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Director of Chicago's Test Positive Aware Network dies

Director of Chicago's Test Positive Aware Network dies

Charles E. Clifton, the openly gay executive director of the Test Positive Aware Network, a Chicago-based HIV service, education, and advocacy organization, and editor of the organization's HIV treatment publications Positively Aware and Positively Aware in Espanol, died Sunday in his Chicago home of an apparent heart attack. He was 45. Clifton worked with the Chicago Department of Public Health's STD/HIV/AIDS public-policy and program division on several initiatives in the city, including serving as a member of the regional HIV Prevention Planning Group, initiating direct-care programs at TPAN using Ryan White funds, and serving as a consultant and agency partner for the health department's "Kevin's Room" project, which has produced two hourlong films about HIV prevention and awareness for gay African-American men. Clifton also was an advocate for better awareness and treatment of other health issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Charles Clifton," said Christopher Brown, assistant commissioner at the city health department's STD/HIV/AIDS division, in a press statement. "This is a great loss for our community and all those who knew him. Charles was one of our strongest AIDS activists and community leaders in Chicago, working determinedly to prevent the transmission of HIV and to bring services to all people living with HIV and AIDS. Charles was extremely bright, articulate, and well-respected by all." Clifton, a native of Milwaukee, received a bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University. He also obtained master's degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago. He was a member of Brothers United in Support and the Men of Color With HIV/AIDS Coalition. Clifton previously served as program coordinator at TPAN from 1995-1997; he was appointed executive director in July 2002. Clifton is survived by his longtime partner, Kurt Kausch. Memorial arrangements are pending.

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