Help Fight HIV/AIDS This Weekend
By Rachelle Bowden in News on Sep 28, 2005 6:21PM
Remember Ryan White? The white middle class kid from Indiana who contracted HIV in blood as part of his treatment for hemophilia? The kid who was expelled from school because he was thought to be health risk to other students? The teenager who died of AIDS in 1990 and made the entire world wake up and realize that everyone on this planet is susceptible to AIDS no matter their sexual orientation or race?
Well, in 1990, when Ryan died, Congress enacted The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, the US's largest federally funded program (not counting Medicaid/care) for care of those living with HIV and AIDS. And now on Friday this program is going to expire and there has been no action by Congress yet to extend it.
This is just one of the things that will be discussed on Friday when state reps, local religious leaders and HIV advocates get together at an interfaith service for the national Campaign to End AIDS, a national movement to raise awareness among community and political leaders for increased AIDS prevention and care funding and science-based public policies to end the disease. The service will also address the need for increased participation from churches in the fight against AIDS and the importance of promoting tolerance and acceptance.
Also, as part of the Campaign, on Saturday AIDS advocates will be takin' it to the streets on Michigan Ave from Walton Place down to the River. About 100 advocates will be dressed in red and carrying signs on every street corner talkign to peds about HIV and AIDS. This event is the largest of its kind ever to be held on Michigan Ave and will end with a rally at Water Tower Park, where the Chicago Spirit Brigade will also perform. Here rally speeches will focus on the reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act and how Bush is planning on shifting millions of dollars for HIV/AIDS-related services away from hard-hit urban centers.
So, let's get out there and let's fight HIV and AIDS and let's show Congress that we care and we need the Ryan White CARE Act!
Friday, September 30 – 7:30 p.m.
Wesley United Methodist Church
201-213 E. 95th Street
Saturday, October 1
Street corner advocacy, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Water Tower Park Rally, 1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
North Michigan Avenue, from Walton Place to the Chicago River