Gov. Pritzker Takes Executive Action to Strengthen State’s Commitment to Ending HIV Epidemic

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Surrounded by health care providers and HIV prevention advocates at the Winnebago County Health Department, Governor JB Pritzker took executive action strengthening the state’s commitment to ending the HIV epidemic that has affected nearly 40,000 Illinois residents. Over the last four years, the State of Illinois failed to partner fully with organizations and advocates that are working to end the HIV epidemic. The executive order will change course and take advantage of opportunities to improve treatment. With Medicaid providing health insurance for 23,748 Illinoisans living with HIV in FY17, the state-run program is the largest payer for HIV care in the state and a vital partner in ending the HIV epidemic. Committing to ending the HIV epidemic, Gov. Pritzker signed Executive Order 2019-08, which will:

• Invest in Programs and Services to End the Epidemic. Investments will include prevention measures the Rauner administration had discontinued, including funding for increased HIV testing, PrEP, the African American HIV/AIDS Response Act and other public health initiatives. Additionally, people living with HIV along with their healthcare providers will be invested and supported in achieving undetectable viral loads.

• Monitor Viral Load Metrics. The Department of Public Health and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, in conjunction with the contracted Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MMCOs), shall, within 90 days of the effective date of this Executive Order, deliver a report to the Governor containing a plan for the MMCOs to share data with the State in accordance with all laws and regulations governing health privacy, including a viral load metric, so that the State can monitor progress to ensure Illinoisans living with HIV have access to the healthcare they need to keep their viral loads at zero. 

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