HIV Screening and Awareness in Chicago
February 2, 2018
While it has been decades since AIDS became widespread in the United States, it is still considered a serious health threat, particularly among African-Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared to other races and ethnicities, more African-Americans are diagnosed each year with HIV (the virus that leads to AIDS). At ACCESS, we are working hard to change that. Here’s how:
Free HIV screening and testing:
At ACCESS, every one of our locations offers Universal HIV testing. This means all patients are asked and encouraged to get an HIV test when they come in for routine blood work. And, in honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which is observed on February 7, ACCESS will be out providing information and HIV screenings at various sites in the community:
- Monday, February 5: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave.; Information and HIV screenings.
- Monday, February 5: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Harold Washington College, 30 E. Lake St.; Information Table.
- Wednesday, February 7: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Kennedy King College’s Unity Day event, 6301 S. Halsted St.; Information and HIV Testing.
- Wednesday, February 7: 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Malcolm X. College, 1900 W. Jackson Blvd.; Information Table.
Our health care providers strive to educate patients about HIV and how they can protect themselves and people they love. Here are some tips:
- Get screened and know your status.
- Use a latex or polyurethane condom.
- Reduce the number of sexual partners you have.
- Know the HIV status of your sexual partners.
- Avoid sharing any needles or syringes. Purchase new syringes from a pharmacy or visit your local syringe exchange.
- If you cannot obtain a clean needle or syringe, limit the number of people with whom you share equipment and know their HIV status.
- Make sure your tattoo artist or piercing professional takes new, unused needles out of sealed packages in front of you.
At ACCESS, all HIV-positive patients are referred to one of ACCESS' five HIV hub sites for an initial consultation to support their primary care needs. We work closely with newly-diagnosed patients to ensure they are connected to the right resources and are given the support they need to help them decide how best to address their diagnosis and treatment options.
Spread the word
As part of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, tell one person you love about the importance of getting tested. If we all work together, we can make a bigger impact.