In its first year, an HIV services partnership launched by the City of Chicago has reached more than 3,600 people living with HIV—four times the number of people served in earlier years.
The partnership is between the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Howard Brown Health, which provides health care to the LGBTQ and HIV communities. The city chose UIC and Howard Brown Health to help manage HIV primary care clinics in Englewood and Uptown, respectively. Since they took over the clinics in March 2016, the two groups have increased outreach, services and education while reducing costs, according to a press release from the City of Chicago.
Although HIV rates have steadily declined in Chicago overall, in 2015, Englewood and Uptown had some of the highest diagnoses rates and high rates of people living with the virus.
Primary care at the clinics includes general checkups, treatment, prevention (including pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP) and services to help people remain in care and access other health services.
“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, in the press release. “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.”
According to the press release, 79 percent of people in Chicago newly diagnosed with HIV are linked to medical care within a month of their diagnosis; within a year, that number jumps to 90 percent.