Date(s) - 11/15/2023
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
CHICAGO, IL – November 7, 2023 — Taskforce Prevention & Community Services is unveiling a new mural in its windows, created by teens and designed by local artist and LGBTQ+ community advocate David Gauna, as part of launching a PrEP4Teens campaign in collaboration with Northwestern University, featuring murals and other types of public art created collaboratively by muralists and Chicago youth.
WHAT: A PrEP4Teens campaign, hosted by TaskForce Prevention and Community Services and The Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. A workshop at TaskForce with a dozen youth took place to inform the mural’s look and messaging.
The event will include a mural unveiling, remarks, a pre-Thanksgiving buffet, a photo booth, and a youth “mini-ball” featuring a vogue competition with PrEP-inspired categories and cash prizes.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 15, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (CT)
WHERE: TaskForce Prevention and Community Services
9 North Cicero Avenue, Chicago, IL 60644
The event is open to the media and public. Registration is required to attend (see QSR Code on attached flyer).
WHO: Remarks from muralist and representatives from PrEP4Teens and TaskForce, including:
· David Gauna, muralist
· Kathryn Macapagal, representative, PrEP4Teens
· Chris Balthazar, executive director, TaskForce Prevention and Community Services
WHY: PrEP4Teens stems from research that identified lack of understanding and awareness as the main barriers for teenagers and young sexual and gender minorities to start taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP are FDA-approved medications that reduce an individual’s chance of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use by as much as 99%. PrEP is approved for adolescent use. But young adults and adolescents only make up 11% of those who are prescribed PrEP.
In partnership with TaskForce Prevention and Community Services, Jim Pickett Consulting, AIDS Foundation Chicago, University of Chicago, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and other local organizations, will launch an innovative social awareness campaign. Another key component of the campaign is a teen-friendly informational website, in English and Spanish, that explains PrEP and points to culturally competent PrEP providers in the Chicago area who serve youth.
TaskForce Prevention & Community Services is a grassroots organization committed to improving the sexual health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ youth of color in Chicago by providing a safe space for fellowship, HIV/STI screening and education, and on-site referrals to medical, housing, and other social services. This community-based, non-profit organization is dedicated to making a difference by working towards solutions in partnership with the community to improve the overall quality of life of LGBTQ+. Founded in 1990, TaskForce Prevention & Community Services (TaskForce) is located on the west side of Chicago, in the heart of the Austin community. The agency’s board of directors, staff, and community stakeholders work together to holistically approach preventive healthcare.
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