“National HIV Testing Day Collaborative on Chicago’s Westside”
Six Chicagoland HIV service providers collaborate to expand HIV testing on National HIV Testing Day at three Westside Walgreens locations, the event brings out over 100 community members.
June 27, 2018- Chicago, IL- Austin CBC Initiative in collaboration with Walgreens, The Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, TPAN, Association House of Chicago, UIC Integrated PASEO, Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) and the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS) hosted Free HIV testing at three Walgreens locations in observance of National HIV Testing Day. The event focused on expanding HIV prevention, treatment, and care in communities at risk for HIV/AIDS through collaboration between HIV service providers in hard to reach areas within Chicago's Westside.
Walgreens in collaboration with Greater Than AIDS, reached out to local HIV service providers to provide Free HIV testing in more than 180 locations around the country. Locally, the event took place at three Westside locations; 4748 W. North Ave, 1627 N. Pulaski and 1546 N. Central. Throughout the day event participants received HIV screening, HCV screening, PrEP education & access to services, food, condoms and educational materials. The event took place from 10:00 AM-7:00 PM. Over 170 Westside residents were tested for HIV at the three locations.
“Today our unified efforts proved that partnership is critical in increasing access and promoting HIV awareness within the community, I can’t express how thankful I am for the collaboration between our organizations, “said James Lones the event’s coordinator and EIS Specialist for Austin CBC Initiative”.
The collaborative of agencies were initially connected through membership with the Chicago chapter of the Black Treatment Advocates Network, more commonly known as BTAN. BTAN is a national network of HIV/AIDS stakeholders including service providers, community members and leaders, educators, and people living with HIV/AIDS, who mobilize Black communities across the country to confront HIV.
"BTAN served as a platform to network with HIV providers who serve communities of color in Chicago, the main goal of this collaboration was to mobilize and strengthen our partnership through high impact community engagement today and we achieved that," says Chamille Johnson Interim Director of Austin CBC Initiative and Co-Chair of BTAN Chicago.
Sponsors of the event: UCHAPS, Cook County Health & Hospital Systems (CCHHS), Walgreens, TPAN, UIC Integrated PASEO, PRCC.
The mission of the Austin CBC Initiative is to improve the quality of life for individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS. The purpose of our initiative is to restore hope, improve health, and impart knowledge to those who are otherwise hard to reach in communities of color. The Austin CBC program has over 19 years of experience providing outpatient ambulatory medical care, outpatient substance abuse, case management services, mental health, and psychosocial services on Chicago’s Westside.
To our partners and sponsors, thank you for participating in this joint effort to provide essential HIV prevention services in a community area disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. We look forward to future collaboration and events!
Chamille Johnson MS, CHES
Austin CBC Initiative/Hektoen Institute