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Illinois Department of Corrections partners with AIDS Foundation Chicago  

CHICAGO – January 26, 2012 – The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has a new educational tool to use in its efforts to help offenders understand the importance of HIV/AIDS education. IDOC has teamed up with AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC), which has produced a new video featuring former offenders in the quest to educate other inmates about the importance of HIV/AIDS testing, education and treatment.

“Educating offenders inside the facilities is an important step to providing our inmate population with vital testing information and can serve to reach people who have previously missed out on HIV and AIDS education,” said Illinois Department of Corrections Director S.A. Godinez. “This video also gives specific HIV resource information to offenders re-entering society who may not have otherwise sought out services.”

“This partnership between AFC and Illinois Department of Corrections is a great example of how collaboration can bolster our collective efforts to increase HIV/AIDS awareness and improve the health of the re-entry population,” said Reverend Doris J. Green, AFC Director of Correctional Health & Community Affairs. “People perish for lack of knowledge and this video aims to empower people to take the first step toward knowing their status.”

The video “Outside the Walls: Life Beyond HIV” is a personal account of two former inmates who have been successful in taking control of their health care upon release from prison. The purpose of the video is to encourage offenders living with HIV preparing to re-enter society and educate them on the importance of regular testing.

The Department of Corrections is dedicated to increasing education and awareness of those in the prison system who are living with HIV/AIDS or those who have not taken the opportunity to be tested. DOC offers testing to inmates from intake through discharge. Upon discharge, these individuals are connected to HIV case managers and resources through community groups, such as AIDS Foundation of Chicago, to establish regular health care and a network of support.

For more information on this video or to download it for free, please visit the AIDS Foundation Chicago website at http://aidschicago.org/corrections.

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