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U.S. News

AIDS Foundation of Chicago Launches "Cure" Program

February 24, 2009

On Feb. 7, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago kicked off a new campaign designed to emphasize prevention, regular testing and enrollment in clinical trials among African Americans. In Illinois, blacks comprise 15 percent of the population but 51 percent of new HIV diagnoses.

"With Me Comes a Cure" aims not only to stimulate discussion about the disease but to redefine the concept of "cure", said AFC Communications Director Johnathon Briggs. "Any preventative action you take is in essence a cure," said Briggs. "The cure is what you're doing right now to prevent infection." "Everyone has a talent, a passion, or a resource" that can be tapped to help prevent HIV, he said.

AFC received a grant for the campaign from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' HIV Vaccine Research and Education Initiative. Chicago Creative Partnership provided the concept, which was developed from focus groups of African-American women, youth, and men who have sex with men. All three groups provided vital insight, said Briggs. While the women were intrigued by the ambiguity and potential of the message, the youths viewed it in terms of cultural activism.

"Cure" ads will run on city buses; paraphernalia such as T-shirts, compact mirrors, and condom cases will be handed out; and numerous public events are planned as part of the year-long campaign.

The open-ended nature of the campaign's slogan -- which lacks the words "HIV" or "AIDS" -- allows people to think creatively about solutions to HIV/AIDS. Recalling the words of one focus group member, Briggs said, "Sometimes you have to take out the word to get out the word."

Back to other news for February 2009

Adapted from:
Windy City Times (Chicago)
02.18.2009; Sam Worley

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
HIV and Me: An African American's Guide to Living With HIV
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More News on HIV Prevention in the African-American Community


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