HIV Prevention Services Section | "We support all individuals at risk for HIV infection with testing, counseling, and referrals to further care."
As of now, HPS will be available to clients in-house on Saturdays from 2:30pm-4:30pm. Outreach shifts are forthcoming, check back for more information!
HIV Prevention Services (HPS) grew out of the AIDS epidemic. In 1989, we began offering anonymous HIV tests, where clients could learn their status without fear of having to provide personal information. Our section has evolved with the epidemic and although we continue our original mission of providing HIV services in a client-centered, non-judgmental environment, we provide a wider range of services than we used to. Although we remain one of the only organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area that provides anonymous HIV testing, we also provide traditional confidential HIV testing as well as social work services, sexual health education, and outreach.
Anonymous test clients do not provide any identifying information while confidential clients provide us with their name and contact information. We provide this choice because the legacy of HIV stigma makes many people feel unsafe providing their name and contact information when they get tested for HIV.
We run rapid HIV tests that use blood from a finger stick and provide results in about 20 minutes. Positive results are confirmed with a second rapid and clients are provided immediate linkage to HIV medical care. If you test positive, we'll be here to support you until you feel good about the medical care you're receiving. We can also provide HIV prevention counseling, basic PrEP navigation services, and sexual health education. If you need services that the Free Clinic doesn't provide, we'll help you find those services elsewhere.
Our goal is to provide clients with the information they need to make empowered decisions about their sexual health. As such, we work from a harm-reduction philosophy that supports clients in making their own choices about safer sex and substance use without feeling stigmatized or judged. HPS always has and always will be committed to providing client centered care and creating a safe space for everyone who comes to see us. We provide services to any client regardless of gender and sexuality – no eligibility screening, no questions asked.
Right now we are making some exciting changes to our section as we move from providing in-clinic HIV services to providing community-based outreach. HIV testing is still available at the Berkeley Free Clinic 7 days a week from the clinic's other sections. If you want us to provide outreach testing in your community or organization, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application for our 2018 HIV Counselor training has closed. If you would like to get involved with HPS, we sometimes accept skilled volunteers to assist with special projects and linkage to care. If you have experience as an artist, zine writer, HIV social worker, PrEP navigator, or have other skills you'd like to contribute, please contact us at email@example.com.