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CHICAGO - The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today released new guidelines for delegate agencies that provide core medical and support services to people living with HIV through the Ryan White Part A program. The new Chicago Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA) Standards of Care provide agencies with guidelines and expectations for care and service provision, aligned with federal, state and industry standards, to help ensure that people living with HIV receive the highest quality of care possible.
“Today, people across Chicago live healthier and longer lives with HIV because of new and more effective medications,” said CDPH Acting Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “The updated Standards of Care will bolster the efforts of CDPH and our delegate agencies in reducing the number of new HIV diagnoses and increasing viral suppression rates among people living with HIV.”
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is a federal program funded by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) that provides a comprehensive system of HIV primary medical care, essential support services and medications for low-income people living with HIV who are uninsured and underserved. CDPH currently contracts with 42 agencies located in the Chicago EMA to provide a range of services to over 17,000 unduplicated clients living with HIV/AIDS.
The Standards of Care were developed through a multi-stakeholder process including providers and people who receive services, and CDPH engaged the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago (PHIMC) to lead the 18-month process to update service guidelines.
“Through our partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health and healthcare providers throughout the Chicago area, we have made great strides in improving the quality of care for individuals living with HIV,” said PHIMC Executive Director Karen A. Reitan. “These new standards were designed utilizing a multi-stakeholder process that included clinical best practices, insight from similarly large metropolitan areas, and provider input and recommendations from individuals living with HIV/AIDS from across the region so they keep people at the center of service.”
Over the last three years, CDPH’s HIV/STI Bureau has worked in collaboration with the Chicago Area HIV Integrated Services Council (CAHISC) and community partners to modernize its funding portfolio and strengthen service delivery to communities most impacted by HIV. This portfolio of services strengthens the city’s focus on interventions proven to reduce HIV transmission, including HIV treatment and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, and includes Ryan White Part A funding that supports 18 different service categories for which these Standards of Care were written.
Together with partners across the state of Illinois, the City of Chicago recently released the Getting to Zero plan, which aims to help people living with HIV remain in care and achieve viral suppression, and connects people vulnerable to HIV to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). In 2017, Chicago achieved historic progress in reducing the number of new HIV diagnoses to 752, the fewest since 1990. Of those, 82% were linked to medical care within one month of diagnosis and 92% within one year.
“Ultimately, the delivery of high-quality HIV care services will be absolutely critical in the implementation of the new funding model and Getting to Zero. The production of these updated Standards of Care will only contribute to strengthening the system’s success,” said David Kern, CDPH Deputy Commissioner of HIV/STI.
The new Chicago Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA) Standards of Care are available for download on the CDPH web site by clicking here.