Illinois Lottery and Illinois Department of Public Health Team Together to Support HIV/AIDS-Prevention Education
CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The Illinois Lottery, in partnership with IDPH, legislative supporters and HIV/AIDS advocates, is once again working together to raise millions of dollars to help people living with HIV/AIDS in Illinois. In recognition of World AIDS Day, the Illinois Lottery and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today unveiled a new Quality of Life scratch-off ticket, “Red Ribbon Cash,” where 100 percent of the net proceeds support HIV/AIDS-prevention education, support services for persons living with HIV/AIDS and awareness programs across Illinois.
“We are very proud to continue our support for HIV/AIDS research and education with our Quality of Life ticket,” said Jodie Winnett, Illinois Lottery’s Acting Superintendent. “‘Red Ribbon Cash’ is the third Quality of Life ticket we are introducing, and the funds generated from this ticket support HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs, research initiatives and various other HIV/AIDS health programs throughout the state.”
As of September 2010, approximately 33,000 people reported as living with HIV/AIDS in Illinois. IDPH reports a 10 percent increase in HIV diagnosis among youth ages 13-29, and the proportion of gay, male HIV cases has increased from 73 percent in 2005 to 81 percent in 2009. African Americans also accounted for 52 percent of reported HIV cases in 2009, while accounting for 15 percent of the population in Illinois.
“We can’t stress enough the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness,” said IDPH Director Dr. Damon Arnold. “The more people that understand the disease and how it is transmitted, the better we are in preventing the development of new cases in our communities,” he continued. “We want to encourage people to get tested and know their status. World AIDS Day allows us to reach many people and get them the information they need to stay healthy. In addition, HIV counseling and testing enables people with HIV to take steps to protect their own health and that of their partners,” said Arnold.
During this holiday season, the Illinois Lottery is encouraging residents to support the cause and share the tickets with loved ones and friends as holiday gifts. Recipients can win prizes up to $20,000 and gift givers can give back to a worthy cause.
“As people begin to do their holiday shopping and send out their greeting cards, we also want them to consider including these tickets,” said Winnett. “This would be a great, inexpensive token of thanks for co-workers, neighbors, your local postman, long time friends, and anyone else you may have on your list.”
“Red Ribbon Cash” is sold at Illinois Lottery retailers across the state. Each ticket costs $2 and has four top prizes of $20,000. Net revenue from the sale of Quality of Life tickets will be deposited into an interest bearing account in the State Treasury called the Quality of Life Endowment Fund.
About Illinois Lottery
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery is a state agency with annual sales of more than $2 billion. Since its inception, the Lottery has contributed more than $14 billion to the state Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools. Players must be at least 18 years old. For more information on the Illinois Lottery please visit our Web site at www.illinoislottery.com.
About HIV/AIDS in Illinois
For more information about HIV/AIDS in Illinois, call the Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline at 1-800-243-2437 or TTY (hearing impaired use only) 1-800-782-0423. It’s free and anonymous (no names). Trained counselors can help to answer your questions and help you to find a testing site that’s right for you. They are available seven days a week (9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends).
Media Contacts: Tracy Owens, Illinois Lottery: 312-793-1682; 312-590-9933(c) Melaney Arnold, IDPH: 217-558-0500
SOURCE Illinois Lottery; Illinois Department of Public Health