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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Planting Hope event highlights HIV cure research
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2017-12-20

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The AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital ( Lurie Children's ) and Northwestern University hosted the Planting Hope: Chicago Unites in Research to End HIV ( CURE HIV ) event Dec. 5 at Reunion Chicago.

CURE HIV is a community-academic partnership funded by Gilead Sciences, Inc. that works to further cure research from a holistic perspective.

Test Positive Aware Network's Positively Aware Editor Jeff Berry unveiled the magazine's second-ever special issue focusing on HIV cure research.

Berry also appeared in conversation alongside Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Professor Dr. Richard Thomas D'Aquila, Lurie Children's and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Research Assistant Professor Amy K. Johnson and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Research Assistant Professor George Greene.

Ahead of the conversation, Reunion Chicago Creative Director Elijah McKinnon spoke about the many diverse events they have held in the space since it opened.

D'Aquila explained that the goal now is to work toward an HIV cure. He noted the history of the research and the desire to pursue both a sustained remission or a functional cure. Berry said that any cure that is pursued has to be scalable.

Green and Johnson ( who both lead the CURE HIV Project ) spoke about the importance of community engagement in cure research. Green gave an overview of the study objectives while Johnson explained some of the barriers to participation including issues around disclosure, concern for their children if something should happen to them and the fact that they already feel good with their current medications and do not want to stop taking them to be a part of the project.

The event also featured a live interactive painting installation by Onyx and a modern dance performance courtesy of Darling Squire.


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