The Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Lurie 86s Hospital, led by Dr. Robert Garofalo MD, MPH, provides comprehensive care to promote positive health outcomes for youth in and around Chicago. Our services are structured to support all youth, specializing in reaching young people who often experience barriers to accessing services. Although the HIV epidemic has begun seeing overall decreases nationally, young men who have sex with men of color YMSMOC are still acquiring HIV at increasing rates. YMSMOC are currently the most vulnerable population for HIV acquisition in Chicago, accounting for 48% of new diagnoses in 2018. In Chicago and around the nation, YMSMOC, young 92 of color YWOC, and transgender 92 of color TWOC are also left behind and forgotten when it comes to accessing lifesaving HIV medication, prevention, treatment, and information. Chicago youth generally are at increased risk for HIV, accounting for 27% of all new diagnoses in 2018. Youth who are also MSMOC, WOC, and/or TWOC have higher risk levels which is why the Youth Information Access Project will invest in targeting and supporting these communities directly. The project will commission 6 young artists from high-risk populations and communities to design educational materials to provide their peers with information about HIV treatment, prevention, and education including PrEP resources and NLM materials. Similar to past successful communications campaigns implemented by the Division, these youth-developed materials will be disseminated via social media outlets targeting at-risk youth. The outreach will connect youth to the NLM library of resources around 101 and PrEP ensuring that they have the tools to access additional accurate information.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie 86's Hospital of Chicago