Illinois Youth & HIV/AIDS: Forum ’09

The Children’s Place Association & The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration

Posts Tagged ‘Dexter Voison’

Governor Pat Quinn Approves Soto, Delgado Bill to Create State Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages Targeting Youth

Posted by David Ormsby on September 1, 2009

Governor Pat Quinn

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield , IL) – 1 September 2009. Governor Pat Quinn last week approved legislation that creates a new state advisory council to help state government develop effective HIV/AIDS prevention messages targeting youth.

The legislation, House Bill 3974, sponsored by State Representative Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago) and State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) would create the Advisory Council on Youth HIV/AIDS Prevention Messages to advise the Illinois Department of Public Health on effective prevention messages to deter youth from engaging in risky behaviors that lead to HIV/AIDS infections.

“The percentage of Illinois HIV/AIDS infections that is represented by youth has been growing enormously over the last eight years, and that growth, in part, represents a failure of HIV/AIDS prevention messages to effectively reach youth” said Cathy Krieger, President & CEO of The Children’s Place Association based in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.

“We are grateful to Governor Quinn that he recognizes the problem of youth HIV/AIDS infections and is acting to address the problem.”

State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago)

State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago)

On February 27, 2009, at the 2nd annual Illinois Youth & HIV/AIDS Forum sponsored by The Children’s Place Association, the Illinois Department of Public Health presented data that revealed that the youth proportion of reported HIV/AIDS infections in Illinois has grown from 10% in 2000 to 20% in 2008—a 100% increase.

“This is a staggering increase,” said Krieger.

In addition to the IDPH data, new research was presented by Dr. Dexter Voisin, an Associate Professor, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration that examined the attitudes of Chicago-area college students in seven focus groups, including blacks, Latinos, whites, males, females, and gay men—regarding HIV/AIDS prevention messages.

The research findings revealed all groups reported a significant reduction in the intensity, range, and the length of media messages on HIV prevention and testing over the last 5 years.

More specifically, the research showed that young blacks and Latinos in Chicago tend to distrust most sources of government information on HIV/AIDS prevention. And young Latina women in Chicago fear getting an HIV/AIDS test out of concern that they may be labeled negatively as “fast” women.

Additionally, all respondents said they would be likely to take their parents seriously if they spoke to them about sex and HIV/AIDS transmission.

Of the 50 students who participated in the focus group research—only one had been tested for HIV/AIDS.

“The bottom line is that AIDS awareness initiatives and media prevention messages targeted at young people in Chicago – and African-Americans and Latinos in particular – are not working,” said Krieger. “We think the advisory council approved by Governor Quinn is a good step to address the problem.”

The Children’s Place Association is Illinois’ only child welfare agency exclusively dedicated to the care of HIV/AIDS infected children and families in Illinois.


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2nd Annual Forum on Illinois Youth and HIV/AIDS Will Unveil University of Chicago Focus Group “HIV Prevention Messages” Report

Posted by David Ormsby on January 5, 2009

(Chicago, IL) — The Children’s Place Association will host its second annual forum on Illinois Youth and HIV/AIDS in conjunction with the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration in Chicago on February 27, 2009.

Cathy Krieger, President & CEO, The Children's Place Association

Cathy Krieger, President & CEO, The Children's Place Association

The forum, “HIV/AIDS Prevention and Youth: Abstinence or Condoms? Cell Phone Texts or Peers? Messages and Messengers that Make a Difference”, will release a focus group report, developed by University of Chicago Associate Professor Dexter Voison, that examines HIV/AIDS prevention messages and messengers that resonate with youth.

In addition to Voison’s research, the forum will include a panel of HIV/AIDS infected or at-risk youth to react to the focus group report, a panel of state public policy experts to consider possible legislative policy initiatives by the Illinois General Assembly, and a luncheon keynote speech by Emory University Professor Ralph DiClemente, an experts on HIV/AIDS and adolescents.

The Children’s Place Association, which has provided specialized pre-school, 24-hour nursing care, housing, youth counseling, and other critical services to Chicago-area children infected, orphaned or traumatized by HIV/AIDS since 1991, held its first forum on Illinois youth and HIV/AIDS in Chicago on November 9, 2007.

The 2007 forum revealed that Illinois HIV infections among youth under aged 24 jumped from 6% to 16%, a 60% increase, since 2000.

“HIV/AIDS-infected youth are a severely overlooked group from a service and public policy perspective, and the surging infections among them is proof positive prevention efforts are failing,” said Cathy Krieger, President & CEO of The Children’s Place Association.

“The escalating HIV/AIDS infections and risk among Illinois youth are driving our commitment to seeking effective HIV infection prevention strategies,” said Krieger.

The forum will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street in Chicago from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, please contact: David Ormsby at 312-342-9638 or

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