Health Outreach & Advocacy Services prides itself on being culturally-sensitive and welcoming of populations often marginalized and over-looked. From persons of color to LGBTQ individuals to those who are incarcerated or recently-released, Health Outreach & Advocacy Services has programming designed with accessibility in mind.
We practice what we preach, too. Diversity is so greatly valued at Health Brigade that our staff mirrors and is very much representative of the individuals and communities we serve.
Program areas include:
- HIV/STI testing & linkage to care Email Cristina
- HIV testing, education, and case management services for those incarcerated or recently released Email Jihad
- Transgender health & referrals Email Jenn
- LGBTQ support and advocacy Email Jenn
- Condom distribution Email Cristina
- Health Fair participation Email Sarah Ann
HIV Testing & Information
If you’ve ever had unprotected sex or shared a needle with anyone for any reason—even someone you know and trust—you may be at risk for contracting HIV/STI.
Unfortunately, many individuals are unaware of their status because they have not been tested. Studies show that someone who is HIV positive and unaware of his or her HIV status is more likely to infect others. It’s important to know your HIV status. Some people have no symptoms for other STIs. Getting tested is the only way to know.
Are you interested in PrEP? Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a once-daily pill regimen that can help you stay HIV-negative. Email Cristina Already know your status and have questions? Email Cristina
HIV/STI Testing–What to Expect
Health Brigade specializes in providing compassionate, non-judgmental and knowledgeable counselors who will be available to help you every step of the way. From start to finish, our test counselors will take the utmost care in assisting you.
We offer FREE screening for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Testing is available by appointment. Appointments can be made by email or by phone. Email Cristina or call 804-358-6343 x102.
HIV Testing Rapid HIV tests provide results in 20 minutes by using a small drop of blood from your finger. Results are provided during your appointment. You will receive counseling before and after the test to ensure you understand your results and so you can discuss any risk factors you may have.
If a test comes back positive, we perform a second rapid test to confirm that result. For positive results, we have staff available to discuss what that means and to connect you to medical care and other support services.
Syphilis Testing Syphilis is currently on the rise in Virginia, so getting tested is important. Rapid syphilis testing requires blood collected from a finger stick and your test results are ready in 10 minutes. If you have been diagnosed with syphilis in the past, this test is not able to distinguish between a new and old infection. If you have ever had syphilis and feel like you may have contracted it again, you will need to go to the Richmond City Health District for free or low cost testing services.
Gonorrhea & Chlamydia Testing We test for gonorrhea and chlamydia with a urine test that gets sent away to a lab. It takes approximately two weeks for results to come back. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of gonorrhea or chlamydia, it is best that you go to the Richmond City Health District or your primary care provider for more immediate assistance.