Thirteen years ago, the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative (PACPI) and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) joined forces to share an office and administrative support while collaborating on projects that prioritize pregnant people living with HIV. The partnership also aimed to eliminate vertical HIV transmission, which means transmission of the virus from parent to child. At the end of 2019, PACPI will relocate to new offices in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood and embark on new initiatives, including a name change.
“This longstanding relationship has strengthened AFC’s ability to support parent-to-child HIV transmission in Illinois,” said John Peller, AFC’s president/CEO. “We have had a productive, close relationship with PACPI over the years, and we are excited to continue collaborating in the next chapter of our relationship.”
PACPI’s mission is to eliminate vertical transmission of HIV and other infectious diseases and to provide services to uplift and create equity for families in Illinois. PACPI has been a vital gamechanger in Illinois, successfully helping pregnant people living with HIV have babies born without HIV. Their work has taken on this mission through providing case management, housing advocacy and other vital services to parents living with HIV who are pregnant or have recently given birth.
“AFC has been a tremendous asset for helping us to grow programs and services, which has helped Illinois get to ZERO babies born with HIV last year,” said Anne Statton, Executive Director of PACPI.
Alone, PACPI has achieved great things, but with a partner in AFC, the synergy has resulted in new programs and initiatives supporting women. PACPI supported AFC’s 2015-17 project the Midwest HIV Prevention and Pregnancy Planning Initiative, for example, as well as offered necessary training to Chicago-area case managers about perinatal health for people living with HIV. The organizations worked together to create 13 permanent housing units for pregnant people living with HIV to establish stability in their home and family lives. There have also been numerous campaigns developed by AFC and PACPI to increase the awareness of the experiences people have who are pregnant or parenting while living with HIV.
On the systems level, PACPI and AFC have partnered to advance legislation to ensure appropriate HIV screening occurs during the prenatal period, both at the beginning of the pregnancy experience and again in the third trimester. This legislation has almost eliminated the possibility of babies in Illinois being born living with HIV. PACPI has supported advocacy initiatives like the Chicago and national female condom coalitions, Getting to Zero Illinois and annual Advocacy Days events.
Anne and her board and coworkers have also participated regularly in both AIDS Run & Walk Chicago and the TEAM TO END AIDS (T2); Anne herself has completed over 14 endurance events with T2 to raise money for both organizations.
PACPI’s next steps take them to a new home and a new name
On Jan. 1, PACPI will open its new doors in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, and this time, they’ll be occupying their own space near many other serv
ice providers in the Broadway and Lawrence area.
“We are excited about our new partnership with Human Citizen, owned by T2 veteran Anthony Mendiola. We have room to grow and a collaborative environment for new ideas,” said Anne.
They’ll also be launching a brand-new name on Jan. 1: the Mother and Child Alliance. This new name will better capture the true spectrum of services the organization offers through its nineteen-person staff, housed across three agencies.
Stay up-to-date with PACPI by following its Facebook page.