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Home Local News

State Public Health Director: “Step Up, Get Tested”
on National HIV Testing Day

Resources available for free, confidential HIV
testing in Illinois

CHICAGO – Today is National HIV Testing Day, and
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director
Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is encouraging everyone to
utilize resources available statewide to get tested
and learn their HIV status.

“Knowing your HIV status puts you in greater control.
It’s time to step up and get tested,” Dr. Hasbrouck
said. “In Illinois we have partnered with many
organizations to keep HIV testing free, confidential
and accessible. I encourage everyone to get tested
today.”

IDPH is co-sponsoring the Chicagoland National HIV
Testing Collaborative “Step Up, Get Tested” event
today, featuring free, confidential HIV testing and
condom distribution from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Fantus
Health Center, 1901 W. Harrison St., Chicago. IDPH is
also co-sponsoring a town hall meeting about issues
surrounding HIV/AIDS at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the
Ruth Rothstein CORE Center, 2020 W. Harrison St.,
Chicago. The event is free and open to the public.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
estimates that about 1 in 5 of the 1.3 million
Americans living with HIV are unaware that they are
infected. Illinois ranks 7th nationwide in the
diagnosis of HIV infections, and 5th nationwide in
the estimated number of AIDS cases. There were more
than 1,700 new cases of HIV and AIDS diagnosed in
2010 and almost 55,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in
Illinois.

The populations in Illinois with the highest number
of new infections include gay and bisexual men (men
who have sex with men or MSM) of all races and
ethnicities, “high risk” heterosexuals and injection
drug users. African Americans in Illinois are
disproportionately impacted by HIV. African Americans
represent about 14 percent of the population in
Illinois yet accounted for half of all new HIV
infections in 2010. Teens and young adults in
Illinois ages 13-29 have the highest rate of new HIV
infections in Illinois, at 37 percent.
-more-

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IDPH is committed to providing access to resources to
reduce these statistics. To find the closest free,
confidential HIV testing location, call the
department’s HIV/AIDS and STD Hotline at
1-800-AID-AIDS (1-800-243-2437) or use IDPH’s
innovative Text2Survive mobile service also by
texting IL plus ZIP code to 36363. This service is
also available in Spanish by texting “CENTRO” plus
ZIP code to 36363. Please visit idph.riproad.com for
a full list of events and testing locations
statewide, or use IDPH’s Text2Survive mobile calendar
by texting “event” to 36363 for free events
statewide.

IDPH’s Center for Minority Health Services also
launched BASUAH (Brothers and Sisters United Against
HIV/AIDS) as a comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness,
outreach and education program specifically targeted
to the African American community. The program has
administered more than 6,000 HIV tests and trained
more than 5,000 peer educators known as “BASUAH
Ambassadors” since 2005. The Center for Minority
Health Services also funds the Wellness on Wheels
mobile health vans which provide HIV and STD testing,
and health screenings statewide. To schedule a
Wellness on Wheels mobile health van visit, call
1-866-792-4325.

National HIV Testing Day was created by the National
Association of People with AIDS, and has been
observed every June 27th since 1995 to raise
awareness about HIV prevention and education.

To learn more about BASUAH, visit www.basuah.org, and
to learn more about IDPH’s resources and HIV/AIDS
initiatives, visit
http://www.idph.state.il.us/aids/default.htm.

 

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