Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-05-16
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Activist Maxx Boykin on HIV/AIDS fight and new challenges
by Gretchen Rachel Hammond

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) Community, Advocacy and Social Justice Manager, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance co-manager and Black Youth Project ( BYP ) 100 member Maxx Boykin is prominent not only in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS but through his seemingly tireless efforts for Black empowerment.

Now Boykin faces a new set of challenges in a cause to which he has dedicated his life. The election of a new U.S. president could mean the loss of lifesaving HIV/AIDS services through the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act ( ACA ) and the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

Many believe President Trump is also engaged in attacks on the Black community, particularly given the appointment of Jeff Sessions as attorney general and the chief executive's tweeted and verbal perceptions of inner cities.

Ahead of the Feb. 7 National Black AIDS Awareness Day, Boykin spoke with Windy City Times from Washington, D.C.—now the front line in a war that is not merely political but one in which there are lives and communities at stake.

Windy City Times: How would you characterize the progress that has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS and what are your concerns under this new administration?

Maxx Boykin: In terms of HIV/AIDS in this country and across the world, we made a lot of progress over the last eight years. We have a national HIV/AIDS strategy. It was not a perfect document, but [Obama's] Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS continued to improve that strategy year in and year out. Along with that, the advent of PrEP and trying to get it to African American communities really gave people access to groundbreaking technologies, treatment, prevention and helped to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in this country. With the Affordable Care Act coupled with [the] Ryan White [CARE Act], we have also seen people who couldn't afford healthcare get the kind of access they had never had before.

There were limitations, especially in Southern states where Medicaid was not expanded and we have seen the spread of HIV/AIDS because of lack of access to insurance.

The main concerns I have now are the ways in which Black communities across this country will be attacked on many sides; with this "new healthcare" that Republicans want to roll out but that we still have not seen, attacks on our chances of really ending the epidemic. If the current administration defunds a lot of the programs they say they are going to, it really impacts people of color more than anyone by removing direct services that help communities the most.

WCT: There is a lot of concern that a lot of HIV testing that had been free for low income people is just going to evaporate with the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the dismantling of the ACA coupled with the groups suffering financially under the Illinois budget impasse. What can people do to make sure that testing remains intact?

MB: We must continue to find ways to resist and people must understand what it means to resist. The Women's March was a beautiful thing. There must be economic boycotts of those who support racist policies in this country. There are also ways in which to celebrate people's lives such as going to Art AIDS America and learning about what is really going on. We must continue to educate people, push back against elected officials and policies that are racist or discriminatory in nature and which do not allow the access that people need to health insurance or PrEP. We must fight for access to proper education. That is huge.

WCT: Recalling the time when people with HIV were barred admission to the United States, now there is a different type of ban implemented ( and now being fought ) against Muslims. This must bring up some very bad memories. It's still a ban on personhood.

MB: I truly believe in the freedom of expression, of religion and always in the importance of immigrant rights in this country. This country was built on the backs of slaves and immigrants. It would be nowhere near where it is today without that influx of people, knowledge and culture coming into this country. The fact that we would ban a particular group of folks from particular countries is un-American, illegal and I am glad there has been some push-back.

WCT: Black Lives Matter ( BLM ) co-founder Patrisse Cullors said she hopes the organization can gain more political capital. Do we have an opportunity now for that to happen with the resistance movement?

MB: I think the movement for Black lives will push for political power both in local settings and also on a national level. I am also a member of Black Youth Project 100 and we have a vision for Black futures and economic empowerment through policies that must be moved in a political context. We need to make sure that all elected officials understand that Black lives do matter and policies that uplift our communities, uplift America. There will be a continued push for years to come. This will be a long fight.

For more information on the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, visit .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

WORLD Mariela Castro, HIV news, Greek legislation 2018-05-15 - Mariela Castro, a Cuban lawmaker and daughter of Communist Party chief Raul Castro, has said she will push for same-sex marriage to be ...

Gay News

Legendary HIV activist, writer Larry Kramer to speak at Conference on AIDS 2018-05-01 - April 24, 2018 - NMAC has announced that legendary HIV activist and writer Larry Kramer will speak at the United States Conference on ...

Gay News

Dining Out for Life April 26 2018-04-25 - The annual event known as Dining Out for Life Chicago will take place Thursday, April 26. This year, up to 75 local ...

Gay News

Season of Concern hosts 'Cabaret for Care' 2018-04-18 - Season of Concern's 2018 annual benefit titled Cabaret for Care came to the Goodman Theatre on April 9. The evening had donors enjoying ...

Gay News

HRC releases HIV college guide 2018-04-18 - The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation has released a new comprehensive guide for college administrators, staff and students outlining many of ...

Gay News

NMAC Releases Biomedical HIV Prevention Blueprint for Communities of Color 2018-04-11 - April 10, 2018 - NMAC has released Expanding Access to Biomedical HIV Prevention: Tailoring Approaches for Effectively Serving Communities of Color, a new ...

Gay News

'Bolder Than Out' features variety show, panel discussion 2018-04-11 - As a part of the Coalition for Justice and Respect ( CJR ) sixth annual Bolder Than Out ( BTO ) conference, "Kitchen ...

Gay News

Advocate recounts challenges facing women with HIV 2018-04-11 - Even as technology to prevent and treat HIV infections improves, obstacles continue to impede efforts by providers and advocates to assist women living ...

Gay News

TPAN Welcomes Christopher Clark as New CEO 2018-04-10 - ( Chicago, IL, April 10, 2018 ) — TPAN announces today that it has hired Christopher Clark to serve as the organization's Chief ...

Gay News

HRC Releases New Guide for HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care on Campuses 2018-04-10 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.