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World AIDS Day 2021

1st December 2021

Ending the Epidemic with Understanding, Support, and Prevention

HIV is a serious virus. It attacks the body’s immune system, leaving you vulnerable to infection, disease, and even cancer.

A little over one in 10 people in Massachusetts are unaware they have HIV. And that means they are not getting the care they need to stay healthy.

Since World AIDS Day was first recognized in 1988, there has been a great deal of progress in treating HIV. We understand how the virus spreads and the steps we can take to prevent it. There are treatments and care available to help people with HIV manage their health.

But people living with HIV continue to face stigma and discrimination.

To confront and dismantle the stigma that still surrounds the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Boston’s Ryan White Planning Council’s Consumer Committee launched a campaign earlier this year.

“Someone You Know & Love” features people living in Massachusetts with HIV sharing their experiences and talking about the stages in their lives where they needed support and understanding.

You can watch their stories below….

Improving Lives For People With HIV

At Harbor Health, we share the same goal as millions around the world – end the HIV epidemic by 2030.

To reach that goal, promoting understanding, providing support, and preventing new cases of HIV is something we all need to do.

Our HIV services are open to everyone, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

Thanks to Plymouth Area Community Television, we have a new public service announcement about our HIV services!

Preventing HIV

The best way to avoid HIV is prevention.

According to the CDC, you should get an HIV test as soon as possible if you were HIV-negative the last time you were tested, the test was more than one year ago, and can answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
  • Have you had sex—anal or vaginal—with a partner who has HIV?
  • Have you had more than one sex partner since your last HIV test?
  • Have you injected drugs and shared needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment (for example, cookers) with others?
  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for another sexually transmitted disease?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?
  • Have you had sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions or someone whose sexual history you don’t know?

The CDC also recommends people at higher risk get tested for HIV every 3-6 months.

Free confidential HIV rapid testing services are available at Harbor’s THRIVE clinic every Wednesday, 9 am – 12 pm, at Daniel Driscoll – Neponset Health Center, 398 Neponset Avenue. You can also call the THRIVE clinic at (617) 533-2228 and we can help you find other local testing options.

If you are at higher risk for HIV, you can also ask your provider about PrEP. PrEP stands for “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.” It is a daily pill for people who do not have HIV but are at high risk of getting it.

The first step to getting PrEP is talking to your health care provider. Our free PrEP Navigation service can also help you get PrEP. We can connect you to services that can help you pay for PrEP and get the testing you need to get a prescription. To talk to a PrEP Navigator, call (617) 533-2319.

It’s Up To You

Taking the time to learn how to support people with HIV and how to prevent the virus will go a long way towards ending the epidemic.

Please share this page and information about HIV to help end stigma and encourage prevention!