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Illinois: Event Spotlights HIV/AIDS and Black Gay, Bisexual Youth

October 19, 2010

"Art of Protection," a Sept. 29 event sponsored by the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus (CBGMC), showcased the talents of youths from across the city who incorporated HIV/AIDS prevention messages into their art. Conceived to spotlight the spread of the virus among young black men who have sex with men, the event featured local spoken-word artists as well as a speed-dating session.


It is not enough "to just pass out condoms," said Stephen Armstead, chair of CBGMC's youth committee. "We need to let our youth express themselves because this epidemic is hitting them hard. They need to express their fight against HIV."

Wanda Ozier, a case manager for Taskforce Prevention and Community Services, said the event was designed to normalize discussions of HIV/AIDS so that stigma surrounding the disease can ease. "It makes [HIV knowledge] common and it should be common," she said.

Craig Johnson of Rush University Medical Center said his presence at the event was intended to lend support and to educate youths on the importance of participating in clinical trials. Rush presently is recruiting for three clinical trials, Johnson said, and African American participation is key. "I intend to be present across Chicago at events like this. A lot of people don't participate in clinical trials because they've never been asked," he noted.

For more on the Rush trials, visit

Back to other news for October 2010

Adapted from:
Windy City Times (Chicago)
10.06.2010; Mason Harrison

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.
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