Erie Family Health Centers Moves Chicagoland Toward a Society Without HIV
Community Health Center Provides High-Performing Care With 92.5% Patient Suppression Rate
After 30 fulfilling years of the nationally-recognized HIV/AIDS program, Lending Hands for Life, Erie Family Health Centers is the closest it’s ever been to moving Chicagoland toward a society without HIV. With the program’s behavioral health support in conjunction with medical care, Erie patients’ viral suppression rate is currently at 92.5%, making Lending Hands for Life a leading program in the state.
“Erie works hard every day to provide quality and affordable medicine and support services to those living with HIV, as well as to high-risk communities and individuals,” said Bridget Magner, HIV/Hep C Program Manager at Erie Family Health Centers. “To get to a society with no new HIV infections, we must provide these services and support to the community as it’s the only way to fully eliminate new HIV transmissions – a goal we strive for with our patients and a goal the state is working to achieve through Getting to Zero Illinois.”
Erie is a proud partner of Getting to Zero Illinois, a state-wide initiative to end the HIV epidemic in the state by 2030. Through partnerships with organizations like Erie and the five-year plan introduced earlier this year by Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Health Department, the Chicago Department of Public Health and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Illinois will take great strides towards eliminating HIV in the state.
To further its efforts toward “getting to zero”, Erie Family Health Centers encourages everybody to know their HIV status, utilizing awareness days like National HIV Testing Day (June 27) and inviting anybody interested in knowing their HIV status to take advantage of the health centers’ testing services. At Erie Humboldt Park and Erie Evanston/Skokie, Erie offers walk-ins for free rapid HIV testing to anybody with a photo ID, meaning one doesn’t need to be a patient, a Chicago resident or even a citizen to get tested. Those being tested will also be asked to fill out a quick, confidential form that will be used to guide an individualized conversation regarding risk reduction, such as taking PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for high-risk individuals or best practices to not transmit the disease to a partner for those currently living with HIV. The walk-in testing is available Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Erie Humboldt Park (2750 W. North Avenue, Chicago) and on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Erie Evanston/Skokie (1285 Hartrey Avenue, Evanston).
While rapid testing is only available at Erie Humboldt Park and Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Centers, all Erie locations do offer HIV/AIDS testing to patients. Additionally, those living with HIV/AIDS or are at-risk of being infected can take part in Erie’s Lending Hands for Life program, based at Erie Humboldt Park with a satellite clinic at Erie Foster Avenue Health Center (5215 N. California, 7th Floor, Chicago).
Lending Hands for Life is a nationally-recognized program that offers complete wraparound care services, which include medical and non-medical case management, PrEP and behavioral, lab, nutrition, legal and housing services. Since 1989, the program has been working to help those living with HIV/AIDS or are at-risk live healthy lives and reduce the number of transmissions in Chicago.
Learn more: www.eriefamilyhealth.org