AHF Opens Second Healthcare Center and Remote Consultation Pharmacy on Chicago’s South Side

New AHF facility will offer free state-of-the-art medical care,
including specialty pharmacy services, to people living with HIV/AIDS in
Hyde Park community

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS
Healthcare Foundation (AHF)
hosted a grand opening and
ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday for its new AHF Remote Consultation
Pharmacy in Hyde Park located at 1515 E. 52nd Place, Suite 206, Chicago
IL 60615. Both the AHF Healthcare Center and AHF Remote
Consultation Pharmacy will operate on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00
p.m.


“We recognize the fact that there are particular characteristics of
different communities and that there are challenges of transportation
and cultural concerns, so we have to be located where the people are
comfortable in going,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein in
his dedication remarks. “I’ve been doing this work for 30 years, and
when I started I had to do everything myself. Funding continues to be
significantly reduced or they make you have to jump through many hoops
to get it,” he continued. “We saw a growing need and disparity in
HIV/AIDS services in Chicago and when we met a couple of years ago with
Vanessa Smith of South Side Help Center (SSHC), that bond started on day
one.”

Ceremony guests included Chicago-area HIV AIDS advocacy leaders and
service provider directors from multiple community based organizations,
including Connect to Protect, Men and Women in Prison Ministries, and
South Side HIV/AIDS Resource Coalition (SSHARC).

Other AHF speakers included Dr. Kaleo Staszkow, AHF Healthcare
Center Medical Director (who also oversees AHF Healthcare Center at 2600
South Michigan Avenue); Donna Tempesta, VP, AHF Northern Region
and Finance; and Tracy Jones, AHF Midwest Region and National
Advocacy Campaign Director.

SSHC Executive Director Vanessa Smith expressed appreciation for
AHF’s affiliation that will help extend services to Chicago’s
African-American community. Two mobile units will travel throughout the
South Side to screen for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C and provide linkage to
care.

In closing, Brother’s Health Collective Executive Director Ariq
Cabbler
and Charles Nelson, SSHC’s MSM project director, both
reflected on working in the same building more than 20 years ago with
other agencies that provided HIV/AIDS services but were suspended due to
budget reallocations to other parts of the city.

AHF Healthcare Centers aim to decrease the number of new HIV/AIDS
diagnoses by providing:

  • Free HIV testing so people can be aware of their status;
  • Immediate linkage into care – regardless of ability to pay – for those
    who test positive; and
  • Support through ongoing follow-ups to ensure adherence to a health
    regimen that will ultimately extend life expectancies and reduce the
    risk of transmission.

According to City of Chicago’s 2015
HIV/STI Surveillance Report
, Chicago has seen a 3 percent annual
decrease in new HIV diagnoses, and the number of new HIV infection
diagnoses fell in 2014, down by 48 percent from 2001. While Chicago is
ahead of the nation in linking newly diagnosed HIV positive individuals
to care and ultimately to viral suppression, new HIV infection diagnoses
in 2014 were highest among those who identify as male (83.2%), were
reported as MSM (78.3%), and were 30 years of age or older at diagnosis.
Non-Hispanic (NH) Blacks, which account for nearly 1/3 of Chicago’s
population, represented over 50% of prevalent cases, new infection
diagnoses, and new AIDS diagnoses.

In February 2015, AHF announced its affiliation with the South
Side Help Center
, a community-based organization that has
provided critical services to HIV-positive individuals since 1987. AHF’s
Healthcare Center located at 2600 South Michigan Ave., Suite LL-D also
opened last February.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
611,000 individuals in 36 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

Contacts

for AIDS Healthcare Foundation
CHICAGO: Creola A. Kizart-Hampton
+1.773.875.4531
work
creola@greaterworks1.com
or
Ged
Kenslea,
Senior Director, Communications, AHF
+1.323.308.1833
work
+1.323.791.5526 mobile
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Christopher
Johnson,
Associate Director of Communications, AHF
+1.323.960.4846
work
+1.310.880.9913 mobile
christopher.johnson@aidshealth.org