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Division of Infectious Diseases, Immunology, and International Medicine

Home / HIV/AIDS Project

Clinical HIV Outpatient Program: UIC HIV/AIDS Project (UICHP)

Description of Organization

The University of Illinois HIV/AIDS Project is based in the Section of Infectious Diseases of the University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics, and is a component of the University of Illinois Medical Center located on Chicago's near west side. The Medical Center consists of the University of Illinois Hospital, Clinics and Specialty Center , and the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Associated Health. The University Medical Center is state funded, and maintains a proactive position to provide health care to the underserved.

University of Illinois HIV/AIDS Project

The project consists of 4 components and 8 primary care clinic sites (six funded by Ryan White Titles I and II, two funded by Title III) , (see map below), drawing primarily from 25 Community Areas, and serving about 850 active patients. These components are:

  1. University of Illinois Infectious Diseases Clinic , known as the Family Center for Immune Deficiency and Infectious Diseases, (FCID) located on the campus of the West side Medical Center , and the applicant organization,
  2. Mile Square Health Center , located on the predominantly African American near West side of Chicago ,
  3. AIDS Outreach Project at sites, 2 on the predominantly African-American and Hispanic South side, 2 on the West and Northwest sides and one on the North side of Chicago,
  4. COOP: A community-based organization providing services to minority gay and transgendered persons. The UICHP provided on site HIV primary care in this location on Chicago 's near south side.

Additionally, a UIC-affiliated HIV primary care clinic is operated by the UIC Infectious Diseases faculty at the Veterans Administration West side Medical Center located on the campus of the West side Medical Center serving predominantly minorities who are IVDU's.

UIC has been providing services to HIV-infected individuals for more than 17 years. The UICHP was founded by Dr. Richard Novak in 1992. With the philosophy to bring nonjudgmental HIV services into the communities where our clients reside, and to provide quality primary care for all clients. To that end, the UICHP staff strives to increase our cultural competence and has developed a strong knowledge base and a good community reputation in providing effective primary care to all targeted communities. Our nonjudgmental, complete care model, originally developed for IDUs, has been expanded to take on new target populations as the epidemic has changed, including Spanish-speaking individuals, sex workers, transgendered persons, MSMs of color, persons leaving the correctional system, and women with HIV. A critical part of our care model is determining how to ensure that clients retain access and remain in primary care by working with each client individually, taking into account their life situation in developing the primary care treatment strategy that has the best likelihood of success.

The UICHP provides primary care to HIV-infected clients through a multicenter network of primary care services, focusing on underserved communities. The UICHP uses a multidisciplinary approach to HIV disease management and a graded system of client management. Asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic clients can receive services at any UICHP site, including the UICHP community-based sites. As their health status requires, clients can be referred to a physician-directed clinic for medical management, subspecialty referrals and, when necessary, hospitalization at UICMC. Clients keep the same provider team as they move through different levels of care. In response to the changing nature of the epidemic, the UICHP has placed an increased emphasis on making new therapies available to as many clients as possible. The UICHP also provides enhanced pharmaceutical education, nutritional and gynecological services to its clients. We provide linkages to substance abuse treatment, case management, and other service providers. (As part of our multidisciplinary care model, we have ongoing funding for mental health and dental care as well as treatment adherence.) We also ensure that our clients, who often live in areas of the city that are underserved by public transportation, can get to their appointments by providing transportation for primary and subspecialty care appointments. Our care providers work together in a multidisciplinary team to ensure client adherence to treatment regimens. Infectious disease-trained physicians and nurse clinicians provide medical management, with the help of nurses, licensed clinical social workers, clinical pharmacists, mental health providers, dentists, nutritionists, Patient Care Advocates/patient transporters, and support staff. Our project successfully integrates mental health services (available concurrently with primary care appointments) and substance abuse treatment (all clients are encouraged to seek treatment if appropriate, and we have linkages with treatment providers to ensure that clients seeking treatment can "strike while the iron is hot.") Our EMA-wide network of linkages to other service providers enables us to provide a continuum of care to our clients, including access to home health/hospice, food, etc. We currently have a staff of about 50.

Clinical Research Activities at FCID:

The UICHP supports numerous collaborative clinical and translational research programs. These include: the Women and Infant's Transmission Study (WITS), the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). It also houses a pediatric ACTU. Adult Clinical Trials: CPCRA site, numerous HIV and Herpevac HSV2 vaccine trials; HIV Outpatient Study (HOPS, CDC); WHIN project: program project focusing on HIV pathogenesis.