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llinois HIV Care Connect publishes new, educational website content reinforcing the importance of good mental health among people living with HIV

Springfield, Ill. – Jan. 7, 2016 – To reinforce the importance of good mental health among people living with HIV, Illinois HIV Care Connect has published new website content about HIV and mental health at www.hivcareconnect.com/hiv-and-mental-health. HIV-positive Illinois residents are encouraged to review this content before taking the HIV and Mental Health Quiz, which can be found at ?ow.ly/Uc5KG.  

The new website content covers why mental health is important, the causes of mental health problems, whom people living with HIV should see for mental health advice and treatment, and insurance coverage for mental health services.

Mental health conditions affect about one in five Americans. Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) show that HIV-positive individuals with mental health conditions have a more difficult time achieving medication adherence and viral suppression – a low level of HIV in the blood associated with optimal health for people living with HIV.

The new website content and quiz is being promoted on Illinois HIV Care Connect’s website – www.hivcareconnect.com – and on its social media platforms: Twitter (twitter.com/ILCareConnect), Facebook (facebook.com/ILCareConnect) and Google+.

Illinois HIV Care Connect is a statewide network providing medical case management, health care and support services to people living with HIV. Seven lead agencies coordinate the services provided to eight Illinois regions through the program, which is funded by IDPH and federal grants and supported by the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA). About 36,000 Illinois residents are estimated to be HIV-positive. Illinois HIV Care Connect lead agency offices located in Rockford, Peoria, Springfield, Belleville, Murphysboro, Champaign and Chicago serve people living with HIV in all of Illinois’ 102 counties.

“We look forward to working with Illinois mental health organizations, professionals and advocates to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health among people living with HIV,” said Tom Hughes, executive director of the Illinois Public Health Association. “Evidence shows that good mental health within the HIV-positive population will lead to better overall health outcomes and longer lifespans.”