Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced $36 million in new HIV funding opportunities to support Chicago’s Getting to Zero initiative that will effectively eliminate all new diagnosis of HIV in the city by 2027.
“Chicago is already on track to get to zero,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By investing in our communities and working directly with residents, providers and advocates we will end HIV transmission in Chicago within the next ten years.”
Chicago has made significant progress over the past several years reducing the spread of HIV and increasing the quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS. In 2016, the most recent year for which data are available, only 839 residents were newly diagnosed with HIV – a record low down from 1,850 in 2001. Last year, Mayor Emanuel joined CDPH, the Illinois Department of Public Health and advocates from across Chicago to launch the new Getting to Zero initiative. As part of that announcement, CDPH pledged to work with community groups to overhaul how federal grant dollars are distributed, ensuring greater alignment with evidence-based practices necessary to meet the ambitious goals outlined in Getting to Zero.
Following ongoing planning and community engagement, including working with and focusing on communities most impacted by HIV, CDPH issued notice of 2018 funding opportunities, this week. All told, the funding opportunities from CDPH for community organizations will total $36 million. Funding categories for the coming year will include:
In addition, all funding opportunities will focus on communities most impacted by HIV transmission, including members of the LGBTQ community, most especially younger African-American and Latino gay and bisexual men, as well as transgender women.
All funding opportunities will be fully aligned with Getting to Zero, focusing on ensuring HIV-positive individuals reach viral suppression and at risk HIV-negative individuals have access to PrEP, the once-a-day prophylaxis proven to prevent HIV transmission. By achieving viral suppression, HIV-positive individuals will no longer be able to transmit the virus. Additionally, all opportunities will promote the Undetectable = Untransmittable philosophy. Understanding that in order for more vulnerable populations to have access to and use medications, individuals must also have access to quality housing, economic opportunity and social cohesion. As such, the new funding opportunities address not only prevention and treatment, but also the root causes of health. These opportunities will both strengthen existing services and initiate new services to expand access across Chicago and accelerate progress toward Getting to Zero.
“We’ve made great progress in our fight against HIV, but we still have more work to do,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “We know that by directing our resources to those communities that are disproportionately impacted as well as addressing obstacles to care, we’ll make greatest impact. “
In partnership with the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center and the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, CDPH hosted a webinar on February 1, 2018, to discuss funding opportunities.
"CDPH’s recently announced HIV services portfolio is an exciting development in our city’s "Getting to Zero” campaign," said Dr. Julia Rosebush, University of Chicago Medicine. "We are encouraged by how this funding portfolio seeks to leverage the incredible potential of antiretroviral medications for HIV treatment and prevention (PrEP) while also addressing the social inequalities that have long perpetuated the HIV epidemic in our City.”
The new HIV funding opportunities build on Mayor Emanuel’s commitment to the Getting to Zero framework. In addition to launching Getting to Zero, last year Chicago also adopted the Undetectable=Untransmittable philosophy, championing the fact that people living with HIV on effective treatment do not sexually transmit HIV. Chicago also joined the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to sign onto the Fast Track Cities to initiative which engages mayors and other key stakeholders to accelerate their city’s local AIDS responses.