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Pritzker orders stepped-up fight against HIV

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CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 01: Illinois gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students at a creative workspace for women on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Pritzker was joined by his Illinois gubernatorial Lieutenant Governor candidate Juliana Stratton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they spoke to students about leadership. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has directed his administration to enhance efforts to eliminate HIV.

The Democrat signed an executive order in Rockford Friday to re-establish state funding for testing and treatment programs he says former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner discontinued.The order also directs the Departments of Public Health and Healthcare and Family Services to work with Medicaid managed care organizations to develop a data-sharing plan that will allow the state to ensure that Illinois residents living with HIV are receiving adequate health care.

State officials say nearly 24,000 Illinois residents with HIV were receiving Medicaid coverage in 2017. Nearly 1,400 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2017. Pritzker says a disproportionate number of minorities is affected.

Pritzker says “Now is not the time to back down from this fight.”

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