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Community Outreach Intervention Projects

Community Outreach Intervention Projects


The Community Outreach Intervention Projects (“COIP”), School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago was founded in 1986 to address HIV/AIDS, particularly among people who use drugs. COIP operates from storefront sites in Austin, Humboldt Park, West Englewood, South Chicago, and Uptown. Other neighborhoods are served by COIP’s motorhome and mobile van units. COIP’s interventions are known for their use of the Indigenous Leader Outreach Model, which employs former drug users to deliver services and assist in conducting research.

COIP’s services include street outreach, counseling and testing for HIV, syphilis and other infectious diseases associated with substance use, case management for people who are HIV positive, syringe exchange, drug abuse and risk reduction counseling, support groups, educational activities, and a program that enhances linkages to care for HIV positive women exiting jail. COIP also makes many referrals to other providers such as drug treatment programs. Through a collaboration with UIC’s Community Clinic Network, all COIP’s storefront sites provide free medical, mental health and pharmacy care for people living with HIV, and one site offers free dental care.

COIP also conducts research to better understand HIV/AIDS in Chicago communities. Recent studies have examined or evaluated 1) an intervention to prevent hepatitis C transmission among young people who inject drugs, 2) mental health problems and their relation to HIV risk behaviors among young people who inject drugs, 3) transitions into drug injection by young people who ‘snort’ heroin 4) the impact of syringe exchange on preventing HIV infection, 5) early stage hepatitis C infection and treatment, 6) an intervention that engages the parents of young injection drug users to help their children reduce the risk of HIV infection, and 7) the sexual transmission of HIV in metropolitan Chicago among and between injection drug users, substance-using men who have sex with men, and the sex partners of both groups.

COIP has conducted trainings in over 30 states, Canada, Australia, and in countries in South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. A manual documenting COIP’s intervention methods was commissioned and published by the National Institutes of Health. When the Congressional Black and Latino Caucuses developed an initiative in the late 1990s to deliver proven HIV prevention interventions to high-risk communities of color in the US, COIP’s Indigenous Leader Outreach Model was the intervention model chosen by 85% of the newly funded programs. COIP has been cited as a model program by, the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, a Carnegie Foundation commission, and the Chicago Department of Public Health.

  1. Number of people receiving direct services in 2007: over 4500
  2. Whereas HIV prevalence among injection drug users in Chicago was about 25% in 1988, our research indicates HIV prevalence in this population has fallen to about 7%.
  3. Whereas the rate of new HIV infections among injection drug users was almost 10 per 100 per years in 1989, our research indicates that this rate has declined to about 0.6 per 100 per years.
  4. Young injection drug users participating in a risk reduction intervention exhibited a 79% decline in risky injection practices and a 35% decline in sexual risk practices.


Visit the COIP website for additional information at

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