Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day designated by the World Health Organization, and is commemorated on December 1st each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to remember those who have died from an AIDS-related illnesses.

More than 40,000 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. Cook County Health (CCH) and local public health partners are striving to completely eliminate the transmission of HIV in our community through widespread education, testing and treatment.

In 1998, the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center was established as a partnership between CCH and Rush University Medical Center. Since its opening, the Center has remained one of the largest HIV/AIDS clinics in the United States and treats more than 10,000 patients annually for HIV/AIDS care and other infectious diseases.

In 2017, the CORE Center provided HIV primary care to more than 5,000 people living with HIV or 1 out of every 6 people living with HIV. Of these, 75% are either uninsured or covered by Medicaid. Each year 180 to 200 newly diagnosed HIV patients come to the Center. And CCH performs 12,000 yearly HIV tests in the emergency departments at Stroger and Provident Hospital.

The CORE Center and CCH are proud partners of Getting to Zero Illinois, a statewide initiative to end the HIV epidemic in the state by 2030 in collaboration with community-based organizations, health care providers, government agencies, people living with HIV and other committed community members. This can be achieved by getting 20% more people living with HIV virally suppressed and 20% more people vulnerable on Prexposure Prophylaxis (PreP).