Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced on Dec 1st, on World AIDS Day
that a new, long-acting HIV treatment called Cabenuva will become available to thousands of people in Illinois starting in January 2023. The injectable medication, which is being added to the list of treatments that are available through the State’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), is administered once a month or every other month and replaces oral medications that need to be taken daily.
“In recognition of World AIDS Day, Illinois is stepping up and making it possible for thousands of Illinoisans to benefit from this new treatment that is highly effective and easier to use than traditional medications,” Governor Pritzker said
. “This demonstrates our commitment to improving the care and quality of life for those impacted by HIV and reaching the goal spelled out in our Getting to Zero Illinois
plan to end HIV in Illinois by 2030.”
“We at IDPH are excited about the inclusion of Cabenuva in the State’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “This new medication is highly effective and provides patients and providers an important new tool to improve the health of Illinoisians living with HIV. Our goal today on World AIDS day and every day is to grow our strategies and solutions to make certain no one suffers from this dangerous disease.”
HIV advocates are praising the state for providing funds that will allow thousands of HIV patients to qualify for full coverage for the costly medication through the ADAP which is operated by IDPH.
“World AIDS Day was first marked 34 years ago in 1988, during the darkest hours of the HIV epidemic,” said John Peller, President & CEO of the AIDS Foundation Chicago. “It’s apt that Governor Pritzker is announcing on Dec 1st, that Illinois will add Cabenuva, the first-ever, long-acting injectable HIV treatment, to its list of treatment options. On Dec 1st’s action demonstrates once again Governor Pritzker’s leadership in moving Illinois forward to end the HIV epidemic.”
IDPH officials note that use of Cabenuva is expected to increase medication compliance which will not only improve health outcomes but also potentially reduce transmission of the HIV virus to others. Funding for the initiative comes from the federal Ryan White CARE Act program, state general revenue funds and drug rebate dollars.
IDPH data indicates more than 36,000 people in Illinois are diagnosed with HIV. The state drug assistance program provides medication and other services for more than 15,000 of those individuals.