U of I College of Medicine at Peoria gets $1.25 Million grant to - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

U of I College of Medicine at Peoria gets $1.25 Million grant to assist HIV patients

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The university of Illinois college of medicine at Peoria is receiving over a million dollars to help support low-income people living with a chronic disease.

Pam Briggs with U of I tells us HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, has no cure.
It's also the most expensive medical condition a person can have.

"I believe the average is about $24,000 a year. Medications are extremely high," said Briggs.

Living with HIV leaves a huge financial burden on those diagnosed.

For those living with the disease who are low income, U of I College of Medicine at Peoria is offering some assistance.

"Housing stability is primary and it is a very serious and important component to the success of their achievement for viral suppression and a healthy, productive life," said Briggs.

The clinic within the college will use the $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help support their patients.

For example, they pay application fees, deposits and a percentage of their rent. The goal is to put them on their feet.

"They can move off and find another house they want to live in or another place they want to live in, and they don't need that support from the grant, then we can take people off the wait list and provide service to them."

So far they feel they're making progress according to Lisa Roeder with the college, "The national HIV strategy for 2020 is get housing for HIV patients who are homeless under five percent. Right now we are at five percent, so we're doing very well," said Roeder.

Not only that, but the 15 county region is at an all time low for new diagnosed people. Bruce Broughton works at the clinic and has been HIV positive for over 25 years. He says this grant for U of I is a victory for the community.

"I think it's very much a win. The state's initiative is to zero infections. So, we want to keep people engaged in care. It's very important. These services provide that support to allow them to stay in care," said Broughton. 

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