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“Discrepancies in Illinois’ Initiative to Eliminate HIV”

Author: Nathalie Rodriguez

Department: UIC Institute for Policy & Civic Engagement

Advisor: Dr. Joseph K. Hoereth, IPCE

Marcus Daniels, Graduate Mentor, IPCE

Abstract: At the end of 2013, 60,267 people were living with HIV in Illinois. Although new cases have declined by 35% from 2006 to 2017, there is still a significantly disproportionate number of homosexual Blacks and Latinos whom HIV impacts. Getting to Zero – Illinois (GTZ-IL) is a statewide initiative to reduce new HIV cases to a functional zero level by 2030. However, the state is set to fail to reach its goals as cases are not declining rapidly in minority groups. Therefore, this study combined the techniques of a literature review and case studies to determine the effectiveness of GTZ-IL from financial, racial, and public health perspectives. After comparing GTZ-IL with New York State’s “Ending the Epidemic” initiative, results show that the Illinois government has not taken adequate measures to accomplish the goal by including ambitious language and overextending its criteria for the program. Therefore, an increase in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by 30% among homosexual men will be key to achieving the goal. In addition, expanding funding, antiretroviral therapy (ART), and behavioral interventions will also be necessary to decrease the barriers to accessing PrEP and ART.

Keywords: Functional Zero Level, HIV, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), scale-up