Chicago HIV councils dissolve, Christopher Brown steps down at Chicago Health Dept.

Mon. February 20, 2012 7:12 AM

Chicago, IL - After more than 10 years of service, Chicago Department of Public Health Assistant Commissioner Christopher Brown, who has overseen the city's HIV/AIDS response, announced that he has accepted a position at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Brown's last day at CDPH will be March 15, 2012.

Brown made his unexpected announcement on Feb. 17 at the Chicago Bar Association during a joint meeting of the Chicago Area HIV Service Planning Council and the Chicago HIV Prevention and Planning Group ( HPPG ) . The assembled members rose in a emotional salute to Brown who has worked closely with both groups on matters of policy, procedure, and direction in his role as head of the STD/HIV/AIDS section of CDPH.

The purpose of the joint meeting was for each group to respectively consider motions to dissolve each body effective on April 30 contingent upon final approval of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his capacity as chief elected officer of the Chicago Eligible Metropolitan Area. Both motions were approved by roll call vote.

The two bodies are being dissolved as a precursor to establishment of a new Chicago Area HIV Integrated Services Council in the near future. The new body will be concerned with matters of HIV policy in the areas of prevention, care, and housing. As was the case with the two dissolved bodies, members of the new council will be appointed by the Mayor of the City of Chicago.

The move is expected to bring Chicago more closely in line with directives established by the Health Resources Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and under the National HIV/AIDS Strategy approved by President Barack Obama.

There are approximately 23,000 people living with HIV in Chicago although an estimated 20 percent are unaware of their status. There are approximately 1,000 new HIV infections every year as explained at the meeting during an epidemiological-data presentation by CDPH's Nanette Benbow.

Membership applications for the new body are due by February 22, 2012 and are available at the Chicago Department of Public Health.

From Press Release