The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received funding to conduct the Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) since 2005. The data collected on socio-demographic variables, behavioral and clinical characteristics, supportive service needs, use of healthcare and prevention services, and adherence to clinical care guidelines among HIV-diagnosed persons have been presented to and used by HIV care and prevention planning bodies and service providers to evaluate their programs and prioritize programming.
In August 2012, IDPH developed the Illinois HIV/AIDS Strategy (ILHAS). The ILHAS was adapted from the National HIV/AIDS Strategy document produced in 2010 by President Barack Obama’s White House Office on National AIDS Policy. The ILHAS serves as a blueprint to guide HIV/AIDS care and prevention strategies and policies in Illinois for non-profit organizations, local units of government and state agencies. The strategy calls for the use of case and supplemental surveillance data to assess the needs of Illinois’ HIV-positive population and the availability of HIV-related services across the state to identify service gaps, target resources and to coordinate the development a data tracking system for an effective system of identification, referral, linkage, and retention of people living with HIV disease. MMP data have been used to identify patterns of HIV care, barriers to HIV prevention and utilization of HIV care. This information is critical to formation of policy recommendations that address reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV, and reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities. Further, MMP data have been used to estimate receipt of antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV disease for the Illinois HIV Care Continuum which is used to monitor progress toward reaching the goals of the ILHAS and NHAS.
Since 2009, IDPH has used data reported to the Enhanced HIV/AIDS Reporting System (eHARS) and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) to assess care and treatment patterns of people living with HIV disease based on HIV lab data reported to the Surveillance and ADAP programs. As of June 30, 2019, there were 37,743 people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Illinois and living as of December 31, 2018. The most recent analysis of the HIV care continuum for Illinois suggests that 79 percent of people diagnosed with HIV infection in 2018 were linked to care within one month of diagnosis. Among those people diagnosed with HIV through December 31, 2017 and living as of December 31, 2018, 70 percent were engaged in HIV care, 47 percent were retained in HIV care, and 56 percent were virally suppressed. Additionally, identified were disparities in terms of populations who are more likely to be retained in care and virally suppressed.
MMP data will identify barriers to HIV medical care and gaps in service delivery. This information will guide the development of polices that will address the goals of the ILHAS and NHAS which are to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, and reduce HIV-related disparities and health inequities.