for nonprofits serving people and families facing barriers due to HIV-AIDS. “By purchasing the Red Ribbon Cash game, Lottery players are providing valuable services that benefit thousands…

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Fighting HIV Stigma Protects Public Health

Too often we’ve heard that legal services for people with HIV are “secondary” to health care services. What people with HIV need more than anything, the argument goes, is medicine, as though pharmaceuticals alone will render HIV “chronic and manageable” no matter what non-medical crises a person with HIV might face. The insistence on viewing…

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Why You’re Glad You’re Not a Teenager Anymore

We got a call this morning that really got us thinking about the difficulties of facing HIV as an adolescent. Theresa called with concerns about her godson, Gerard. Gerard is 16 and has been HIV-positive since birth. Theresa has known about his status for his entire life, and when Gerard’s mother died she took him…

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