Our HIV testing program is one of the integrated counseling, screening, and referral sites (PICSR-T) in the Commonwealth funded through the MA Department of Public Health, Office of HIV/AIDS. To those at critical risk in our community, this service becomes important to formulate a risk reduction plan to protect one’s sexual health and/or support their recovery process.
Each PICSR-T session is client centered to meet the needs of those seeking testing. One of the main intents of the counseling session is to assist the consumer understand their risk for HIV, viral hepatitis and STI and to formulate a plan to reduce risk.
Staff discusses HIV, viral hepatitis and STI transmission, methods of barrier protection, implications of a positive or negative test result. We also offer information to inform future testing and risk reduction, along with support and referral. Risk reduction and harm reduction are discussed with each person being counseled. Counselors have the ability and resources to demonstrate the proper use of barriers (condoms, internal condoms and dams). Counselors also offer information on access to sterile injection equipment, overdose prevention and demonstrate bleaching techniques when deemed appropriate.
Services are free and confidential.
A post test session offers the test results and discussion of how to proceed in accessing services if positive and planning for prevention if negative.