What is PrEP
PrEP means Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it’s the use of antiHIV medication that keeps HIV negative people from becoming infected.
PrEP on the Westside
Visit one of the PrEP CONNECT clinics to learn more about how you can get started on PrEP!
Our clinic locations are:
Austin Health Center * 4800 W Chicago Ave * Chicago, IL 60651
Jorge Prieto Health Center *2424 S Pulaski Rd *Chicago, IL 60623
to schedule an appointment
Call Alescia Hollowell, Project Coordinator, @ 312-884-9290.
WHO GETS IT?
Anybody can get HIV. HIV is a virus; it can enter the body if you are rich or poor; young or old; black or white; gay or straight; married or single. It’s what you do, not who you are, that puts you at risk.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO FEEL THE SYMPTOMS?
People can have HIV for 10 years or more and never show any symptoms. Other people can get symptoms within a short time after being infected. The only way you can truly tell if you have HIV is to get tested.
HOW LONG DOES ONE LIVE WITH HIV?
If you keep your T-cell count up and keep your viral load ² down by taking your HIV medication consistently and properly, there’s no reason to think that your life will be any shorter with HIV than it would have been without it. The latest information on life expectancy for people with HIV shows that those who are on treatment can expect to live well beyond their 60s, and the estimates keep getting closer to those of HIV-negative people as HIV medications become more and more effective.
WHAT SHOULD ONE DO AFTER TESTING POSITIVE?
If you’ve already tested positive for HIV, then you should meet with an HIV Specialist as soon as possible. There are tests they can do to see if your HIV is progressing, get you started on an effective anti-HIV medication regimen, and start working towards an undetectable ³ viral load. If you’re newly diagnosed, it can also be incredibly beneficial if you seek out support from a local HIV organization and connect with other people living with HIV.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR HIV?
Anti-retro-viral therapy (ART) is the recommended treatment for HIV infection. ART involves taking a combination of two or more anti-HIV medications daily. ART prevents HIV from multiplying and destroying T-cells. ART doesn’t cure HIV, but the anti-HIV medications help people infected with the virus live long, healthy lives.
WHERE DID HIV COME FROM?
The origin of HIV is not entirely known. Currently, experts assume that early in the 20th century in Africa, an ancestor virus of HIV transmitted from a primate to a human through blood contact while hunting and evolved into what HIV is today. The history of the global epidemic is more recent, however: The world only began to realize the existence of the virus in the early 1980s, when gay men in New York City and San Francisco began to die of a mysterious illness. AIDS wasn’t officially “discovered” until 1982, and the virus now known as HIV was identified as the cause of AIDS in 1984.