Chicago-Based Website Provides Help to HIV Patients

Chicago has one of the largest and most active AIDS service organizations in the United States. They have recently unveiled an impressive new Web site that caters for people newly-diagnosed with HIV, which causes AIDS. About 40,000 people in the State of Illinois, where Chicago is located, are living with HIV and AIDS, with about 1,000 adults being diagnosed every year.

The PEERSpeak Web site provides a creative approach to the subject by using fictional characters to illustrate the challenges people face when they get a diagnosis. The content was developed by people living with HIV/ AIDS who know how overwhelming it can be to cope with the medical and social consequences of their condition.

It provides information for those who have recently been diagnosed with the virus and have no one to talk to, as well as those who are interested in providing helpful information to people living with the virus.

The characters range from a woman who was recently diagnosed with HIV after being insisted on having unprotected sex from her boyfriend to a former heroin user who is trying to get his act together to fight his infection to a gay man who is undergoing denial, which usually accompanies an HIV diagnosis.

The site was developed by Test Positive Awareness Network together with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. The National Library of Medicine awarded a $60,000 grant to the organization, while NogginLabs built the site on a pro bono basis.

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