Public health officials in Illinois have good reason to urge vigilance in stopping the spread of HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS.
Illinois has the seventh highest number of AIDS cases in the nation, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
There have been 38,265 AIDS cases reported since 1981, with half of all cases African-American patients, and 20,970 of those AIDS patients over the past 30 years have died, health officials say.
Some World AIDS Day public health reminders about programs and services:
— Proceeds from the “Red Ribbon Cash” scratch off lottery game are used to fund organizations that provide HIV/AIDS prevention and support services.
— Public health’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program is available to low-income people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. See www.idph.state.il.us/health/aids/adap.htm 
— Public health’s Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS program: http://www.basuah.org 
To find a state public health HIV testing site on a mobile phone, text the words "EVENT" or "IL" plus your five-digit ZIP code to 36363.
To receive receive HIV/AIDS updates from public health, text "ALERT" to 36363. (Spanish-speakers can text "CENTRO) plus their five-digit ZIP code to 36363.)
The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District says it also provides case management service for HIV-positive clients in 11 counties in Illinois. Services include medical, dental, nutrition, utility, housing, legal, mental health and support group assistance.
The health district encourages everyone to get tested for HIV. To schedule a test or for more information, call 239-7827, or see www.c-uphd.org .