Prevention and Screening / Harm Reduction Services
Prevention and Screening programs are a core function of AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod and fulfill an essential part of our agency’s mission. Through community outreach, our staff works tirelessly to prevent the spread of HIV, HCV and other sexually transmitted infections. Each year ASGCC reaches over 100,000 residents and visitors annually, and provides direct services to over 1,000 residents of Cape Cod.
ASGCC utilizes the harm reduction framework to direct how and why we deliver services in the way that we do. We look to the Harm Reduction Coalition’s definition as our guide: “Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm Reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs.”
We provide services in a non-judgemental manner, encouraging and supporting people who use drugs to be the experts in creating their own goals to reduce risk of harm. For some this may mean working towards abstinence from using drugs, for others it may elsewhere on the trajectory. People who use drugs are empowered to share information and support each other through our programming, and we seek to provide individuals with a safe space and the opportunity for human connection.
Through syringe exchange, overdose prevention education, naloxone (NARCAN) distribution, and community-based HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV), and STI testing, we do not attempt to minimize the danger and effects of licit and illicit drug use. We instead focus on the quality of individual life and community safety. ASGCC acknowledges that people who use drugs are resilient, strong, and compassionate individuals; our goal is to lift them up, celebrating and supporting any positive change they create in their lives.
ASGCC Drop-in Center
With the opening of the ASGCC Drop-in Center on World AIDS Day (December 1st, 2017), our goal was to BRING SEXUAL HEALTH OUT OF THE CLOSET. We are happy to report that we have experienced at 300% increase in HIV/STI screenings since then.
Visit us at 148a Commercial Street for free STI screenings, access to PrEP (and PrEP services, including programs that are free and eliminate all financial barriers to this game-changing medication.
In addition to our sexual health services at the ASGCC Drop-in Center, we offer NARCAN trainings and distribution, as well as one of the original 2 syringe service programs in the state of Massachusetts. We have provided access to sterile syringe services – including wrap-around risk reduction counseling services – since 1995. If you’d like to access these services without coming into our physical office on Commercial Street, please call us at 508.487.8311 and we will work with you to deliver services in the best way possible for you.
50,000 new HIV infections are diagnosed on average annually in the United States. In 2012 a powerful new drug, Truvada, was approved by the FDA to prevent HIV infection in HIV negative people. Truvada is used as a pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. It’s considered safe and effective.
Studies show that the daily use of PrEP can reduce the risk of getting HIV by over 90 percent. ASGCC’s sexual health counselors are available to discuss PrEP with anyone who walks through our doors. ASGCC also facilitates expedited, cost free access to PrEP, and offers free programs to eliminate any financial barriers to this medication.
Free Condoms and Lube We provide free condoms/lube at all AIDS Support Group locations. Selections include larger size, smaller size, insertable (female condom or “Manhole Cover”), extra thin, extra strong, and many more. Our lube offerings are water based, silicone or a mixture of both. Walk in today to snag a grab bag, and find out which ones are right for you… our staff will give you recommendations based on what works for you!
Partner Services Not sure how to tell a sex or needle-sharing partner you’ve been diagnosed with an STI and they may need to get tested? Partner Notification is a voluntary service that allows you to notify your partner anonymously. We can assist you with connecting with them when you visit us – or you can call this State program directly: 617.983.6940
Remember, we ALL have a status. Know yours.