City, State Officials Announce 'Getting to Zero Illinois' HIV Plan

New plan seeks to end HIV epidemic in Illinois by 2030

Roger Plummer
May 15, 2019 - 7:34 am
HIV Testing
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- City and state officials have introduced to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois by the year 2030.  

As part of the Getting to Zero Illinois collaboration, local and state officials announced Tuesday a plan they say will reduce new HIV transmissions, support the health of people living with HIV and AIDS, and help Chicago and Illinois get to “functional zero” - a point where the HIV epidemic can no longer sustain itself.

“After taking steps to end the HIV epidemic during my first weeks in office, today I’m proud to say we have a five-year plan to get to zero in Illinois,” said Gov. JB Pritzker, in a statement. “Through partnerships and a renewed focus on testing, treatment and prevention, we will save lives and stop HIV from impacting so many communities.”

Getting to Zero Illinois is a statewide public-private partnership of 50 government, community, and health care organizations that was launched in 2017. Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health are providing $40 million to over 40 organizations to develop and support programs in health care, health disparities, housing, and education and awareness.

“While unprecedented investments have led to a record-low number of HIV diagnoses in Chicago, our work is not done until we hit the number zero,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in a statement. “By collaborating closely with residents, providers and advocates, we will continue to be on pace to end the HIV epidemic in Chicago within the next 10 years.”

In 2017 in Illinois, nearly 40,000 people were living with HIV - 23,835 of whom lived in Chicago - and there were more than 1,300 new diagnoses of the virus, which is an almost 35 percent decrease from 2006 to 2017.

“The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is proud to partner with IDPH and CDPH to co-lead development of the GTZ-IL plan,” said John Peller, President and CEO of AFC, in a statement.  “We are grateful for the community leaders and people living with HIV who have worked so hard to ensure that this plan will address the specific needs of people living with and vulnerable to HIV across Illinois.”

The plan focuses on major shifts in six areas:

  • Build HIV health care and public health workforce that uses new approaches and adapts to the evolving needs of people living with and vulnerable to HIV.
  • Increase access to health care services that support the use of PrEP for HIV treatment.
  • Improve health equity by using data and allocating resources to the communities that face the greatest disparities.
  • Increase efficiency through governmental coordination.
  • Provide services and care for linked, co-occurring conditions, including mental health and substance-use treatment, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and vaccination against diseases such as viral hepatitis and meningitis.
  • Measure progress through surveillance and other data at state, city and community levels.

You can read the plan at GTZillinois.hiv/plan. For more information about PrEP, call the Chicago PrEP Line at 872-215-1905 or visit PrEP4Love.com.  For more information about HIV testing visit www.PrEP4Illinois.com.