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New Illinois Plan Aims To End HIV In The State By 2030

File Photo: Peter Medlin
Gov. Pritzker in February signing executive order boosting HIV prevention funding.

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a plan to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois by2030.


The program is called “Getting to Zero.” That means zero new transmissions of HIV in the state, and access to care for everyone living with it.

The five-year plan expands healthcare services like screenings. It also provides resources to make sure people both have access to and are aware of those treatment or prevention options, especially in populations who have been underserved when it comes to health care.

“This is all to help end the health disparities that are associated with race or ethnicity or gender or sexuality," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. "We think that we can bridge the gap and bring everybody on board and help all of those in our state to have the great outcomes that some communities have been experiencing.”
For HIV prevention, the state is focused on boosting "PrEP" usage. When taken daily, it can reduce the risk of catching HIV by up to 90%.

They’re also focusing on education for those who want to work in the health care field.


“We want there to be clinics that are sensitive and responsive to the needs of this community," said Ezike. "So in schools, and in training programs, we want there to be hands-on rotations through sexually transmitted infection clinics through HIV clinics so that we know that the next generation of providers are getting the tools they need to be most effective.”


She says using data analysis to gauge outcomes over the next few years is essential to achieving their goal.