Kahn, others to receive Minnesota AIDS Project award

University-area Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, was one of 14 state legislators who received the Minnesota AIDS Project’s 2000 Hanson-Henningson Award on Dec. 1 at the State Capitol.
The award is given to those who significantly advance state policies affecting HIV care, including services, prevention and treatment.
The 28-year legislative veteran and her colleagues received the award for their opposition to an amendment to health legislation last session that would have ended education about sexually transmitted diseases and other sexual risks in schools.
Kahn said she is honored to receive the award and applauds the important work the Minnesota AIDS Project has done over the years.
“AIDS is not going to go away by sticking our heads in the sand and pretending it doesn’t exist, or by simply telling kids to ‘Just say no’ to sex,” Kahn said in a prepared statement. “Education is the key to preventing and stopping the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV.”
Kahn also said she is discouraged that only 14 representatives were willing to stand up against the legislation.
“Perhaps lawmakers need a little education on this issue as well,” she said.
The Hanson-Henningson Award is named in honor of Dick Hanson and Burt Henningson, two men from Glenwood whose stories about living with HIV were documented in a 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper series.
In a statement, Kahn said she was especially pleased to receive the award because both Henningson and Hanson were friends.

— Compiled from staff reports.