ML - Michigan Avenue

2014 - Issue 7 - November

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 85 of 163

"we've survived 40 years and continue to meet the needs of the community." —david ernesto munar get the care they need, but still be respected and honored in terms of their gender, and that's not easy. Also, many of our clients are very low-income and have multiple challenges in their lives, so the young people who come to our Broadway Youth Center, for example, come to us very hungry, very tired, and traumatized with severe unmet mental health needs, physical needs, and sometimes substance dependence needs. So we're trying to tend to all of those as much as possible—providing a warm meal, time to rest, STI and HIV screen- ings, counseling, and meetings with a nurse practitioner if they have other health needs. We're excited that we've endured for 40 years and continued to evolve to meet the unique needs of the community. It's not just an organization that's serving gay men; a substantial number of our patients are transgender, lesbian, bisexual, or queer women, and about a quarter of our patients are not LGBT at all. "For me, Howard Brown has meant so many things over the past 20 years. I was in a research project here when I was diagnosed with HIV at 23, and it was devastating—one of the hardest things I've ever been through. And now, to have come full circle from being diagnosed to 20 years later being CEO, it's humbling. All our patient stories are inspiring, but for me, I identify with that 23-year-old who we have to inform is HIV-positive because I was that 23-year-old. I can talk about it in public now and not tear up, but I don't forget the anxiety and the depression that ensued for a decade post-diagnosis. And even though there've been enormous advances in HIV medically, in terms of societal stigma not a lot has changed. So our success stories ground me and remind me of what our mission is. There's still a lot to be done. For me and my colleagues, that's why we do the work." Tickets to Garden of Eve are $150; Friday, November 7, at 7:30 pm, Venue One, 1034 W. Randolph St., 773-572-5117; MA Howard Brown has been serving an increasingly diverse community of patients since 1974. PEOPLE Spirit of Generosity

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