South Shore Hospital is committed to helping patients with HIV/AIDS live brighter, longer lives. With extensive expertise in HIV/AIDS medical therapies and technologies, South Shore healthcare providers are dedicated to supporting patients during diagnosis and treatment as well as spreading awareness in our South Shore community.
- In 2016, 1,271 per 100,000 people in the South Shore neighborhood were living with HIV/AIDS — compared to just 903 per 100,000 people in Chicago.
- HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately impact people ages 20 to 29, men, non-Hispanic African American/Blacks, and men who have sex with men.
- South Shore Hospital is dedicated to improving HIV/AIDS treatment and education in the South Shore community to improve patients’ quality of life and understanding of the disease.
HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention is a community concern — and a South Shore Hospital priority.
At South Shore, we have implemented 3 primary approaches to improving HIV/AIDS treatment and education. South Shore Hospital will increase:
- Care for more people with HIV/AIDS in our community.
- Spread community awareness of HIV/AIDS resources and treatments.
- Increase places in the community where residents can receive information and treatment.
Complete primary care services, from routine check-ups and preventive care at five affiliated neighborhood clinics and affiliated physicians.
Excellent and personable physicians, nurses, and professional staff. Transportation Services for seniors and disabled patients at affiliated clinics and the hospital.
AIDS — which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome — is caused by the virus called human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, which helps fight off infections and disease.
If HIV is left untreated, it can lead to AIDS.
If you have HIV/AIDS, your immune system has little ability to fight off invaders, putting you at risk for life-threatening illnesses, like pneumonia or some cancers.
There is only one way to know if you have HIV — by getting tested. Knowing your HIV status helps you make decisions to prevent getting or spreading HIV.
At South Shore Hospital, we offer testing to the general public. You may walk in or call ahead for an appointment. We accept all patients, regardless of insurance status.
While HIV does not always come with symptoms — and you can have and spread HIV without having them — there are some signs that you may be infected with HIV:
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Night sweats
- Swollen lymph nodes (located in places such as neck, armpits, and chest)
- Mouth ulcers (or sores)
If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, getting tested is the only way to know your HIV status for certain.
Currently, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. This means that once someone gets HIV, they have it for their entire life.
However, with increased knowledge, technology, and treatment, HIV/AIDS does not have to be the death threat it once was. With the right support and medical care — such as antiretrovirals, protease inhibitors, and combination therapies referred to as cocktails — HIV can be controlled.
As a result, patients with HIV/AIDS can live long, healthy lives, including protecting their partners from the disease.
South Shore Community and HIV/AIDS
The South Shore community has disproportionately higher rates of HIV/AIDS compared to Chicago overall. At South Shore Hospital, we are committed to not only supporting current HIV/AIDS patients, but also spreading awareness to prevent future cases.
Learn more about the South Shore community’s HIV/AIDS needs and how South Shore Hospital is dedicated to improving understanding of the disease and patient quality of life.
South Shore Hospital HIV/AIDS Services
If you have HIV/AIDS and need a primary care provider who understands your illness, South Shore Hospital’s HIV/AIDS Clinic is here to help.
Our clinic is open on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and offers the following confidential services.
At South Shore Hospital, your primary care physician is at the center of your care, including HIV/AIDS treatment. South Shore primary care physicians treat the whole patient from diagnosis to treatment to ongoing care. They also manage your overall health, whether that includes another ongoing condition or temporary health concerns.
South Shore Hospital physicians provide HIV/AIDS diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care, including:
- Medication management
- Lab work
- Smoking cessation support
- Risk reduction for transmission of HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS treatment is an ongoing process. At South Shore, our physicians stay with you for life from initial diagnosis to continued care. This may include anything from testing to risk reduction for transmission to mental health services.
Living a healthy and long life requires the right monitoring. South Shore Hospital case monitoring offers patients services beyond what medical personnel can provide, such as support with transportation, finances, and childcare.
South Shore Hospital pastoral services offers HIV/AIDS patients free, pre-arranged transportation services. Call 773-768-0810, ext. 5242 or 5243, for more information.
South Shore works closely with community partners who provide supplemental services to patients, including:
- Provident Hospital for dental, ophthalmic eye care, and psychological care
- South East Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center for substance abuse support
- Urban Life Line Family Support Center for case management and family support services
- Illinois Aids Drug Assistance Program for bill coverage for medications proven to effectively treat HIV/AIDS for those unable to pay