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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
ILLINOIS: Reps Push for Extension of AIDS Lottery Program

February 16, 2012
Windy City Times (Chicago) (02.15.12) - Thursday, February

On Feb. 7, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, activists visited the Capitol in Springfield to support a bill to continue the Illinois Lottery game that raises money for AIDS prevention and care.

The "Red Ribbon Cash" scratch-off ticket supports the Quality of Life HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention Fund, the only self- generating revenue funding enhancer of its kind in the United States. It is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2012; SB 2971 would move that deadline to Dec. 31, 2017.

"Funding for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs is vitally important, given the increasing prevalence and devastating nature of this disease in our communities," said Sen. Jackie Collins, the bill's sponsor. Companion legislation in the House is sponsored by Rep. Karen Yarbrough. Ben Montgomery and Michael O'Connor, co-authors of the original Quality of Life HIV/AIDS legislation, organized the press conference with support from the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Red Ribbon Cash has generated $1.4 million so far; this year, its proceeds will benefit 14 community-based organizations across Illinois.