SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Senate adopted a resolution, sponsored by State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th), declaring today National African-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This is Illinois’ twelfth annual observance of the day.

“It’s important each year to educate Illinoisans about HIV/AIDS and break down stereotypes surrounding this disease,” Collins said. “I’m presenting this resolution to send three messages. First, AIDS doesn’t respect boundaries of race or sexual orientation. Second, black women and men are disproportionately diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. And third, when you know your status and have treatment options you can live life to the fullest, even with HIV.”

In 2007, Collins sponsored legislation creating the Quality of Life grant program funded by the Red Ribbon Cash scratch-off lottery game. She persuaded her colleagues to extend it last year until 2018. Quality of Life grants are awarded to organizations that promote awareness of HIV/AIDS and provide services to HIV-positive individuals. The program reserves half its funding for community-based groups with small budgets, and it spreads resources throughout the state and to a variety of at-risk groups.

Facts about African-Americans and HIV/AIDS in Illinois (from Senate Resolution 48):

     - 35,000 Illinoisans live with HIV.

     - Of new diagnoses, 51 percent are African-Americans.

     - In Chicago, black gay men under 30 have an infection rate three times that of their white counterparts.

     - More than two-thirds of women diagnosed with HIV in the United States are black.

     - HIV/AIDS is the fourth leading cause of death among African-American men ages 25 to 44 and the third leading cause of death among African-American women in the same age range.

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Contact Info

Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607

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