Chicago Tribune

2nd man cleared of HIV; Chicagoans who lived through AIDS crisis express mixed feelings

During the 1980s AIDS crisis, many Chicagoans' lives were cruelly curtailed.

For those diagnosed, the options were limited for a disease that was considered a death sentence. Since 1981, 12,000 people in the city have died from HIV-related causes, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Recent news out of London that a second person appeared to be clear of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant during cancer treatment may mean that the search for a cure is closer.

For some Chicagoans, however, hearing the news is a bittersweet reminder of friends and family members for whom a potential cure came decades too late.

"It brought a lot of sadness to my heart because of so many people we lost," said Modesto Tico Valle, chief executive officer of the Center on Halsted. "Sadness but also hope

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