The Lake County Health Department and the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) are two of more than 20 local healthcare organizations working together to promote Step Up, Get Tested, a campaign to reduce the number of undiagnosed and new cases of HIV. Events are scheduled on and around Wednesday, June 27, National HIV Testing Day.
The State of Illinois has the 6th largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country: 34,000 residents. Geographically, the city of Chicago represents 65 percent of new cases in the state, with the suburbs of Chicago following at 22 percent.
“Our goal in Healthy Chicago, the City’s public health agenda, is to reduce the number of new infections of HIV by 25 percent. This campaign is the perfect example of how we can achieve this goal and that is by collaborating with community partners that are committed to preventing the spread of HIV,” said Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, in a prepared release.
A series of local testing events will offer free, rapid HIV testing services, prevention education and other resources. The campaign will also highlight health centers and hospitals that offer HIV testing as a part of their regular healthcare offerings throughout the year.
In Chicago, these events include:
- June 21, 9 - 11 p.m. – Night Ministry Mobile Van Testing at the corner of Belmont and Halsted
- June 23, 4 - 6 p.m. – Dyke March at Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Dr.
- June 27, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – The Care Center at Jackson Park Hospital, 7531 S. Stony Island
- June 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – STEP UP, GET TESTED at the Fantus Clinic courtyard, 1901 W. Harrison St.
Learn more at CCHHS's website.
In Lake County June 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., anyone, 13 years of age or older, can stop by the Lake County Health Department's Belvidere Medical Building, 2400 Belvidere Road in Waukegan to receive a free rapid HIV test that is done using a simple oral swab. Free hepatitis C screenings using the finger stick technology recently approved by the FDA will also be available. Results for either or both tests are available within 20 minutes.
Along with rapid testing, information about other health and environmental services provided by the Health Department will be available along with free food and a children's play area with large inflatable slides and a bubble bouncer. Community partners participating in the event include Catholic Charities of Lake County, Alexian Brothers' The Harbor AIDS Ministry, and NICASA, a substance abuse/behavioral health organization.
For more information about services offered through the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center's program, contact Lake County directly at 847.377.8450.