Chicago Makes Progress In Controlling HIV, AIDS: Health Official

Craig Dellimore
August 10, 2018 - 6:14 pm

Dr. Julie Morita, Chicago Public Health Director (WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore)


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago is moving towards its goal of eliminating new cases of HIV -- the AIDS virus -- by the year 2020, the city’s top health officer said.

Dr. Julie Morita, Chicago Public Health Director, said the city is on track to serve five times as many HIV positive individuals than were served in prior years.

Now in the third year of the HIV primary care expansion partnership between her department; the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Howard Brown Health, more than 1,800 residents living with HIV have been treated. 

Officials say primary care includes general check-ups but also helps patients monitor their medication to reduce their "viral load" and ultimately reach viral suppression. Suppression significantly reduces the risk of transmission. 

Patients with the acute form of the disease are highly infectious, and the city has set up a hotline for health providers to call to get those patients treated quickly.

Last year, Mayor Emanuel and the city health department announced that new HIV diagnoses in Chicago hit a new record low after 15 years of declines, with a 55 percent decrease in residents newly diagnosed with HIV in 2016, compared to 2011.