This page and HIV programs contain HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics. If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please exit this website.

1.800.AID.AIDS (243.2437)

Center on Halsted provides comprehensive services for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). From rapid HIV testing to on-going support and education, our fully trained staff is available daily to provide free and confidential services and the most current and medically accurate information. All services are available in English and Spanish. 

Se habla Español. 

Programs and Services

State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline 

1.800.AID.AIDS (243.2437) 

Questions about HIV / AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases? Looking for a place to get tested in your area? 

Call our free and anonymous hotline to get the most up-to-date, medically-accurate information on AIDS/HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), emotional support, and state-wide referrals for healthcare, free or low cost testing and social services related to HIV/AIDS and STDs. 

The State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline operates between 8am-10pm every day. English and Spanish speaking counselors are available. A program of Center on Halsted, the hotline is funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health and is run entirely by trained professionals who have undergone comprehensive instructional programs. 

If you have a question, think you might have been exposed to HIV or an STD or are looking for a testing location near you, give us a call. It's completely anonymous. 1.800.243.2437.

HIV Testing & Prevention

Get Tested. Know your status in just 15 minutes. 

We offer free and confidential rapid HIV testing every day from 8am-9pm. Rapid testing is a finger stick test that generates results in just 15 minutes. Additionally, our testing team provides clients with the most up-to-date, medically-accurate information, emotional support and referrals for healthcare and social services. 

To schedule an appointment, call 773.661.0910. Appointments are preferred, but walk-in clients are welcome if open appointments are still available. If you are a walk-in client, you can check-in at the reception desk in the first-floor lobby for that day's availability. 

Getting an HIV test from IMPACT Program on Vimeo.

For more information about our testing programs, please call 773.661.0910. 

Walk-in Wednesdays 

Every Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. free rapid HIV testing is available on a walk-in basis only. No need to schedule an appointment during this time. Just ask at reception. First come, first served.

New Testing Initiative Launched! "Center of Your Night"

Have you ever been out on a Thursday night and wanted to get an HIV test? Have you been wanting to take your relationship to the next level but wanted to confirm his HIV status first? Maybe you've seen us offering a test in a local club or bar but would rather test in some place more private? If so, we have a new HIV testing option for you!

Center on Halsted reopens its doors each Thursday night beginning at 10:30 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. to offer our HIV testing & prevention services.

  • Free, rapid confidential HIV testing
  • Risk Reduction Counseling
  • Referrals to HIV medical care if you already know your status
  • All services offered in English & Spanish
  • No appointments needed
For more information, call the HIV Testing & Prevention Program at 773.661.0910

"Centro de tu Noche" ¡Lanzamiento de nueva iniciativa de pruebas del VIH!

¿Alguna vez has estado disfrutando un jueves por la noche y te has querido hacer la prueba del VIH? ¿Has querido llevar tu relación al próximo nivel, pero quieres confirmar tu estado de VIH por primera vez? Tal vez nos has visto ofreciendo pruebas del VIH en un club o bar, pero quizás prefieres hacerte la prueba en algún lugar más privado. ¡Te ofrecemos una nueva opción para la prueba del VIH!

Center on Halsted volverá a abrir sus puertas cada jueves por la noche desde las 10:30 p.m. hasta las 2:00 a.m. para ofrecer nuestras pruebas de VIH y servicios de prevención.

  • Pruebas del VIH gratuito, rápido y confidencial
  • Consejería para Reducción de Riesgos
  • Referidos para cuidado médico del VIH si ya conoce tu estado
  • Todos los servicios se ofrecen en Español e Inglés
  • Sin cita previa
Para más información, llame al Programa de Pruebas y Prevención del VIH en 773.661.0910

HIV-Positive Support Groups 

Are you looking to connect with others living with HIV or AIDS? Do you want to share your story in a safe and friendly environment? Center on Halsted offers HIV-Positive support groups. Pre-registration is required.

For more information on current and upcoming groups, click here.

OVAH! (Our Voices Advocating Health) Program

OVAH! is a program designed to address significant gaps in substance abuse and HIV prevention services in Chicago. The word OVAH! is a common term used by Young Men who have sex with Men (YMSM) of Color (mostly black and Latino youth) and was developed within the "Ball Scene" to mean: wonderful, amazing, fabulous, fierce, something great. The Ball scene has, since the 1930's, been a gay subculture in many U.S. cities in the form of "families" that mobilize around competitive "balls" between house families. House mothers and fathers also offer mentorship and support to many youth ostracized by blood families on the basis of their sexual orientation. Because the population of focus uses this word frequently, OVAH! was chosen as the name of the project.

The intervention, which is a collaboration with Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN), addresses the needs of young African-American MSM ages 18-24 including, though not limited to, members of the "ball scene". Most national interventions deal with either HIV prevention or substance use, not both at the same time. The OVAH! intervention addresses both of these issues and their relationship to each other. OVAH! also encourages reflective dialogue on other life issues like employment, education, and mental and spiritual wellness, in order to promote holistic support. OVAH! is a dynamic program, the first of its kind, that helps young men in our community develop skills needed to live healthier lives.

