Chicago House provides services, housing to those impacted by HIV/AIDS

Sunday is World AIDS Day, and is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against the epidemic and to celebrate those who are working to eliminate it.

One organization that is leading that effort is Chicago House.

CEO, Michael Herman and outreach coordinator Arick Buckles joined ABC7 Chicago in the studio to talk more about the work that's being done.

Herman said they are a social service agency that supports those impacted by HIV/AIDS through housing, health and employment services.

He added that housing is healthcare. The World Health Organization reported that social conditions, like housing, employment, access to care and insurance, weigh more heavily in the course of illnesses than any other factor. Herman said those factors are the best predictor of health outcomes.

Chicago House works with those that are disproportionately affected by HIV by creating no barrier access to resources that help change these social conditions.

Buckles said he joined Chicago House 12 years ago when he was a client. Since then, he said the organization has helped him gain stability through housing and become part of the community.

Now, Buckles said he is helping other individuals who have been impacted by HIV/AIDS and are experiencing homelessness navigate resources. He said he also works on the medical adherence program, which helps clients maintain a medication regimen that's essential to their health and well-being.

Herman said that although incredible medical advancements have been made in the fight against the disease, there is still so much work to be done.

He said new cases of HIV are most prevalent in communities disproportionately struggling with the socio economic factors and that is why the Chicago House tries to help provide no barrier access to care.
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