Ending the HIV epidemic in Illinois is possible : ILGTZ

Ending the HIV epidemic in Illinois is possible

Just over a year ago, a small group of people living with HIV, advocates, service providers and government officials started meeting to explore a plan to dramatically impact the course of the HIV epidemic in Illinois. After a year of analysis, planning, gathering community input and engaging key stakeholders, this task force is proud to release the Getting to Zero (GTZ) Framework, a document that shows eliminating HIV in Illinois is possible!

Illinois is making dramatic progress in the fight against HIV. Thanks to the dedicated work of providers, advocates, educators, outreach workers and our community:

  • New cases of HIV dropped by 25% statewide between 2006 and 2015.
  • We have nearly eliminated mother-to-child HIV transmission.
  • For the first time in two decades, there are fewer than 1,000 HIV cases per year in Chicago.

We have what it takes to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois and Get to Zero. But what does “getting to zero” mean for Illinois?

  • Zero new HIV infections 
  • Zero people living with HIV who are not on treatment

With health care access expanded under the Affordable Care Act, powerful treatments that make it so people living with HIV cannot transmit the virus to others, and the HIV prevention pill PrEP, we can get to zero in our state.

Now that we have a guiding framework that shows us we can get to zero, we need a plan to tell us how. And that’s where you, the community, come in. Throughout the fall of 2017, we will be engaging with the public through listening sessions and an online survey to collect feedback on what we should consider as we put together our Getting to Zero plan.

Stay tuned throughout the fall for announcements about our listening sessions and online survey, all of which we’ll post in our GTZ web page.

We encourage you to read the framework, our one-page summary, and an analysis of feedback we’ve received from the community so far. Please provide feedback, questions and comments to the GTZ coordinator Sara Semelka at ssemelka@aidschicago.org

The Getting to Zero framework task force consisted of representatives from the following agencies, universities and community-based organizations: 

  • AIDS Foundation of Chicago
  • Alexian Brothers Housing and Health Alliance
  • Center on Halsted
  • Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus
  • Chicago Department of Public Health
  • Howard Brown Health 
  • Illinois Department of Public Health
  • Illinois Public Health Association
  • Lake County Health Department
  • Northwestern University
  • Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center
  • University of Chicago


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