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CCHE’s active programs facilitate increased HIV testing in several community-based organizations and hospital emergency rooms on Chicago’s South Side. Our new HIV FOCUS program allows us to rigorously monitor and encourage testing within our own insitution’s medical center. We are also equipped to provide social support services to members of the broad local community.

Client Services & Programs

Expansion of our HIV related work has been successful on many levels. This has been a successful enterprise with respect to quality of care, HIV prevention and our ability to offercomprehensive services to our patients with HIV infection. This includes supporting the efforts of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Obstetrics and their program for prevention of vertical transmission – the first foundational pillar in HIV elimination.

CCHE’s active programs facilitate increased HIV testing in several community-based organizations and hospital emergency rooms on Chicago’s South Side. Our new HIV FOCUS program allows us to rigorously monitor and encourage testing within our own institution’s medical center. We are also equipped to provide social support services to members of the broad local community.

Our group also has an outstanding clinical reputation. Individual patients with complex management issues are discussed by a group of experienced providers and consensus recommendations are made. This is how subspecialty care should be accomplished. We are able to care for underinsured patients through additional funding for our clinical care through Ryan White funding, funding for our HIV screening and linkage to care program and by the placement of HIV providers at a community level Federally Qualified Health Center through the Urban Health Initiative. We have dedicated faculty and staff who are committed to the cause of eliminating HIV/AIDS.

Our physicians see adult and adolescent patients at the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM) at the University of Chicago and at the Howard Brown Health on 55th clinic.

  • To schedule an appointment at the DCAM clinic please call 773-834-1443
  • To schedule an appointment at the Howard Brown Health on 55th clinic, please call 773-388-1600
  • For patients under 13 years of age, please call the Section of Infectious Diseases within the Department of Pediatrics at 773-702-3853.
Sexual Wellness Clinic (SWC)

The Sexual Wellness Clinic (SWC) is an Emergency Department (ED) and Infectious Diseases program at the University of Chicago Medicine. The program helps patients in the emergency room (ER) with a primary complaint of sexually transmitted infections (STI) get a more direct level of care. Any patient coming to the ER during clinic hours can be sent to the SWC for a same-day-visit regardless of insurance status. Pregnant women, mental health, victims sexual assault, and patients under 18 years old cannot be seen at SWC and will be referred to the proper department. 

Once the ED provider has cleared the patient (mental status examination and triage), the SWC Clinic Transport will meet the patient outside R19 and take them to DCAM 5D to be evaluated by a provider, tests ordered, treatment ordered, and referral to the right community resources and clinics (if applicable).

 

Our clinic hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm.

 

For immediate assistance or patient-related concerns, please page the SWC pager at 3585.

For test results or follow-up with SWC, our uChicago HIV/STI results and referral line is (866) 747-0074.

PrEP CPR

The Comprehensive PrEP Retention (CPR) project is a flexible approach to PrEP care that helps to address the individual needs of all clients interested in starting PrEP. It includes a systematic stratification process, personalized resource counseling, and an innovative social network engagement strategy. The combined use of these tools will help determine the likelihood of PrEP persistence and help to empower individuals to stay engaged in preventative care.

For more information, contact Jessica Dehlin.

Resource Counseling

Content to follow. For more information, contact Jessica Dehlin.

Expanded HIV Testing and Linkage to Care (xTLC)

As of 2006, the CDC recommended HIV testing for all people ages 13-64, regardless of risk group. This revision was a major step forward in efforts to routinize testing, and was the basis for CDC-funded testing initiatives such as the Expanded HIV Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations in Healthcare Facilities program, which we have been funded to participate in since 2011.

Our Expanded HIV Testing and Linkage to Care Initiative (xTLC) partnership includes a network of 14 South Side health care venues (please see below) where routine HIV screening and active linkage to care for HIV positive clients occurs. In the past five years of our program, we’ve completed 265,643 HIV tests and identified 1351 HIV-infected clients. Of those HIV-infected, 559 we’re not previously aware of their diagnosis and of those newly-diagnosed, 80.3% were linked to care with an HIV provider.

