In 2018, 920 people aged 60 years or older living with HIV received primary are at the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center. As people living with HIV age, a significant proportion are socially isolated and have little or no family support while dealing with increasing medical and psycho-social comorbidities, depression, frailty, food insecurities, housing and transportation issues and coordinating insurance benefits and services.
In 2016, Dr. Oluwatyoin Adeyemi, senior director of HIV Services, Cook County Health (CCH) led a research study that showed many aging HIV positive patients lived alone, and the interplay of co-morbidities, polypharmacy, memory issues and falls placed them at an increased risk for non-independent living at an earlier age than the general population. In November 2018, the CORE Center was awarded a three-year grant to make the CORE Healthy Aging Initiative (CHAI) expansion project a reality starting in January 2019.
CHAI 2.0 will directly focus on providing programs to the aging population at the CORE Center and improving provider and community awareness of the need to address aging related issues of people living with HIV. Participants will have access to aging related case management and peer navigation, insurance and benefits navigation and polypharmacy reduction interventions. Programming will also focus on healthy aging, stigma and social isolation reduction, including on/offsite support, events, virtual contact and will train patients to self-advocate.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the CORE Center. The CORE Center was established as a partnership between CCH and Rush University Medical Center. Since its opening in 1998, the Center has remained one of the largest HIV/AIDS clinics in the U.S. and treats more than 10,000 patients annually for HIV/AIDS care and other infectious diseases.