Project HEAL (HIV & HCV Screening. Education. Awareness. Linkage to Care.) is the routine HIV & HCV screening initiative at UI Hospital and Health Sciences System (UI Health). The high volume of patients seen at UI Health – a large, urban medical center and safety-net provider in Chicago – lends itself as an ideal point of contact for patients to be widely screened for HIV and HCV. This project is a collaborative effort between the disciplines of Infectious Disease, Pathology, Emergency Medicine, Public Health, Hepatology, and Internal Medicine.             

The project aims are three-fold:

  1. Promote increased and routine opt-out HIV and HCV screening at UI Health in order to screen more patients and make HIV and HCV screening a standard practice throughout UI Health.

  2. Increase awareness of HIV and HCV through education and training. Healthcare providers and students will be educated and trained on routine HIV and HCV testing and care through continuing education and supplemented school curricula.

  3. Linkage to care for patients that are HIV or HCV positive. Project HEAL will identify patients with positive HIV or HCV tests and ensure that the patients receive their results, are provided education and counseling, and receive care coordination services to facilitate linkage to care and treatment.