Illinois Gov. Announces More Funding for AIDS Campaign Aimed at Blacks, Files Emergency Rule To Implement Rapid Testing
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) on Thursday announced that he will increase to $2.5 million funding for an HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention program aimed at blacks in the state, the Chicago Tribune reports (Slife, Chicago Tribune, 9/16). That amount is a tenfold increase from the original amount allocated for the program (AP/ABC7Chicago.com, 9/15). The campaign, called Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS, will include public service announcements, advertisements, and a van that will travel around the state to provide health screenings and testing (Chicago Tribune, 9/16). Blagojevich said the awareness campaign is necessary because blacks in 2004 made up half of all reported HIV/AIDS cases in Illinois, despite accounting for only 15% of the state's population (AP/ABC7Chicago.com, 9/15). Illinois Department of Public Health Director Eric Whitaker praised the governor's move to provide additional funding, but he said he did not know the source of the money (Hollinshed, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9/17). Blagojevich on Thursday also announced that he has filed an emergency rule with the secretary of state's office to implement the use of rapid HIV testing statewide. The rule would allow more than 300 public health facilities to administer HIV tests that produce results in about 20 minutes (Chicago Tribune, 9/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.