Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16



Black Gay Caucus Launches HIV/AIDS Campaign
by Amy Wooten

This article shared 5328 times since Wed Mar 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Keith Green at the Black Gay Mmen's Causcus event. Photo by Amy Wooten.

The Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus wants to normalize knowledge of one's HIV status, Kanye West-style.

The caucus launched a new HIV/AIDS social marketing campaign, 'I know. Do You Know?' on Feb. 7 at the South Side's Steelelife Gallery. Those present at the unveiling—from party promoters and politicians to clergy and public health officials—were proof that a historic movement in the Black community had begun.

'This is a very, very big movement,' said caucus and Test Positive Aware Network member Keith Green.

This campaign is something that the health officials can't do alone, stressed Lora Branch, director of Chicago Department of Public Health's ( CDPH's ) STD/HIV prevention and care programs department and Caucus member. 'It takes everybody in this room.'

Green wrote and starred in the campaign's two-minute hip-hop music video that will be available on an interactive Web site. There will also be television, radio and print ads. Green believes hip-hop, which has a very strong presence in the Black community, is the perfect medium because it doesn't 'preach.'

'We need to normalize [ knowing your status ] and make people more aware that there are people in the community living with HIV,' Green said. 'We need to let people know they are not alone.'

According to CDPH, Blacks make up 36 percent of the population in Chicago, yet 55 percent of those living with HIV/AIDS. Many of those at the campaign launch wore pins that read '46% Is Unacceptable,' a reference to a Centers for Disease Control five-city survey that found 46 percent of Black MSM ( men who have sex with men ) tested positive for HIV, and an even larger percentage is unaware of its status.

'This is a natural disaster that did not make front-page headlines,' said Rev. Charles M. Straight, assistant pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church. 'We could debate the reasons, or we could do something. Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus is doing something.'

The unveiling was in conjunction with National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the 'We Are Here' exhibit. The photo exhibit of Black LGBT Chicagoans by Richard Lee Gray is on display at Steelelife Gallery.

CDPH Commissioner Terry Mason stopped by the event for a moving speech. Mason gave an analogy of the horrors African Americans have survived. You can spray Raid in a house full of cockroaches and kill many of the bugs, but some will survive due to genetic mutation, he said. 'They have sprayed their best at us, but we are still here.'

The commissioner urged those present to do some soul searching and ask what they are really going to do to make a difference.

'This is a community I'm excited to see rising up and taking care of themselves,' Simone Koehlinger, director of CDPH's Office of LGBT Health, told Windy City Times.

One of those individuals taking action is Straight, who is heading the faith-based initiative to help normalize knowledge of HIV status in the African American community. Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus is taking a holistic approach with this campaign, including the spiritual.

'We need to teach people that God loves you and you love yourself,' Straight told Windy City Times. 'And because God loves you and you love yourself, you are worth saving.'

We are going to challenge the Christian church in the Black community,' he added. 'It's time to examine the issue of sex and sexuality within the church.'

At the event, caucus members urged the need for the Black community to work together and create some noise. 'We all have a stake in this work,' caucus member Allen Wright told the crowd. 'We have to make a difference. There is no other choice.'

This article shared 5328 times since Wed Mar 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

HIV/AIDS activist Rae Lewis-Thornton on her new memoir, 'Unprotected'
Emmy-winning HIV/AIDS activist, author, minister, political organizer, motivational speaker, life coach, jewelry designer and social media figure Rae Clara Lewis-Thornton's recently released book, Unprotected: A Memoir, is already a pre-release ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Dr. David Ostrow dies at 74
Longtime researcher Dr. David Gene Ostrow, of Chicago, died unexpectedly on Feb. 16 at home. He was 74. The cause of death was end-stage renal disease, according to the Tribute Archive website. Ostrow was born on ...

Gay News

LGBTQ Religious Archives Network holds 'AIDS, Activism and American Christianity' webinar
LGBTQ Religious Archives Network (LGBTQ-RAN) held an "AIDS, Activism and American Christianity: A Conversation" virtual webinar on May 5. The event focused on Christian activism during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and ...

Gay News

Running squad 'Team to End AIDS' calls for participants to raise funds
-- From a press release - (Chicago, IL) Over the last 19 years, TEAM TO ENDS AIDS (T2)—the only HIV charity fundraising marathon team in the Midwest—has raised more than $13 million for HIV/AIDS awareness and direct support for those living with ...

Gay News

Book-signing for HIV/AIDS activist's 'Unprotected: A Memoir' on May 21
-- From a press release - "I had been torn apart by the doings of others and blamed myself for surviving to the best of my ability. It would literally take decades for me to understand that I was the product of what happened to me." Emmy ...

Gay News

Gerber/Hart announces change in leadership
Wil Brant is no longer executive director of Gerber/Hart Library and Archives. According to an open letter from board co-chairs James Conley and Kevin Nunley as well as Board Treasurer Becky Chmielewski, Brant "served in this ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Campus Pride, HIV and the military, IVF suit, Billie Jean King
Campus Pride—along with 36 other national/regional organizations such as GLSEN, PFLAG National and—requested that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) incorporate non-binary students into ...

Gay News

Indiana Univ. to host inaugural national HIV conference
Indiana University (IU) will host the first IU National HIV Conference, "Stepping into the 5th Decade: Evolving Our Response to HIV," June 8-11 in Indianapolis. Hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity ...

Gay News

'It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful' explores art collective's part in HIV/AIDS activism
In Jack Lowery's book, It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful: How AIDS Activists Used Art to Fight a Pandemic, the historian shares how the art collective Gran Fury utilized community-made propaganda to address the HIV/AIDS ...

Gay News

ONE Archives running exhibit of vintage LGBTQ+ activist posters
Los Angeles-based ONE Archives Foundation announced "Days of Rage, a web-based multimedia exhibit featuring newly digitized LGBTQ+ activist posters from the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries. The exhibit, which has launched ...

Gay News

National Black Justice Coalition honors National Transgender HIV Testing Day
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — Today, April 18th, is National Transgender HIV Testing Day (NTHTD). On this day, local, state, federal, and national organizations unite to recognize the importance of routine HIV ...

Gay News

Gerber/Hart Library and Archives holds 40th-anniversary event at Sidetrack
Gerber/Hart Library and Archives (Gerber/Hart) celebrated its 40th anniversary with a "40 & Fabulous! The Gerber/Hart Spring Soiree" benefit April 7—the birthday of one of the library's namesakes, Pearl Hart—at ...

Gay News

Legislation to increase critical access to HIV prevention meds passes Illinois House
-- From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — On April 7, HB4430—Increasing Access to PrEP and PEP sponsored by State Representative Kelly M. Cassidy—passed the Illinois House on concurrence with a vote of 72-30. This bill ...

Gay News

TPAN named beneficiary of Pride Night at Blackhawks game April 12
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL - TPAN, Chicago's own nonprofit that is in its 35th year of serving people living with HIV has been selected as the beneficiary of Pride Night at the April 12 Blackhawks game against the ...

Gay News

Federal court strikes down Pentagon's restrictions on military service of people Living with HIV as unconstitutional
-- From a press release - "The court ruled that the Pentagon's policies regarding service members with HIV are not only outdated, but unlawful, arbitrary and capricious, and unconstitutional . . . one of the strongest judicial rulings in over two decades ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.