January 9, 1996
HIV/AIDS HOTLINE HOURS EXPANDED TO 15 HOURS A DAY
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- In order to better accommodate people seeking information about HIV and AIDS, the Illinois Department of Public Health's AIDS Hotline has expanded its hours of service by 20 percent to 15 hours a day, Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, announced Tuesday.
Calls to the hotline -- 1-800-AID-AIDS -- are now being answered from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Previously, calls were handled each day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The hotline offers services to those who speak Spanish and to the hearing impaired (1-800-782-0423).
"By increasing the number of hours the hotline is available, we are trying to make information about HIV/AIDS, prevention and risk reduction, counseling and testing, and referrals for other services, more convenient to more people," Dr. Lumpkin said. "Education remains our most effective weapon in attempting to combat the spread of this deadly disease."
The Department's hotline, which has been operational since 1985, received more than 30,000 calls in 1995, making it one of the busiest state hotlines in the United States.
Topics most frequently addressed by hotline counselors are about how HIV is transmitted, where to be tested for HIV infection, referrals to HIV service organizations, information about HIV/AIDS symptoms and emotional support.
The Department awarded Test Positive Aware Network of Chicago (TPA) a one-year contract to operate the hotline beginning July 1, 1995. As part of its proposal, TPA pledged to expand the hours of the hotline once it had assembled its paid and volunteer staff.
TPA, the Midwest's largest support and information network for individuals impacted by HIV, is the third contractor to operate the hotline in its 10-year history. Howard Brown Clinic of Chicago handled the hotline from 1985 to 1988 and Horizons Community Services of Chicago answered calls from 1988 to 1995.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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