Today the Cook County Health (CCH) will celebrate World AIDS Day.  On World AIDS Day, people across the globe unite to raise awareness about HIV/AIDs, support those living with HIV and remember those who have passed away.

More than 43,000 people in Illinois live with HIV or AIDS and more than half of those individuals reside in Chicago. There are approximately 1,000 new cases of HIV diagnosed in Chicago every year. CCH and local public health partners are striving to completely eliminate the transmission of HIV in our community through widespread education, testing and treatment.

CCH is one of the largest providers of HIV/AIDS care in the Midwest. CCH’ Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center cares for individuals with HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, offering a wide array of primary and specialty care, education and social support services. Over the last year, The CORE Center had over 44,400 visits and cared for more than 5,300 unique patients living with HIV/AIDS.

In April 2015, CCH opened a new clinic at The CORE Center to provide HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, to prevent HIV infection in persons at high risk. Emtricitabine-tenofovir, the combination antiretroviral drug approved by the FDA for PrEP, is also known by its brand name, Truvada.

When taken regularly, PrEP has been shown to nearly eliminate the risk of HIV transmission. The PrEP regimen also includes comprehensive counseling and education on reducing high-risk behaviors as well as diagnosis and treatment of other sexually transmitted infections to further mitigate risk and improve the health of patients. The CORE Center was only the second health center in the Chicago region to offer a PrEP program.