PrEP stands for “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis,” with the last word meaning “action taken to prevent disease.” Treatment at the PrEP Clinic includes a daily pill, Truvada, to be taken for the purpose of preventing the transmission of HIV. The treatment also includes very specific follow-up visits for HIV testing.Health Department HIV and STD program specialist Kendra Coleman says “it has been shown that Truvada can act as a preventative medicine that allows the negative-HIV patient to avoid contracting it from a positive-HIV partner. That’s why this PrEP clinic has been established: To get Truvada to negative-HIV patients who want to take this precaution.”
Family Health Services program specialist Lytti Dudczyk says the clinic’s opening in December of 2017 the day before World Aids Day was very significant. “This shows more promotion of the newer HIV prevention efforts,” Dudczyk explained. “The PrEP Clinic is a new tool in the toolbox for HIV prevention to help achieve the goal of Illinois’ Getting to Zero Project.”
Getting to Zero efforts are already underway in other states; such as New York, California, and Pennsylvania. The ultimate goal is to have no newly diagnosed HIV cases sometime during the next decade.
Coleman says Getting to Zero is currently being promoted around the state of Illinois, with about 14 town hall meetings scheduled in various areas in December alone. “It’s all about health departments and community based organizations coming together,” Coleman explained, “and keeping the Getting to Zero effort right on schedule.”
And while some Illinois counties do not have health departments that include clinic treatment rooms, there are already educational efforts about PrEP Clinics underway in some of those areas.
“For example, in Jackson County,” said Dudczyk, “health department personnel are educating doctor’s offices about the program. It involves a tight schedule when it comes to follow-up visits and bloodwork, just like if they were treating a patient for something like Rheumatoid Arthritis.”
While PrEP Clinics and the Getting to Zero efforts continue to grow, Dudczyk pointed out a very important fact. “If you are being treated for the prevention of HIV, you still have to be cautious about spreading other sexually transmitted diseases. So all the usual advice about condom usage, for example, still applies.”
The Will County Health Department PrEP Clinic operates in the Community Health Center Care Clinic, 11 AM to 4 PM every Thursday, with the final appointment being taken at 3:30 PM. You can make your appointment by calling 815-727-8830.
Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Program
Summary of Services
The Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Program conducts surveillance on positive cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in Will County. Surveillance efforts follow strict procedures to ensure the confidentiality of STD case reports.
Other services include:
- Surveillance and treatment
- Confirmed untreated cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis may be treated at the Will County Community Health Center. Call 815 727 8830.
- To report positive cases of Syphilis, Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, physicians’ offices should fax lab results, patient demographics and treatment information to (815)774-4474. This is a CONFIDENTIAL fax line.
- Anonymous and confidential partner notification and referral services
- To help ensure that you and your partners are aware of potential STD exposure and infection status without disclosing any identifying information.
- Educational presentations to schools and other interested community groups
- Presentations focus on STD prevention, signs and symptoms, treatment guidelines, and referrals for STD screening and treatment.
- Please call (815) 727-8830 to schedule a presentation.
For more information about the Will County Health Department’s STD program and services, or for general information and questions, please call (815) 727-8830 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the GYT (Get yourself tested) Website
1106 Neal Ave., Joliet, IL 60433
Open by appointment
Monday & Wednesday 7:30am – 4:30pm
Tuesday & Thursday 7:30am – 8:00pm
Friday 7:30am – 12:00pm
Saturday 8:00am – 1:00pm
Call (815) 727-8670 to schedule an appointment.
HIV Prevention Program
Provides HIV Education and Prevention Services to High Risk Individuals
The Will County Health Department HIV program ensure that individuals at high risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV or other STD’s in Will County are provided with quality HIV prevention and care services. Anyone 12 years of age or older is eligible to participate.
The HIV program works to prevent the spread of HIV by providing anonymous or confidential HIV counseling and testing FREE of charge in many Will County locations.
For HIV information or for more information regarding HIV services available, please call (815) 727-8830.
If you don’t qualify for Will County Health Department HIV Testing, click on link and enter zip code to identify other agencies that provide testing in your area National HIV and STD Testing Resources
Summary of Services, Educational Programs and Useful Links
The Will County Health Department HIV Program services include:
- HIV counseling and testing services
- HIV Surveillance
- Testing available with rapid results
- Anonymous and confidential testing available
- Educational presentations to schools and other interested community groups. To schedule a presentation, please call (815) 727-8830
- Group prevention and support
- HIV + Support Group
- Anonymous partner notification and referral services: To help ensure that you and your partners are aware of potential HIV exposure and infection status without disclosing any identifying information
To report a new HIV diagnosis or for more information regarding HIV services available, please call (815) 727-8830.