CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) have awarded almost $40 million to over 40 organizations to accelerate progress on Getting to Zero (GTZ) Illinois, a statewide initiative that aims to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois by 2030. The City is funding two first-of-their-kind programs: one is dedicated to reducing unstable housing/homelessness among HIV negative Black and Latino/x gay men who use pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); and the other is a Resource Coordination Hub that connects people to services, regardless of HIV status or need. Additionally, the City is investing in community engagement projects that address the structural barriers, including systemic racism, that often prevent people from accessing high quality HIV services.
“It’s time we end the HIV epidemic in our city and state,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We sincerely thank our partners for their guidance as we have worked to modernize our HIV funding portfolio and strengthen service delivery to communities most impacted by HIV. We have a strong network of organizations that will take us to the finish line and we look forward to working together toward our goal.”
These funds are intended to achieve two primary outcomes: increasing viral suppression among persons living with HIV and increasing PrEP use among those vulnerable to HIV. To accomplish this, the Portfolio balances medical and supportive services, understanding both are critical to achieving positive outcomes. Organizations of all sizes, including smaller non-medical community-based organizations, particularly those that are population-specific, are funded under the Portfolio. In the coming months, CDPH will share a full analysis of funding distribution by funding category and a geographic distribution of funded provider sites. More than 90% of the funding comes from federal and state sources, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the State of Illinois.
“As a department dedicated to equity and transparency, we went through a two and-a-half year planning process, talked to hundreds of residents and formed population-specific focus groups to ensure that our funding follows the epidemic and our resources are allocated to areas and populations with the greatest needs,” said CDPH Acting Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “While change is hard, the City is living up to its commitment, including real investments in root causes of health disparities. Together, the focus on disparities, housing and healthcare will help us win the fight against HIV.”
The Portfolio is categorized into four domains that work together to achieve GTZ outcomes:
“We are excited to partner with the Chicago Department of Public Health and are grateful to expand our ability to provide HIV services in the Humboldt Park community,” said Lee Francis, President and CEO of Erie Family Health Centers. “We look forward to working together with the City and other organizations to provide the best care possible for the residents we serve.”
“We are committed to our partnership with CDPH on a strategic approach that moves the Getting to Zero plan forward by focusing on the social determinants of health. We applaud the City’s investment in addressing the needs of those most critically impacted by HIV,” said Judy Perloff, Chief Program Officer of Chicago House and Social Service Agency.