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that the benefits of routine testing are myriad. It is estimated that one-fifth (236,000) of HIV positive Americans are unaware of their status, and that this 20% of people contributes to at least 50% of new infections. Furthermore, we now know that it is beneficial to begin treatment sooner rather than later–this makes it especially important to find people before their T cell count drops. From a cultural and psychological standpoint, routine testing offers the opportunity to lessen the weight and stigma attached to the test, making it less stressful for individuals to accept testing and for providers to offer it. 

Routine testing was further corroborated as a public health priority in the Fall of 2012, when the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) gave the service the highest possible rating (an A) for preventive care. One major implication of this rating change is that HIV testing must now be covered by insurance providers so that no individual will have to pay for a test out of pocket.

Our HIV Testing Collaborators

Please email Jessica Schmitt at jschmitt1@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu for additional information on the xTLC program. 

Additional questions about routine HIV testing? Contact Tamika Songster at tsongster@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu or at (773) 834-0737.

HIV Focus Expansion

The HIV FOCUS expansion project has two facets. First, we provide post-test counseling and HIV prevention services for patients who test negative for HIV in the Emergency Department at the University of Chicago. Many of these patients remain at risk for future HIV seroconversion. We have developed an electronic algorithm to identify high-risk patients who would benefit from HIV prevention services. A trained staff member calls high-risk patients to provide HIV prevention counseling and referral for prevention services including pre-exposure prophylaxis if appropriate.

Second, we implement a rapid response team for all patients identified to have acute or recent HIV infection. These patients receive rapid linkage to care, including wrap-around services. We also provide HIV testing and prevention counseling for individuals in their social networks.

For more information, please contact Jessica Schmitt at at jschmitt1@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu.

Network Testing Programs

CCHE implements unique and innovative approaches to targeted HIV network testing. Expanding upon traditional contact tracing methods, CCHE staff members provide next-generation partner services, using social media, dating and sex-seeking apps, and social and sexual network elicitation to identify and test those with increased vulnerability to HIV infection. Using these methods, CCHE providers tested more than 1,200 clients on the South Side during a two-year period. Of those clients found to be HIV-infected, 82% were linked to a CCHE medical provider, 64% were retained in HIV care at 12 months, and of those retained in care, 79% were virally suppressed.

For more information, please contact Tamika Songster at at tsongster@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu or at (773) 834-0737.

PrEP Chicago

The goal of this project is to use social media, such as Facebook, to provide a forum for discussion about PrEP, for adolescents and young adults who may be interested and eligible for PrEP care. Not many individuals who are appropriate candidates for PrEP even know about PrEP; of those who do, few have formed attitudes about it and even fewer have engaged their health care providers around PrEP. This is the first effort to impact the PrEP cascade by fostering knowledge and for those who are interested activating linkage to care. For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/prepchicago/ or contact Lindsay Young at lyoung1@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu.

PrEPLine & PrEP Linkage-to-Care

In conjunction with PrEP Chicago, CCHE currently provides active referrals to HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) care in Chicago. CCHE staff work with individuals interested engaging in PrEP care to provide information, discuss options, and connect individuals to PrEP providers on the South Side and throughout the city. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about PrEP or finding a PrEP provider, please call our confidential PrEPLine at (872)215-1905 or contact Jessica Dehlin at jdehlin@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

PAC (People Advocating Change)

PAC is a young men’s discussion group providing social support to African American men ages 17 and older. Over a meal, our stimulating conversations center around stewardship, self-worth, life-skill development, leadership, prosperity, and sexual health. PAC meetings take place the 1st Wednesdays of every month, from 5:30 to 7:30, at The Village. For more information, contact Mario Pierce at mr.pierce2010@yahoo.com.

 

Resource Counseling

CCHE and The Village offer individualized resource counseling to connect young people to resources in the community.  Resource counselors meet with individuals one-on-one to advocate for and support young people in the process of accessing housing, healthcare, education & job training, mental health services, and any other services to meet participants’ self-defined goals.

