Local News

Will County Health Department to help open special HIV clinic

The PrEP Clinic, prescribing Truvada to protect HIV-negative patients from contracting the virus, will be open Thursdays at the Will County Health Department’s Community Health Center starting Nov. 30.[]

The Will County Health Department’s Community Health Center is teaming up with the Family Health Services HIV and STD program to open up a special clinic focusing on HIV prevention.

The Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, clinic will be offering a pill, to be taken once a day, to prevent the transmission of HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, according to a news release. Prophylaxis means “action taken to prevent disease, especially a specific action for a specific disease.”

The clinic is set to open Thursday, Nov. 30. It is part of a new state initiative called “Getting to Zero Project,” with the goal of having no newly diagnosed HIV cases in Illinois.

The Health Department’s HIV and STD program specialist Kendra Coleman said in the news release that the drug, called Truvada, was approved by the FDA in 2012 to help prevent HIV.

“Many people are becoming educated about Truvada,” Coleman said in the release. “And you can see it in their eyes that they are excited to know about it. For many, it’s security of knowing that they do not have to just walk away from and abandon an HIV-positive partner, if they follow the PrEP program.”

Coleman added that the drug can help act as a preventive medicine that allows a HIV-negative patient to avoid contracting the virus from their HIV-positive partner.

The clinic will be in session every Thursday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Community Health Center Care Clinic. The clinic is designed for anyone with or without insurance and no one will be turned away.

You can make an appointment by calling 815-727-8830. You can learn more about Truvada at drugs.com/pro/truvada.