SPRINGFIELD, Ill.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Illinois HIV Care Connect published new text and video content on its website today, on World AIDS Day, to encourage people living with HIV in Illinois to stay in HIV care.
“To achieve this goal, we’re communicating messages about the importance of staying in care using text, graphics and videos”
HIV+ Illinoisans can view the new content, and take the seven-minute #StayinCare Quiz, which measures understanding of the importance of staying in HIV care, also known as “retention in care.” Illinois HIV Care Connect will compare the scores of those taking the quiz before the content was published with those taking the quiz after to gauge how effectively the content improved awareness and knowledge.
For a person living with HIV, staying in HIV care is an important step toward achieving viral suppression, a low level of HIV in the blood, and toward increasing the chance of a long and healthy life. Only 30 percent of people living with HIV have reached viral suppression, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that’s because only 37 percent of people living with HIV are successfully staying in care by making medical appointments twice a year and regularly taking their medications.
“Encouraging people with HIV in Illinois to stay in care is a major goal for Illinois HIV Care Connect,” said Tom Hughes, executive director of the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), which manages Illinois HIV Care Connect with funding from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). “To achieve this goal, we’re communicating messages about the importance of staying in care using text, graphics and videos” on the Illinois HIV Care Connect website (hivcareconnect.com) and on its Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram social media platforms.
Illinois HIV Care Connect is a statewide network providing medical case management, health care and support services to people living with HIV. Seven lead agencies coordinate the services provided to eight Illinois regions through the program. About 36,000 Illinois residents are estimated to be HIV-positive. Illinois HIV Care Connect lead agency offices located in Rockford, Peoria, Springfield, Belleville, Murphysboro, Champaign and Chicago serve people living with HIV in all of Illinois’ 102 counties.