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Pat Mahoney, Gavin Russom, and Tyler Pope (LCD Soundsystem) join Lollapalooza Sideshow Thursday at Berlin

Jul. 26, 2016 - , Step right up, step right up -- you won't believe your eyes. The 7th annual Lollapalooza Sideshow returns to Berlin this Thursday with a night of strange, wonderful and debaucherous delights, including DJ sets from three -- count 'em, THREE -- members of LCD Soundsystem, recently reunited and one of this year's Lolla Headliners.

The sideshow, featuring astounding spectacles and outrageous acts ranging from fire-twirlers and acrobats to sword swallowers and bearded ladies, pays homage to Lolla fests of yore and the side stage freak shows that accompanied them.

"The early 90's Lollapalooza concerts had side stages that hosted the Jim Rose Circus," Scott Cramer, the event's organizer and owner of Berlin's Thursday night Stardust party, told ChicagoPride.com. "I distinctly remember seeing Jim himself attach cinder blocks to his nipple piercings, along with many other crazy amazing acts. I went with my sister Venus Cramer to Lolla, saw the circus, and I was intrigued -- it was also my first live music experience, ever!"

"The memory and the experience have stuck with me over the years," he continued, "And in a way this event pays homage to not only to Lolla, but also to my sister for opening my eyes to the music industry and the insane world of Jim Rose."

The underground performance party has been a favorite for partygoers and media alike since its inception, with past acts including Passion Pit, Crystal Castles, Chvurches, Wild Belle and Lady Starlight, Lady Gaga's original DJ and music partner.

The Sideshow grows each year, and 2016 is shaping up to be legendary with Pat Mahoney, Gavin Russom and Tyler Pope of the recently reunited LCD Soundsystem each spinning a set -- "a rare, must see opportunity," Cramer says. They'll be joined in bringing the beats by DJs Acid Daddy and Heaven Malone.

Cramer takes on the role of ringleader along with Jenae Wrk Williams, presiding over the evening and the array of freaky and wonderful performers ready to dazzle and entertain. The night includes exhibitions by Chicago-based side show and burlesque performer Sally Marvel (one of only 26 recognized female sword swallowers in the world); acrobat, juggler and tumbler Mr. Spring; JoJo Baby as the Dog Faced Boy; the Half Woman Half Man (half Debbie Fox/half Loren Agron) and Chicago favorite Lucy Stoole as The Bearded Lady, to name just a few.

"There's really no way to truly describe the event -- it's this chaotic, beautiful energy," Cramer said. "Every year and every act is mind bending and memorable...The sideshow is not your typical party or concert, it's an experience and a wild ride."

All this and much, much more is yours for the taking, ladies and gents -- so come one, come all and get ready to dance, be awed and embrace your inner freak!

Tickets are only $12 and can be purchased online: http://gopride.com/Zci4. For more information and a full list of performers, check out their Facebook event.

DNC starts with Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren
Jul. 26, 2016 - , Democrats on Monday opened their convention in Philadelphia with rousing speeches from Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren.

With a scandal over leaked emails that appeared to show Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffers favoring Hillary Clinton over Sanders, her primary rival, lingering over the Wells Fargo Center, Democrats got a rocky start.

Earlier in the day, Sanders was booed during an address to his delegates in which he endorsed Clinton for president. "Brothers and sisters. This is the real world that we live in," Sanders told his supporters.

More boos were heard on the convention floor. When comedian Sarah Silverman, who supported Sanders in the primary, attempted to make light of the situation – "Can I just say to the 'Bernie or Bust' people, you're being ridiculous" – the fraction only grew louder.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker's speech emphasized diversity.

"Tolerance says I am just going to stomach your right to be different," he said. "That if you disappear from the face of the earth, I am no better or worse off. But love – love knows that every American has worth and value, no matter what their background, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Love recognizes that we need each other, that we as a nation are better together, that when we are divided we are weak, we decline, yet when we are united we are strong – invincible!"

