November 20, 2008

In NYC, HIV testing is available in many settings—doctor's offices, hospitals, and community agencies like ASC—in order to quickly connect HIV positive people to medical care. Unfortunately, for many HIV positive New Yorkers, taking the step from testing to HIV primary care can be complex and challenging.

To keep people from falling through the cracks, ASC has designed our HIV Counseling and Testing Program to proactively usher our clients through the difficult process of learning their HIV status to ensure that once tested, key services are readily available to them.

Trust plays a huge role in this process. "People feel safe here," explains ASC's HIV Counseling and Testing Coordinator Juan Tud. "ASC is part of the community. We provide quick test results and connect people with medical care and anything else they need to help them stay healthy. We work hard to win their confidence."

ASC is an active community partner to the medical community. Whether providing HIV testing at a methadone clinic, offering case management in a hospital-based AIDS center, teaching patients how to take their HIV medications consistently, or accompanying them to their doctor's appointments, our goal is always the same: to promote stability and connection to care.

That means having a home base, a sense of physical and emotional security, and the motivation to take care of oneself. "Many clients don't know where to start after they get diagnosed," says ASC Case Manager Jamie Taylor. "At ASC, we give them that start by setting them up with a good medical provider and medical coverage, housing, or whatever else they need to go forward with their lives."

"ASC's services keep people connected to their doctor, our services, and other people with similar health challenges," says HIV Counselor Maria Madrid. "It's great to see people come back looking healthier and living their lives. And it's wonderful to know we were a part of helping them make that change."

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