All posts by ruojingliu

Under the sea: The search for potential miracle cures

By Yvaine Ye
Medill Reports

What mysteries lurk in the blue water that covers more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface? No one truly knows, not even scientists. But many suspect the next miracle cure could be swimming in vast oceans amongst tiger sharks and stingrays.

Continue reading

‘Fake news’ about flu shot

By Yvaine Ye
Medill Reports

Baby boomers, Gen X-ers and millennials hardly ever agree with each other on the same issue, but more than half of them have found common ground on the flu vaccine. They are not fans.

More than 7,000 people died as a result of flu and flu-related disorders such as lung disease from 2010 to 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus also sent approximately 2 million people to the hospital in the same time period. Sure, everyone hates getting the flu, but only 43 percent of U.S. adults received a flu shot last year.

Continue reading

Smoking rates among younger Chinese-Americans shrouded in mystery

By Ruojing Liu

Cigarette butts litter the streets in Chinatown. The Respiratory Health Association (RHA) collaborates with the Asian Health Coalition to organize students for a tobacco litter clean-up there on World No-Tobacco Day each May 31st. They meet in Chinatown Square. As in the past, volunteers can expect to fill dozens of clear jars with cigarette butts, said Todd Fraley, health policy analyst at RHA.

Chicago’s Chinatown, just off the Red Line south of the Loop, is home to about half of all 48,000 Chinese Americans residing in Chicago.
Continue reading

Chicago’s new HIV primary care services finalized

By Ruojing Liu

The Chicago Department of Public Health finalized deals Thursday with the University of Illinois at Chicago and Howard Brown Health to transfer and expand the city’s HIV primary care services.

The deals include transferring two currently city-run HIV primary care clinics at 845 W. Wilson Ave. in Uptown and at 641 W. 63rd Street in Englewood to the management of UIC and Howard Brown Health respectively. The deal also includes expanding the primary care services for HIV-positive residents at UIC’s existing clinics in South Chicago and Humboldt Park.

Continue reading

Suggestion to abolish bottled water tax amid Chicago tap water lead concern

By Ruojing Liu

Richard Boykin, Cook County Commissioner of the 1st District, suggested Chicago abolish the 5-cent bottled water tax amid concerns over lead contamination in the city’s drinking water system.

The Chicago Tribune recently published a series of stories on possible lead contamination risks in Chicago’s tap water as construction work disrupts service lines that connect households to the city’s main water system. Since then, suspicion over high levels of lead in tap water arose in Southwest communities where, according to the stories, are more susceptible to lead contamination.

The commissioner made the above proposal at a city town hall meeting held at the Home of Life Church March 10.

Continue reading

Local HIV organizations oppose Rauner’s 2017 budget

By Ruojing Liu

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget for the 2017 fiscal year cuts $7.4 million from the Illinois state general HIV/AIDS fund compared to about $25.4 million last year. The approximate 30 percent cut raised some eyebrows among local organizations that serve the HIV/AIDS community.

On February 17, Gov. Rauner proposed a budget for fiscal year 2017 that included an $18 million appropriation for the “Expenses of AIDS/HIV Education, Services, Prescription Drugs, CTRPN and Patient and Worker Notification,” a lump sum that supports HIV housing, prevention, supportive services and health care programs for people living with HIV. This funding also supports the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which provides life-saving medication to people living with HIV.

Continue reading

State Budget miscarriage might see more HIV positive babies

By Ruojing Liu

“They saved my life.”

When LeSherri James was pregnant with her first baby in 2003, the homeless 21-year-old HIV positive mother-to-be was not left to face the pregnancy on her own. Anne Statton and the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative (PACPI) she led was there to help.

The organization helped James through every step of her pregnancy: they made sure she get to doctor’s appointments, filled her prescriptions, set up a perinatal training course to teach her how to take care of her child, helped her secure a health care plan, signed her up for the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, and got her an apartment.
Continue reading

Great Lakes protection awaits presidential candidates’ endorsement

By Ruojing Liu

Environmentalists within the Great Lakes region announced a campaign platform Wednesday, asking the 2016 presidential candidates to support a Great Lakes restoration and protection agenda.

The new platform includes endorsement of maintaining at least $300 million each year for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative within the Federal budget. President Obama cut that fund from the current $300 million to $250 million in his recent proposed fiscal year 2017 budget.
Continue reading

Hundreds participated in Chicago’s largest CPR training event

By Ruojing Liu

Hundreds of Chicago residents participated in the city’s largest CPR training event Friday at the Advocate Center.

The Advocate Heart Institute partnered with the Chicago Bulls and the American Heart Association to organize the event to train more people how to perform CPR during emergencies.
Continue reading

Chicago promotes safe-sex, HIV prevention program

By Ruojing Liu

A coalition of Chicago-based organizations recently rolled out a new city-wide campaign to raise awareness of an HIV prevention program of taking a prescription-only pill once every day.

The program, called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, aims at people who are at high risk of contracting HIV as a way to significantly reduce the risk of infection by taking a drug called Truvada.

Continue reading