CCHE, embedded within the University of Chicago’s main campus in Hyde Park, is located in Chicago’s HIV epicenter. Of the 20 neighborhoods in the city with high annual HIV diagnosis rates (greater than 40 per 100,000), 13 of them are no more than eight miles from the University of Chicago. This area includes 4 of the 6 communities with the highest annual diagnosis rates in the city (Washington Park, West Englewood, Greater Grand Crossing and South Shore). Our position within the hardest hit neighborhoods in Chicago provides unique opportunities to advance HIV testing and prevention interventions locally, providing tangible results to those most affected and to improve the lives of those living with and without HIV infection.
We are certainly not the only people providing HIV care in Chicago. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, the Stroger Hospital of Cook County, and many of our local partners have been providing exceptional HIV care, services, and programs since the early years of the epidemic. We look forward to collaborating with them in the years to come on our long-term vision for HIV elimination.
Our aim is to eliminate new HIV transmission events domestically by 2041 which would mark the second 30-year period since the first cases were identified in 1981. For example, at the end of this period in South Chicago, we would envision new transmission events as being newsworthy - and not just numbers collected for research or other documentation purposes.
We take an innovative approach to HIV transmission elimination through network science, next-generation testing and notification methods, integrated prevention, and community mobilization. Through this approach, we advance previous strategies to limit onward infectious disease transmission, such as those targeting polio and smallpox.
CCHE online will be a tool and a resource for those curious about our integrated approach to HIV transmission elimination, local and global HIV transmission related news and events, open studies and programs, and for those seeking testing, other resources, and ways to be involved in their communities.
The Expanded HIV Testing and Linkage to Care Program (xTLC) institutes routine testing programs in disproportionately affected populations in Chicago. We collaborate with community-based organizations and hospitals to ensure that HIV testing and subsequent linkage to care becomes a standard and unstigmatized part of health care.