November 30, 1995
STATE BUILDINGS' LIGHTS TO BE DIMMED AS PART OF WORLD AIDS DAY OBSERVANCE
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- As part of the nation's eighth annual observance of World AIDS Day, Gov. Jim Edgar today announced the Capitol dome lights and lights at state government buildings in Chicago and Springfield will be dimmed for 15 minutes on Dec. 1 in tribute to those living with HIV and AIDS and those who have died from AIDS.
"This is a day to remember those who have been lost to AIDS and to encourage compassion and hope for those confronted with the realities of this deadly disease," the Governor said. "It also is a time to renew our efforts to raise public awareness of HIV and educate ourselves and our communities about how this disease is spread to prevent further infection."
Dome lighting and holiday lights at the Capitol will be turned off at 6:45 p.m., as will lights at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago; the State of Illinois Building, 160 N. LaSalle St., Chicago; and the Illinois Department of Public Health, 525-535 W. Jefferson St., Springfield.
Edgar also proclaimed Dec. 1 as AIDS Awareness Day and announced the Illinois Department of Public Health will honor an individual and an organization with the state's second annual World AIDS Day Award for exceptional merit. Comptroller Loleta Didrickson will present the awards during a noon ceremony in the Capitol rotunda.
Michael Thurnherr, executive director of Test Positive Aware Network Inc., Chicago, will receive the individual award for his advocacy work for people living with HIV and AIDS.
The organization to be recognized is the Jackson County Health Department, which has been the driving force behind HIV prevention and education efforts in southern Illinois.
Individuals to receive honorable mention awards are John Givens Jr., who died in October with AIDS and was manager of Cooke's Manor, a residential care program for men living with HIV/AIDS; and Deana Croffoot, mother of a child with AIDS and a case manager for the Madison County AIDS Program.
Organizations to receive honorable mention awards are Central Illinois Friends of PWA Inc., Peoria; and Quincy High School HIV Peer Educators.
Lights are scheduled to be dimmed across the country Dec. 1 at private and public buildings, including the White House, to recognize World AIDS Day, which this year focuses on "Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities." Church bells also will toll 15 times to represent the 15 years of the pandemic.
Since 1981, there have been more than 16,000 reported cases of AIDS in Illinois, nearly 8,000 in the past three years alone. Of those diagnosed with AIDS, 10,043, or 62 percent, have died. Illinois has the sixth highest total of AIDS cases in the nation.
Persons who have questions about AIDS, HIV or state-sponsored counseling and testing services may call the toll-free Illinois AIDS hotline at 1-800-AID-AIDS or 1-800-782-0423 (TTY for the hearing impaired), between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. seven days a week.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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