A mobile web site for Illinois' on-the-go HIV population

Nov. 21, 2013

Illinois HIV Care Connect today announced the launch of English and Spanish mobile versions of its Web site (www.hivcareconnect.com), making access to treatment-related information easier for today’s HIV-positive population.

“Due to improvements in treatment and access to care, many people with HIV are on the go, living full, busy lives in good health,” said Tom Hughes, executive director of the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), which administers Illinois HIV Care Connect. “There’s been quite a change since the epidemic began.”

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Many people living with HIV can expect to live long lives, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, they must receive lifelong treatment for HIV; otherwise, the condition may lead to serious complications or AIDS. “That’s why providing easy access to important treatment information through a mobile site is so important,” Hughes added.

Many people prefer to access the Internet via smart phones and other mobile devices, according to a recent study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. This preference is especially true among young people under 35, the age group with the highest number of HIV diagnoses in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Encouraging HIV testing and getting those testing positive into treatment is very important because about 25 percent of HIV-positive individuals – about 9,000 people in Illinois – do not know they are HIV-positive, according to state health experts.

The mobile site is the latest in a series of Illinois HIV Care Connect efforts to improve access to HIV treatment, diagnostic and prevention information. In August, the statewide program launched a Spanish version of its desktop Web site (http://www.hivcareconnect.com/index-es.html). Hispanics account for about 20 percent of new HIV infections in the United States, according to the CDC. The program also launched:

-an English Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/ILCareConnect),
-Facebook pages in English (https://www.facebook.com/ILCareConnect) and Spanish (https://www.facebook.com/ILCareConnectSpanish),
-and Google+ pages in English (https://plus.google.com/+Hivcareconnect)and Spanish (http://tinyurl.com/ILCareConnectSpanish).

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