Advocates call for black-led HIV/AIDS prevention groups to get funding

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day(WEEK)
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:49 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - Commemorating Black HIV/AIDS awareness day, several advocates asked Springfield lawmakers to fund black-led groups equal to what their needs are in the community.

According to the group of advocates and leaders of HIV/AIDS prevention across Illinois, half of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses are for Black people, while funding for Black-led groups lags behind.

“The money is not following the disease,” the founder of Black Leadership Advocacy Coalition for Healthcare Equity Creole Hampton said, continuing that public stigma and perception led people to believe HIV/AIDS can only be contracted by gay men, and groups for white, gay men have led the funding. She said women and straight men are equally at risk.

Illinois passed a law in 2006 to provide resources for communities of color looking to prevent HIV spread. Currently, they say there is no funding for that act in the budget.

Last year the 2006 African American HIV Response Act received $15 million in funding, but Hampton argued that is from COVID-19 emergency funds and won’t be there next year.

Joined by State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D - Chicago) and State Sen. Mike Simmons (D - Chicago), they’re asking legislators to acknowledge the inequity and fund their groups using state revenue in the upcoming budget.