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CHICAGO - Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced more than 3,600 people living with HIV in the city received vital services in the first year of new partnerships between CDPH, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Howard Brown Health. This means four times as many individuals were served when compared to prior years. The new partnership was first laid out by Mayor Emanuel during his 2016 budget proposal, where he called for greater collaboration between CDPH and community providers to serve more residents living with HIV.
“This is an important milestone that demonstrates how our new partnerships are not only effective and efficient, but exceed our goal of individuals served,” Mayor Emanuel said. “We are treating more Chicagoans living with HIV than ever before, allowing them to live their best lives while reinvesting savings in other prevention and treatment efforts.”
Following a competitive bidding process, UIC and Howard Brown Health assumed management of HIV Primary Care clinics in Englewood and Uptown, respectively, in March 2016. Since first assuming management of the clinics, both organizations have increased services, outreach and education, while spending less. The savings from the new partnership have been reinvested into additional HIV treatment services, including oral health and case management services, in critical areas.
“Chicago is working together to end the HIV epidemic,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita. “This is a great example of the power of collaboration. We were able to quadruple the number of residents receiving services, helping more people living with HIV have access to the care they need to live long, healthy lives.”
“Our Uptown clinic allows us to provide general care as well as specialized HIV care to patients right where they live,” said Dr. Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Our mission is to provide healthcare to all by minimizing barriers to receiving care, including transportation, which is why we are so proud that this clinic has exceeded our expectations in terms of the number of people served in the Uptown area.”
“Primary care ensures a better quality of life for people living with HIV and Howard Brown Health is proud to serve those who need it the most in Englewood,” said David Ernesto Munar, President and CEO of Howard Brown Health. “We are especially proud to exceed our service goals and look forward to continuing this work to ensure the residents of Englewood receive quality care.”
Primary care includes general check-ups but also help patients monitor their medication to reduce their viral load and ultimately reach viral suppression significantly reducing the risk of transmission. Treatment among individuals living with HIV is a key strategy in CDPH’s prevention model along with Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill that helps prevent HIV. In addition to HIV primary care services, each clinic offers early intervention services to ensure patients are quickly linked and retained in care, mental health and medical case management services.
These partnerships are part of a comprehensive citywide plan to ensure those living with HIV receive the care they need and to reduce the number of new transmissions of HIV.
According to the 2016 HIV/STI Surveillance Report, 79 percent of Chicago residents newly diagnosed with HIV were linked to medical care, like what is offered at these clinics, within one month of diagnosis. Within 12 months of diagnosis, 90 percent of individuals had been linked to medical care, placing Chicago well ahead of national rates.
Over the last decade, Chicago has seen a steady overall decline in new HIV diagnoses however, in 2015 Englewood and Uptown had some of the highest HIV diagnoses rates and Uptown also has one of the highest rates of people living with HIV. CDPH maintains HIV primary care services in these areas to ensure that residents can access the quality care they need to keep themselves healthy and continues to use data to strategically increase accessibility to resources and care and promote health equity citywide.
“More people are living and thriving with HIV in Chicago than ever before,” added Commissioner Morita. “We will continue to invest available resources to provide quality care and ultimately bring this epidemic to an end.”
For more information on the Primary Care clinics please visit www.cityofchicago.org/health.