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HomeIllinois NewsPritzker guides state funding towards fighting Illinois HIV epidemic

Pritzker guides state funding towards fighting Illinois HIV epidemic



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Statement from Governor JB Pritzker's office February 1, 2019:

ROCKFORD — 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.
“While 1,375 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2017 alone and unacceptable health disparities in communities of color continue, over the past few years we’ve seen HIV prevention funding dry up, HIV testing rates go down, and HIV prevention and treatment agencies lay off staff,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Now is not the time to back down from this fight. Now is the time to double down. This executive order defines the state’s commitment to the HIV epidemic and serves as a first step in ensuring the state is good partner in this fight.”

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. When there was no state budget, HIV prevention and care agencies across the state laid off staff. This lack of investment came a time when health disparities in HIV are increasing.
With today’s executive order, the state 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. 

“The AIDS Foundation is proud to see the state of Illinois taking critical steps to end the HIV epidemic,” said John Peller, president of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. “With a partner like Gov. Pritzker in the governor's office, Illinois can eliminate health disparities and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV by holding Medicaid accountable for tracking and reporting viral suppression.”

“We welcome Governor Pritzker to the Winnebago County Health Department and the focus of his administration on both the prevention and treatment of HIV infection,” said Dr. Sandra Martell, administrator of the Winnebago County Health Department. “Through this public and private partnership, we can get to zero in Illinois.”
“With HIV affecting so many communities across the state, I’m glad that Gov. Pritzker is combating this epidemic head-on and ensuring Illinoisans living with HIV have access to the health care they depend on,” said Rep. Maurice West (D-67th). “While the state hasn’t always been a good partner, the governor is turning the page and writing a new future when it comes to ending the HIV epidemic once and for all.”
“I thank Gov. Pritzker for coming to Rockford during his first week in office and commend his commitment to partnering with localities to keep our residents healthy,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. “Cities and counties across Illinois have experienced a painful stretch of disinvestment from the state, but Gov. Pritzker has already shown he’s a different type of leader that cares about every region of the state.”

Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris gave the governor a pat on the back: 

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  1. Have you ever noticed these two clauses in every one of his E.O.s?
    III. Savings Clause
    Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to contravene any federal or State law or regulation. Nothing in this Executive Order shall affect or alter the existing statutory powers of any State agency or be construed as a reassignment or reorganization of any State agency.
    V. Severability Clause
    If any part of this Executive Order is found to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect. The provisions of this Executive Order are severable.
    He covers his butt with Pg 2, clause 3, and if someone says his order violates his constitutionally granted powers clause 5 protects him as the state AG will defend him in court. An average citizen can’t spend 3 years in court and $250,000+ to right the wrong.
    Anyone who thinks there is justice for all is delusional.

  2. Another white wash job, knew we elected Tom Sawyer, lots of meaningless dribble without substantive root-cause solutions. Until such, the human tragedy of Godless licentiousness will continue in Illinois. We need another Lincoln, a Courageous Conservative leader. Our leadership is a reflection of the heart of The People; without a transformation, we’re doomed! Illinois is in the heart of America’s Second Civil War for sure!

  3. Ask yourself why this is an epidemic? Try not engaging in promiscuous behavior. Try getting to know someone as a fully sentient being before engaging in sex, and demand that any future sex partner get fully tested (yep fully as they no longer screen fro herpes II unless you insist) before you engage in sexual behavior (full panels run about $250-300, the cost alone should keep you from being promiscuous).
    HIV like drug addiction, alcohol abuse, drunk driving, pregnancy, ad educational outcome is an individual behavior driven issue pure and simple.

  4. Absolutely! I have no pity for those who endanger themselves whether by careless sexual behavior or drugs. I see no reason to spend tax-payer money on either group. The sooner these people die, the better for society, since they have to know that they are engaging in suicidal behavior.

  5. Margret,
    I agree. My older brother is HIV positive, he acquired HIV by engaging in promiscuous homosexual behavior. It was a lifestyle choice he made and he knew the risks; he assumed the risks. He gets zero sympathy from me and I am glad to have cut him out of my life years ago.