The Illinois Lottery has teamed up with the Illinois Department of Public Health to launch Red Ribbon Cash, a ticket to raise money for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
Profits from the ticket will fund HIV/AIDS prevention education and grants to public and private organizations that serve groups at risk for contracting HIV or developing AIDS.
Illinois is ranked seventh in the nation for HIV infection diagnoses and sixth in the estimated number of AIDS cases in 2010. It is estimated that 1,700 new cases of HIV and AIDS were added in 2011. The populations with the highest number of new infections in the state are gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities, "high risk" heterosexuals, and injection drug users. African Americans in Illinois are especially impacted by HIV, accounting for 14 percent of the population but half of all new HIV infections in 2010.
"The Illinois Lottery exists to fund causes important to the citizens of our state," Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones said. "Most of our games generate funds for schools or roads and bridges. The legislature created four special games whose profits benefit specific causes: veterans programs, MS research, breast cancer research, and today with Red Ribbon Cash we launch a new instant game that awards $40,000 instant prizes and will create $1 million in funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness groups."
The ticket has generated over $4 million to the fight against HIV/AIDS since 2008. The $3 tickets is available at Illinois Lottery retailers around the state now.
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