For more information, contact Jessica Dehlin at jdehlin@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

PrEP CPR

The Comprehensive PrEP Retention (CPR) project is a flexible approach to PrEP care that helps to address the individual needs of all clients interested in starting PrEP. It includes a systematic stratification process, personalized resource counseling, and an innovative social network engagement strategy. The combined use of these tools will help determine the likelihood of PrEP persistence and help to empower individuals to stay engaged in preventative care.

For more information, contact Jessica Dehlin at jdehlin@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)

CFAR is a national network of AIDS research centers whose goal is to end the HIV epidemic among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) through cross-institutional and disciplinary research collaborations. This program works on strengthening partnerships between researchers, public health workers, clinicians, and at-risk populations in hopes of informing new HIV prevention strategies and translational research studies.

For more information, contact Clovis Sarmiento at csarmiento2@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu or visit their website

HepC

The United States Preventative Task Force recommends screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in persons at risk for infection and a one time screening for adults born between 1945-1965. Hepatitis C is one of several viruses that can damage the liver and can lead to cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver and liver cancer. Millions of people are infected with HCV, but many don’t now about it. It is possible to have long-term HCV infection but not develop any symptoms for decades.

Hepatitis C screening involves testing a blood sample and if reactive, should be followed by a second test that determines the level of virus in the blood. When used together, these two tests accurately identify if a person has HCV. For some people, once hepatitis C infection is confirmed, there are successfully treatments with medicines to get rid of the virus. Unlike HIV, HCV is a curable disease after treatment.

In 2014, University of Chicago Medicine implemented HCV screening at the hospital and has screened over 17,000 individuals. In the past two years, we identified 907 HCV-infected individuals and of those with reactive tests, there were 553 individuals currently infected.  Linkage for HCV-infected individuals have shown to be difficult (58.2%) and to aid with linkage to care, UChicago Medicine was granted this grant to work with the Hepatitis C Community Alliance to Test and Treat (HepCCATT), which not only assists in case management for those HCV-infected but also help train provdiers to treat HCV infection.

The goal of treatment is to prevent long-term damage to the liver from the infection. In the past few years, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C infection has greatly improved. This makes it more valuable to identify the infection so that a person can start treatment, if medically-indicated. For additional information, please contact Jessica Schmitt at jschmitt1@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu.

 

Data2Care

Data2Care was launched in July 2016 as a program to utilize the University of Chicago’s electronic health records (EHR) as a mechanism to support retention and re-engagement in care for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in our outpatient HIV clinic, emergency department, and inpatient settings. Data2Care leverages EHR reporting and predictive analytics to identify PLWHA who require either comprehensive linkage to care services or preventative intervention to support retention in care.

For questions about Data2Care, please contact Jessica Schmitt at jschmitt1@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu.

People Organizing Progress (POP)

People Organizing Progress (POP) is a drop-in program for LGBTQ+ youth in the community on the first and second Thursdays of the month starting at 6pm to 9pm. POP is hosted by The Village located at our Hyde Park location (1525 E. 55th Ste. Ste. 205). We offer healthcare services (STI testing, HIV care, PrEP navigation and case management, hormone replacement therapy, and primary care), resource counseling (public benefits enrollment, health insurance navigation, employment assistance, mental health care, substance use services, transportation services, and legal services referrals), and other services (hot meals, snacks, and hygiene products). We also have activities and programming. This information is updated on The Village Facebook page.

For more information, please contact Noel Green at noelg@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

 

Health Outreach and Mobile Engagement (HOME)

In partnership with a local non-profit, CCHE launched a mobile engagement effort bringing treatment and preventative care to hard to reach areas of the West and South Sides in Chicago. We hope to improve adherence to medication and start treatment quickly after diagnosis.

For more information, please contact Andrew Richardson at arichardson25@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu or Anu Hazra at ahazra2@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu.

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