CHICAGO (CBS) — New HIV cases in Chicago continue to decline, reaching their lowest levels in more 30 years in 2018.
The Chicago Department of Public Health said 734 new HIV diagnoses were reported in the city last year, the lowest number since 1988.
The number of new HIV cases among Chicago residents has dropped 60% since 2001, and 19% since 2014, according to CDPH.
“A world where we end the HIV epidemic is within our reach, and these latest findings prove that Chicago is on track to end the HIV epidemic by 2030,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Chicagoans will not rest until we achieve functional zero, meaning we will continue to increase access to care and services, expand our work with community partners and strengthen the quality of life for every city resident.”
The city’s latest report on HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases showed 23,580 people in Chicago were living with HIV at the end of 2017, up only 2% from the year before.
City officials said people are living longer and healthier lives with HIV thanks to modern medical treatments.
“Our funding follows the epidemic to ensure resources are allocated to areas and populations with the greatest needs,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, acting commissioner of CDPH. “Through integration of funding and programing, we can reach more people and make sure no one falls through the cracks.”
The city said, while HIV rates continue to decline, other sexually transmitted diseases are at an all-time high in the U.S.
In 2018, there were 30,608 chlamydia cases reported in Chicago, the highest ever; 12,679 gonorrhea cases, the highest since the early 2000s; and 877 primary and secondary syphilis cases.
The city operates three sexually transmitted disease clinics: in Roseland, at 200 E 115th St.; in Austin, at 4909 W. Division St.; and in Lakeview, at 2849 N. Clark St.