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke of the kind of leaders she wants influencing the next generation: "This election, and every election, is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives."

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren called on delegates to "work our hearts out to make Hillary Clinton the president of the United States."

In the night's final speech, Sanders reiterated his support for Clinton: "Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president. And I am proud to stand with her tonight."

Change in HIV primary care and mental health services at Uptown facility
Jul. 23, 2016 - , The UIC Community Clinic Network (UCCN), which provides HIV primary care and mental health services to seven neighborhood clinics in the city, was selected to assume operations of the Chicago Department of Public Health's HIV primary care clinic in Uptown at 845 W. Wilson – and new operations there started in June.

"We are very excited to have been awarded the clinic in Uptown," said Dr. Richard Novak, professor, chief of infectious disease in UIC's College of Medicine, and director of the UCCN.  "We have moved our own existing Uptown clinic into the CDPH facility, and are pleased to be able to assume the care of the patients there.  We have already had a presence in Uptown for the past 25 years, so we have been part of the neighborhood for quite some time.  This is a positive move for us, and will allow us to bring our comprehensive services to a larger clientele."

The UCCN moved existing staff and patients from its old location at Broadway and Montrose to the CDPH building, which is a larger space than where it previously operated from and better equipped, Novak said.  "We are expanding our staff to allow operations five days a week.  This includes HIV primary care provided by Infectious Diseases-trained physicians, nurses, case management, outreach, pharmacy services, as well as mental health.  As part of University of Illinois Health, we have access to the highest level of care for our patients as needed."

Novak, 62, who lives in suburban Glencoe and has lived in the Chicago area his whole life, has been providing HIV care for 30 years, since 1986.  "So much has changed from those (early) years; HIV is now a very manageable condition, and our patients can expect to feel well, and live a full life if they adhere to the treatment," he said.

At the Uptown facility, UCCN will have a comprehensive program of services: physicians and nurses, and phlebotomists to provide primary HIV care, as well as a doctor of pharmacy to facilitate access to the medications, educating patients about their treatment, and promoting treatment adherence; outreach staff to help keep in touch with the patients, assist in getting them to clinic or to their appointments at the University Medical Center, mental health providers including licensed therapists to provide one-on-one and group therapy, a psychiatrist for medication management; and case management services offered through two collaborating agencies – UIC's School of Public Health Community Outreach Intervention Project (COIP) and Chicago House, to help with issues such as appointment and medication adherence, benefits applications, and referrals to other services such as drug treatment, housing and food pantries.

The Uptown facility is about 1,600 square-feet, with rooms to house all the staff, Novak said.  The clinic is open normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with five infectious diseases-trained physicians, two nurses, a phlebotomist, one outreach worker, a clinic coordinator who will serve as a liaison between the medical staff and case management, as well as three case managers (two from COIP, one from Chicago House).  Many of the staff are bilingual.

"The staff (is) a reflection of the target population," Novak said.

That includes the LGBT community.

"UCCN takes pride in providing high quality, non-judgmental, comprehensive care to our patients.  We meet our patients where they are at, not only in the community, but in their life as well," he said.

HIV testing will be done on-site through COIP; it is free and available on a walk-in basis.

"UCCN offers comprehensive primary care to HIV-positive individuals, treating other co-morbidities such as hepatitis, hypertension and diabetes, in addition to HIV care," Novak said.

Novak said that, other than UCCN's flagship clinic on the UIC campus, the Uptown facility is the only community-based site in an actual clinical building.  "The others are very nondescript storefronts, designed to hide what goes on inside," he said.  "Since several clinics operate in the Wilson building, no one will self-disclose their HIV status by entering the building, but they will feel like they are in a medical clinic when they arrive."

The UIC Community Clinic Network North Side (Uptown) location is at 845 W. Wilson Ave., in Chicago, and is open Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment, call (312) 636-1222.

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