Youth Empowerment Project

We are working to reduce the rate of HIV transmission and infection in the Chicago African-American and Latino communities with a focus on individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 years. This mission is in line with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. To accomplish this mission, Youth Empowerment partners with other established HIV service and community based organizations in outreach, HIV status awareness and prevention to create a community of friendship and empowerment. Our efforts are made possible with new funding from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The project employs social action programs endorsed by the CDC including Mpowerment, a national youth group centered program; CLEAR, which is an individualized life enhancing program; and, both Counseling Testing and Referral (CTR) and Personalized Cognitive Counseling (PCC) for awareness testing and prevention education.

Partnership with other Chicago service organizations is principal to Youth Empowerment Project success. Center on Halsted will partner with three local organizations: Chicago House Social Services Agency, which provides housing and supportive services for HIV-affected and at-risk individuals and families; Affinity Community Services, which is a social justice organization that works with and on behalf of Black LGBTQ communities; and, the Chicago Gay Black Men's Caucus, which works to reduce new HIV infections and bridge gaps across the Black MSM community via outreach, programs and more.

If you have any questions regarding the Youth Empowerment project and our mission, please send a message to


Research shows that HIV status awareness and high quality counseling services provided as a part of a HIV testing program are effective in reducing HIV infection rates. All Youth Empowerment health educators and testing staff receive Illinois Department of Public Health and CDC endorsed training in the areas of Counseling Testing and Referral and Personalized Cognitive Counseling. This combination of counseling approaches helps identify risk behaviors and circumstances, identify safer goal behaviors to reduce risks, and provide necessary linkage to care and other resources.

The Mpowerment Project

The Mpowerment program is a nationally-recognized, youth based program shown to reduce the rate of HIV infection and transmission by directly addressing the needs of young men ages 18-24. Studies show that most young African-American and Latino men do not actively seek out AIDs education on their own. In order to overcome this challenge, Mpowerment focuses on building a corps of young community leaders called "The Core Group" who then mobilize other young men to support, educate and foster an environment of safety, health and life within the community. Mpowerment is an uplifting, interactive social outreach program shaped by young men to support their peers.

The CLEAR Program

CLEAR: Choose Life, Empowerment, Action, and Results is administered in partnership with Chicago House as a program for individuals 18 and above living with HIV/AIDS or at high-risk for HIV infection. Through the core elements, participants develop skills that promote a sense of control over emotions, thoughts and actions in order to create behavior change in everyday life. Participants receive help in establishing and realizing risk reduction goals and other aspirations important to a healthy and ideal life. Attendance in regularly scheduled counseling sessions is required. These include 5 "Core Skill" sessions and additional sessions based on the action plan of each individual client occurring on site or at the participant's home.

Keep It Up!

Keep It Up! (KIU!) is a highly interactive, engaging, and culturally-relevant HIV prevention program tailored to ethnically diverse young men who have sex with men (YMSM). It was developed and tested in the context of a completed NIH R34 grant in collaboration with local community-based organizations (such as Center on Halsted and Howard Brown Health Center).

The intervention is based on the Information-Motivation-Behavior Skills Model for HIV risk behavior change, principals of E-learning, and qualitative research with ethnically diverse YMSM. KIU! employs an innovative approach of focusing on situations and settings commonly experienced by YMSM (e.g., Internet, hooking-up online). Intervention content is then embedded within these "virtual" settings. This is different than traditional HIV prevention programs, which often have each session focused on an aspect of HIV knowledge, transmission, or prevention. KIU! makes extensive use of video, games, animation, and humor (when appropriate) to help increase engagement and motivate behavior change by addressing peer norms, personal vulnerability, behavioral intentions, and pros/cons of condom use.

The pilot randomized clinical trial (RCT) demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of the KIU! intervention. The study enrolled an ethnically diverse sample of YMSM, achieved excellent retention through 3 month follow-up (89%), and maintained strong intervention engagement.

Keep It Up! is currently being implemented at Center on Halsted as a Community-Level Intervention funded by the Chicago Department of Public Health through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Resources & Documents 

Referral Database

To get the most up-to-date information and referrals, we suggest calling our free and confidential hotline at 1.800.AID.AIDS (243.2437). Click here to access our referral database to find service organizations in your area. (This page currently located on our old website. Please be aware that links no longer work on this site. We appreciate your understanding in our transitional period.) This is a useful tool for individuals who aren't comfortable or able to speak over the phone or for other service providers looking for additional resources in the community. 

2014 HIV/STD Awareness Days

Additional Resources

Contact Us

For the State of Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline call 1.800.AID.AIDS (243.2437). 
For the HIV Testing & Prevention Program or to set an appointment, call 773.661.0910. 
(TTY/TDD) 773.472.1277.


Copyright © Center on Halsted3656 N. Halsted Street  |  Chicago, IL 60613  |  773.472.6469