Howard Brown Health Underscores Significant Role in Chicago Public Health with 2017 Epidemiology Report

(Chicago, IL, September 5, 2017) – Howard Brown Health today published its 2017 Epidemiology Report, which provides data and analysis of Howard Brown’s STI and HIV screening activities for 2012-2016.

Highlighting trends over the five-year period, the report contains screening and positivity rates for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), behavioral and demographic information on clients accessing services, and the type of service accessed by year.

View the report at

The report’s data-centered content demonstrates Howard Brown Health’s leadership in public health in Chicago and Midwest region.  Highlights include:

  • Over the past five years, Howard Brown provided 63,889 tests for HIV, 74,018 tests for syphilis, 70,430 tests for gonorrhea, and 70,290 tests for chlamydia.
  • HIV positivity dropped from 0.91% to 0.68% from 2015 to 2016.
  • STI screening events that included extragenital (pharyngeal and/or rectal) tests increased from 20% in 2012 to 69% in 2016, improving diagnostic accuracy.
  • From 2012 to 2016, 3,384 people initiated pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) at Howard Brown to prevent HIV acquisition.
  • An estimated $10 million in lifetime healthcare costs were averted thanks to the population who gained access to PrEP, which prevented an estimated 44 HIV infections that would have otherwise occurred without protection against HIV infection.

“We’re proud of the progress we’ve made in tackling some urgent health concerns among our patient base, but we also know there is still much work to be done,” said Magda Houlberg, MD, Howard Brown’s Chief Clinical Officer.

“The new Epidemiology Report illustrates the successes and challenges in our approach to public health,” said Laura Rusie, ScM, Director of Epidemiology for Howard Brown Health.

In the past few years, Howard Brown has implemented routine, opt-out HIV testing in the primary care setting, expanded its Sexual and Reproductive Health Walk-in Clinic to Rogers Park, and expanded community testing to 17 sites across Cook County.

Data document the continued disproportionate impact of HIV and STIs on men who have sex with men, transgender women, youth, and persons of color.   As a result, Howard Brown will  continue to explore innovative tactics to reverse these trends among populations all too often facing other equity and health challenges.

The 2017 Epidemiology Report was designed by Avila Creative Inc., a Chicago design firm specializing in message-driven design. (

Access the report online here.

Howard Brown Health is the Chicago-based community health center serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and its allies.  More than 26,000 people each year access care at Howard Brown’s seven clinical sites, including the Broadway Youth Center. Founded in in 1974, Howard Brown provides primary medical care, behavioral health services, specialty chronic and infectious disease services.  The organization conducts community-based clinical and behavioral research and educates and advocates around issues of concern to patients.

For more information about Howard Brown, go to

Media Inquiries:
Erik Roldan, Director of Communications


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