SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – To address the HIV and AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects the Black community with greater support for Black-led frontline organizations, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, is calling on our state and federal governments to increase funding levels for programs in Illinois this upcoming Black HIV/AIDS Advocacy Day.

“Although much of the public rhetoric surrounding our approach to HIV and AIDS is focused on the downward trend of new cases, it has also ignored the crisis facing the Black community, which makes up over half of all new cases while comprising only 14 percent of the state’s population,” said Slaughter. “The data makes it painfully clear that the Black community has been deeply failed by the current arrangement put in place by our health care system. We saw this with the Black infection and death rate during the pandemic, and we’ll keep seeing this repeat unless we make a strong commitment to fund the organizations that save Black lives today.”

Slaughter will join Rep. La Shawn Ford and Sen. Mike Simmons alongside members of the Black Leadership Advocacy Coalition for Healthcare Equity (BLACHE) to demand funding for Black-led organizations that do the work of combatting the epidemic in the Black community. In 2022, Black-led organizations directly received only $1.2 million of the $103 million dollars in federal spending allocated to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) despite the preponderance of both new and existing cases in the Black community.

In 2005, the governor signed the African-American HIV/AIDS Response Act (AAHARA) into law. The bill, as introduced, intended for $15 million dollars to be set aside from general revenue funds annually to help fund Black-led HIV and AIDS solutions. The Act has sparsely been fully funded. As a result, many Black-led organizations have languished and withered away while White-led organizations prospered and even sub-contract Black-led organizations to do the brunt of the work in the Black community. Slaughter is calling on our state and federal government to pledge greater support to treat HIV and AIDS in the Black community.

“$15M from federal pandemic funding was allocated to the AAHARA fund in 2020.These funds remain bottle-necked in the Department of Public Health due to administrative setbacks, although they must be spent by the end of next year or be returned to the federal government. Even when Black legislators are successful in securing funding, systemic barriers rear their head and stand in the way of making progress,” said Slaughter. “More funding, more testing, more healthcare, with Black led-organizations at the head of the response to the Black community are the only solutions to this epidemic. I urge President Biden and Gov. Pritzker to fund the essential care that is needed to reverse the growing rates of HIV and AIDS in the Black community.”

Rep. Justin SlaughterRep. Justin Slaughter

27th District

Springfield Office:
249-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0010
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District Office:
1234 W. 95th St.
Chicago 60643