AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of its newest AHF Wellness Center in Chicagos Hyde Park neighborhood this week. The site offers free confidential screenings for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) from its location in the AHF Healthcare Center/Hyde Park at 1515 E. 52nd Place, Ste 206, Chicago, IL 60615 (entrance is behind Mellow Yellow/across from Hyatt). The Sexual Wellness Center, which started seeing its first patients in September, will be formally dedicated with a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony on this Friday, October 12th, at 2:00 p.m. and will then be open for services or walk-in visits from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Fridays. AHF also offers Wellness services at its Michigan Avenue site on Mondays and Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will be opening an Out of the Closet “ Wellness “ Pharmacy in Boystown this upcoming winter!
RIBBON-CUTTING CEREMONY for NEW AHF WELLNESS CENTER
AHF Hyde Park Wellness Center to offer free screenings for STDs and HIV
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Dr. Danica Wilson, AHF Healthcare Center Medical Director
Rosa E. Martnez Col³n, MS, AHF Regional Director, Chicago
Vanessa Smith, Executive Director, South Side Help Center, an Affiliate of AHF
Omar N. L³pez, Executive Director, C.A.L.O.R., an Affiliate of AHF
AHF Hyde Park Wellness Center
AHF Healthcare Center
1515 E. 52nd Place, Suite 206
Chicago, IL 60615
Friday, Oct. 12th, 2:00 p.m.
Wellness Center hours: Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
AHF Wellness Centers are designed to make testing and treatment for STDs accessible, convenient, and affordable, as well as to encourage regular sexual health screenings for all sexually active people. Services offered include free HIV testing as well as free screening and treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. The Wellness Center is a program of the AHF Hyde Park Healthcare Center, AHFs full-service clinic led by Dr. Danica Wilson, that provides comprehensive medical care and treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS. For more information on the AHF Hyde Park Healthcare Center, please call (312) 881-3050.
We are excited to add our Wellness Center services to our Hyde Park Healthcare Center and expand our ability to offer STD and HIV screenings for sexually active adults in a convenient, confidential environment, said Rosa E. Martnez Col³n, AHFs Regional Director for the Chicago area. With cultural changes and the rise of mobile dating apps helping to fuel the rise of sexually transmitted diseasesespecially among young adultswe want people to make routine STD screenings a key component of their plans for healthy living.
In August, the CDC issued its latest analysis of STDs in the United States. The CDC found steep and sustained increases in STD infectionsnearly 2.3 million total cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017. Gonorrhea was up 67%, primary and secondary syphilis up 76%, and while chlamydia held relatively steady just a few points above where it was in 2013at more than 1.7 million cases in 2017, it remains a significant health concern because the disease can affect womens reproductive organs and possibly leave them infertile. The majority of these new infections are also found in young people ages 18-24, said Dr. Danica Wilson, AHF Healthcare Center Medical Director, who will also oversee care and treatment at the new Wellness Center. AHF Wellness Centers, like the new site we are cutting the ribbon on in Hyde Park on Friday, can be a significant tool in the fight to help contain these escalating STD rates and are designed as safe and convenient community-based spaces for people to avail themselves of both free HIV and STD testing and treatment services, as needed.
HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Cook County, IL
(source: Chicago Department of Public Health HIV/STI Surveillance Report, December 2017)
- There were a total of 839 new HIV diagnoses among Chicago residents in 2016 (lowest since 1990), corresponding to a rate of 31.1 per 100,000 population. There was a total of 23,824 individuals who had been diagnosed through 2015 and were living with HIV in 2016, corresponding to a rate of 882.8 per 100,000 population.
- There were 4.8 times as many new HIV diagnoses in men than in women.
- In 2016, individuals aged 20-29 years old were the most frequently diagnosed population group, representing 40.3% of all new HIV diagnoses.
- Non-Hispanic (NH) Blacks were the most frequently diagnosed population, representing 58.5% of new diagnoses, 56.4% of AIDS diagnoses, and 55.2% of late diagnoses.
- Compared with other HIV transmission groups, there were 3.7 times more new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) than those reporting heterosexual (HET) contact transmission and 13.7 times more new HIV diagnoses than those reporting injection drug use (IDU).
- In 2016, the highest rates of new HIV infection diagnoses were seen in individuals residing in Douglas, Edgewater, Grand Boulevard, Kenwood, North Lawndale, Rogers Park, Washington Park, West Garfield Park, and Uptown. The highest rates of PLWH [persons living with HIV] were observed in Edgewater, Rogers Park, and Uptown.
Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Primary & Secondary (P&S) Syphilis and Congenital Syphilis
- There were a total of 29,776 chlamydia cases, 10,836 gonorrhea cases, and 813 syphilis cases reported to CDPH in 2016. The number of chlamydia and P&S syphilis cases are the highest ever since 1997.
- There were 1.6 times as many reported chlamydia cases in women than men, 1.8 times as many reported gonorrhea cases in men than women, and 15.6 times as many reported syphilis cases in men than women. The largest proportion of P&S syphilis cases (74.9%) were among MSM.
- In 2016, individuals aged 20-29 years old were the most frequently diagnosed age group for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and P&S syphilis.
- NH Blacks were the most frequently diagnosed population among all three reportable STIs, representing 40.3% of reported chlamydia cases, 44.3% of reported gonorrhea cases, and 36.2% of reported P&S Syphilis cases. However, NH Blacks were the only population to [see] a decrease in the number of cases for all three reportable STIs from 2015 to 2016.
- In 2016, community areas with the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea included areas considered to have a high economic hardship. This years report highlights the continued decrease in new HIV diagnoses, reinforces the need to address sexual health disparities experienced by certain populations and in certain community areas in our city, and acts as a call to action for health partners to address the rising STI rates within Chicago.
AHF operates twenty-one additional Wellness Centers in the US, including in the District of Columbia and eight states: Florida, California, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Texas and Washington. For more information about Wellness Center services and locations, please visit www.freestdcheck.org.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1,000,000 individuals in 42 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Martínez Colón, MS, AHF Regional Director