Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-04-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Heartland official speaks on testing, PrEP outreach
by Matt Simonette
2016-12-28

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


For Ed Stellon, executive director of Heartland Health Outreach ( HHO ), engaging Chicagoans who have, or who are especially vulnerable to, HIV infection is about "more than putting signs on a train."

HHO is the primary healthcare provider for persons experiencing homelessness for the city, providing generalized medical, oral health and myriad other services for its clients. The larger Heartland Alliance organization has been around since 1888 and has historically worked with adults living on the margins.

"We've always taken the 'latest and greatest' when it comes to justice, housing, healthcare services, and then tried to tailor it to the most vulnerable populations," Stellon explained.

"We also take our 'show on the road' and partner with medical systems and go to shelters—about 36 different shelters—in the course of the month," Stellon said. "In addition to that, we have healthcare workers combing the streets, engaging people, especially the most vulnerable."

The goal is that a person experiencing homelessness will reach the same health outcomes as a person stably housed. "Our undetectable rate at HHO is 89 percent," Stellon noted. "…Right now, we're kind of outpacing the city. I'm pretty proud of that."

HHO case managers partner with other organizations to keep its clients on a continuum of care, he added.

"They remind them to take their meds and all kinds of 'extras' that provide day-to-day supports," Stellon said.

Those community partners are especially important in offering PrEP for HHO clients who might be more vulnerable to HIV infection; Stellon noted especially their work with Chicago House and HHO's sister organization, Heartland Human Care Services.

"[They] have recently gotten a grant to engage young men who have sex with men—and transgender folks—of color, especially on the South Side to really target transmission rates in Chicago," he said.

With this new program, advocates are employing what Stellon called "lived experience" to reach out to populations at risk; that means doing so through transgender persons or people already on PrEP who might already have relationships built up in the the targeted populations. Many of these folks will be reaching out through social media and hookup apps, and even in real-life gathering spots.

"The idea is to get tested and get treated," Stellon said. "If you are tested and are positive, come into HHO. Our focus is really unstably housed people, but more and more the lowest income people who are really struggling. If they are not [HIV-positive] but engaging in high-risk behaviors, we will counsel them on PrEP."

The new program is in in the very early stages, so Stellon looks forward to seeing the results. But he said that wraparound services that help persons experiencing homelessness will fill in vital gaps when it comes to eliminating new HIV/AIDS infections.

"Even without a cure, we could technically end HIV," he noted. "We could get everyone who is positive to find out their status and engage them in care and keep them in care, and with those around them considering and engaging in PrEP, we could actually end new infections. It's a lofty goal, but doable. What they're finding is, the group for whom this is not especially working well is homeless young people. When you're homeless, the last thing on your list of what's important is going to the doctor."

When people are stably housed, people are more likely to get and stay on anti-retroviral medications, he explained.

"That's why we use dynamic case managers to keep people connected," Stellon said. "We follow people. If we don't hear from you, we're going to find you and get you to come in."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Season of Concern hosts 'Cabaret for Care' 2018-04-18 - Season of Concern's 2018 annual benefit titled Cabaret for Care came to the Goodman Theatre on April 9. The evening had donors enjoying ...


Gay News

HRC releases HIV college guide 2018-04-18 - The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation has released a new comprehensive guide for college administrators, staff and students outlining many of ...


Gay News

'Bolder Than Out' features variety show, panel discussion 2018-04-11 - As a part of the Coalition for Justice and Respect ( CJR ) sixth annual Bolder Than Out ( BTO ) conference, "Kitchen ...


Gay News

Advocate recounts challenges facing women with HIV 2018-04-11 - Even as technology to prevent and treat HIV infections improves, obstacles continue to impede efforts by providers and advocates to assist women living ...


Gay News

TPAN Welcomes Christopher Clark as New CEO 2018-04-10 - ( Chicago, IL, April 10, 2018 ) — TPAN announces today that it has hired Christopher Clark to serve as the organization's Chief ...


Gay News

HRC Releases New Guide for HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care on Campuses 2018-04-10 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ...


Gay News

HIV study analyzes social media-based prevention strategies 2018-03-29 - Researchers from Cook County Health & Hospitals System ( CCHHS ) are investigating how social media can be used as a tool to ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lawyer rejects Trump, Pulse case, HIV+ reporter, Ft. Lauderdale 2018-03-27 - President Trump's legal team reached out in recent days to Theodore B. Olson, one of the country's most high-profile and seasoned litigators, to ...


Gay News

Season of Concern's Cabaret for Care, Sloan Awards, April 9 2018-03-20 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, CHICAGO, IL - - - Season of Concern, the Chicagoland theatre community's fundraising effort that provides compassionate care to those ...


Gay News

Dining Out For Life Returns to Chicago on April 26 2018-03-14 - Founded in 1991, Dining Out For Life is an annual, international event that raises vital funds for HIV/AIDS service organizations. Participating restaurants donate ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.