Illinois: HIV Is on the Rise in Cook County
January 3, 2008
The Cook County Department of Public Health said at the beginning of 2007 there were 3,000 reported cases of HIV infection in the county's suburban regions. As the new year begins, officials are seeing rising numbers of infections among suburban residents.
According to Curt Hicks, HIV prevention coordinator of the health department, some 16 agencies throughout suburban Chicago offer outreach, but that is not enough. "Oftentimes when someone is newly diagnosed they are stunned and not very helpful with providing information," Hicks said.
Hicks noted the department receives very little federal funding. "Fifty cents per person per year is not a lot to stop an epidemic," he said. "West suburban residents need to be demanding of their federal legislators to make sure the city is funding mental health and substance abuse programs in the suburbs so people don't have to travel all the way to the city to be able to access services." Hicks said Chicago's suburbs also lack housing for homeless HIV patients.
Karie Holdorf, HIV coordinator at Loyola University Medical Center's infectious-disease department, said the division treats some 400 HIV patients on a regular basis. She said increased awareness and primary care providers offering testing to people they do not think are high risk could account for the higher numbers.
La Grange Suburban Life
12.31.2007; Catherine Leyden
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.