December 11, 2019

World AIDS Day across Illinois

Every year on Dec. 1, communities across the globe gather to observe World AIDS Day and acknowledge how far we have come in the fight to end the HIV epidemic, look ahead to the work that still needs to be done and bring awareness to end the stigma that surrounds it. The theme for World AIDS Day 2019 was Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community. Getting to Zero Illinois (GTZ-IL) partner organizations across the state observed the awareness day by hosting events that brought together community members to encourage spreading knowledge about HIV and prevention, speaking out against stigma and the continuing efforts to achieve the GTZ-IL plan to end the epidemic by 2030. Here are highlights from some GTZ-IL partners’ World AIDS Day events across the state:


“It takes us as a community to come together. This is much bigger than us agencies joining forces … We have to think in the now and what it takes to come together to fight this.”

– Bruce Broughton, Positive Health Solutions Case Manager


“It’s so important that we look to the past, not only to learn from our mistakes, but to celebrate what we have already accomplished. A huge part of Getting to Zero is remembering to celebrate our previous and current victories. It will encourage us to push forward to eliminate HIV and that is so incredibly empowering.”

-Derrius Carter, Prevention Specialist, Champaign-Urbana Health District


“We lost some of our most valuable community members [in the early days of the epidemic]. It was as if we were in the trenches of a war zone and with each explosion more young lives were taken and although some of us in the trenches were there to see it, the rest of the world had no idea.”

– Michael Maginn, Illinois Public Health Association Lead Agent


“As we march toward the end together, we each will see the world as we do through our own experience and with our own perspective. But, when we bring our diverse stories together, as we always have, what we create is something far greater than any one of us can create alone. Let us work in humility and show grace and tell all the stories that need to be told.”

-Dave Kern, Chicago Department of Public Health Deputy Commissioner of HIV/STI

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