Hotline Texting Policy and Terms of Service

State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline

The State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline ("Hotline") is staffed by trained Health Educators who provide emotional support, information on HIV and STDs, and referrals to testing and social service providers. The Hotline maintains both a voice line at (800) 243-2437 and text line at (872) 243-1004. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 9 am - 10 pm and Sunday 9 am - 5 pm. Hours of operation may be affected by holidays or trainings.

Hotline Texting Service

Use of the Hotline texting service constitutes an agreement, understanding and acceptance of this policy. If at any time a user feels uncomfortable texting, they may stop and call the voice line. If one ever experiences an emergency while texting, please stop texting and call 911 immediately.

Opt-Out Policy

Hotline texting service users may opt out of texting at any time. Sharing personal, demographic information with Health Educators is voluntary and not a requirement. Users concerned with their privacy are encouraged to call Hotline's anonymous voice line at (800) 243-2437.

Confidential Texting

Texting service is provided by Verizon. Users are asked to provide personal information on a voluntary basis such as gender, age, state, zip code, how the user heard about the service, race/ethnicity, and the gender(s) of their sex partners. We share summaries of this collected information (e.g. patterns and trends of topics discussed) with the public and the Illinois Department of Public Health, to help them understand service needs. This information is also used to enhance our services. Data collected in not used in any way other than what is described in this policy. Confidential texting is defined as a text exchange between a user and a Health Educator in which no information is collected that can connect the user to the individual service interaction. Any information shared during a text session will be viewed by the Health Educator assisting you, supervisors for quality control purposes, and/or other trained Health Educators. All Health Educators are required to complete an annual confidentiality training. Dialogue transcripts of texts are purged daily. Entries made in a database for record keeping purposes do not include any personally identifiable information.

Mandatory Reporting

Hotline's Health Educators are mandatory reporters and therefore required by law to record and report user information if the following is described: (1) abuse of individuals age 18 years and younger, (2) abuse of vulnerable or disabled adults including persons over 60 years of age, (3) a plan to seriously harm or kill someone else, and (4) a plan to commit suicide. If you convey such circumstances and provide information that could lead us to identify your name and location, we will have to record such information and share it with the appropriate support.

Text/SMS Messaging Services

I hereby consent to, authorize, and understand the phone number used to text the Hotline texting service will appear on the device receiving my text(s) and will appear on a statement of charges / billing information for the Hotline's carrier. Please know the hotline's text number may also appear on the users' statement of charges / billing information. I understand that use of the Hotline texting service serves as my written consent to this policy and the disclosures stated above. Further, I understand that this consent is required to proceed with the use of Hotline texting services. I further understand that I may elect to call the Hotline's anonymous voice line at (800) 243-2437 at any time. Software as a Service and Application Service Providers (3rd party) The Hotline will annually review any third party privacy policies affecting Hotline services. The Hotline is not responsible for changes or updates made in the interim.

Legal Disclosure

We may access and/or disclose personally identifiable information if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or (b) comply with legal process served on us.

Other Websites

Our Health Educators may offer links to other websites. Please note that clicking on these links may connect to another website for which the Hotline has no responsibility. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on all such sites as their policies may differ from the Hotline.

Notification of Policy Changes

We reserve the right to change, modify, or add to our privacy policy to protect the ethical standards provided or to meet the changing demands of texting services. Notification of any changes to the Hotline's Texting Policy will be posted at http://www.centeronhalsted.org/HIV.html or other appropriate location(s) so as to adequately inform users of any revisions. Please review the policy before each session.

Contacting Texting Service

If you have any questions about the Hotline Texting Policy and practices please email nxtlvl@centeronhalsted.org. You may also mail inquiries to the State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline at: The State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60613

Limitations of Liability

Under no circumstances shall the Hotline or its affiliates and their respective partners, employees, volunteers, donors, affiliates, and agents (collectively "related persons") be liable for any claims, liabilities, losses, costs, damages or injuries, including, but not limited to, any direct, indirect, punitive, special, incidental, or consequential ("damages") arising out of or in connection with any access, use (or inability to use) or distribution of our texting service and its contents, including any damages or injury caused by any failure of performance, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, computer/device virus, communication line failure, other computer/device malfunction, theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, alteration of or use of any asset, whether for breach of contract, tortious behavior, negligence or under any other cause of action, or any content obtained through use of the site. This is true even if the State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline or related persons have been advised of the possibility of such damages or losses.

Disclaimer

The information shared on the Hotline texting service may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. We may shut down our site or texting service and end these Terms of Use at any time. However, in the event of such a termination, the Limitations of Liability, Disclaimer, and Privacy Policy sections would continue to apply. Our site and hotline texting service are provided by Center on Halsted on an "as is" and "as available" basis. Center on Halsted makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of our site or texting service or the information included on our site or texting service including any representations or warranties with respect to merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, non-infringement, availability, security, accuracy, freedom from viruses or malware, completeness, timeliness, functionality, reliability, sequencing, or speed of delivery. Information and advice provided through our site or texting service is not intended and shall not constitute professional counseling. Texting sessions are not a substitute for professional counseling services. The information contained on our site or texting service is not intended or implied to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. In addition, nothing on our site is intended to constitute legal advice.