CHICAGO (CBS) — City health officials took to the streets to promote safe sex Thursday morning in recognition of World AIDS Day.
Chicago Department of Public Health representatives gave out free condoms at the 95th Street Red Line, Logan Square Blue Line, and Austin Green Line CTA train stops, as well as stations along Lake Street downtown.
The Illinois State Department of Public Health is also marking World AIDS Day, with statewide events for testing and counseling.
The lineup includes screenings of AIDS-related documentaries, panel discussions and news conferences. A youth group in downstate Decatur is even creating its own public service announcement.
On Thursday night, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is attending the AIDS Foundation’s Chicago World of Chocolate fundraising benefit at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan Ave. This year’s fundraiser, billed “The Ultimate Indulgence,” and will feature celebrity judging of chocolate delicacies.
On a more serious note, South African journalist Jonny Steinberg will speak at 4 p.m. Thursday at Northwestern University in Evanston, for the lecture, “HIV/AIDS in Africa and Beyond: The Story the Media Missed.”
Meanwhile, the Windy City Times gay and lesbian newspaper has published several special features for World AIDS Day, and also in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the discovery of HIV last June.
Also featured is a profile of Mark S. King, a former actor who has been living with HIV since 1985 and writes the blog “My Fabulous Disease,” and the story of nurse M.K. Czerwiec, who spent six years at Unit 371, the HIV/AIDS wing at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
The latest numbers show that in Cook County, just under 12,000 people are living with HIV, and more than 13,000 are living with full-blown AIDS.
Since the end of August, 620 new HIV cases have been recorded, with just over 200 AIDS cases on the record.
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