WINDY CITY TIMES
||AIDS: AFC advocates for extension of benefit lottery tickets
This article shared 2444 times since Wed Feb 8, 2012
In honor of National Black AIDS Awareness Day Feb. 7, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) and a team of advocates made their voices heard in Springfield, urging the extension of a crucial program that funds HIV prevention and treatment. They planned a press conference at the State Capitol, to support a bill that would extend the sunset date for the Quality of Life Fund's "Red Ribbon Cash" lottery ticket expiring Dec. 31, 2012.
Co-sponsored by Sen. Jacqueline Collins ( D-16th ) and Rep. Karen Yarbrough ( D-7th ) , S.B. 2971 would extend the ticket sunset date to Dec. 31, 2017.
"This epidemic is particularly hard on young Black men and the African-American community, in general," AFC's Director of Government Relations Ramon Gardenhire said. "We simply cannot allow this lottery program, which provides critical funding for HIV treatment and services, to expire when we know it saves lives."
Enacted in 2007, 100 percent of the proceeds from Red Ribbon Cash lottery tickets go to organizations throughout Illinois that provide treatment and prevention services to those populations most affected by HIV/AIDSsuch as youth, African-Americans and Latinos, and the LGBT community.
The Quality of Life Fund is a self-generating revenue fund based on sales. Last year, the Red Ribbon Cash scratch-off game generated $1.4 million for HIV/AIDS prevention and care. This year, the lottery ticket will fund 14 community-based organizations across the state.
Despite representing only 14% of the U.S. population in 2009, African Americans accounted for 44% of all new HIV infections in that year, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This article shared 2444 times since Wed Feb 8, 2012
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