HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral
NovaSalud’s HIV/AIDS program provides free and confidential, culturally competent, sensitive, and respectful HIV counseling, testing and referral (CTR) services. CTR is provided in order to increase the number of area resident members of the target population who know their HIV status; help those who are negative reduce their risk of becoming infected; get those who test positive linked to medical care to remain healthy and provide them with prevention counseling to reduce their risk of infecting others. Our linkage to care (referral) service provides active linkage to comprehensive health care; patient navigator service; transportation to medical appointments; case management; mental health services; as well as most needed social services.
Our goal is to break down barriers to HIV/AIDS services and fight the social stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. Our objectives are to:
- Promote awareness of HIV/AIDS and provide referrals into preventioneducation and risk reduction services through basic and intensive street outreach, and through group level intervention among target populations.
- Increase individual’s knowledge of one’s own HIV status in order to reduce barriers to early diagnosis of HIV infection through voluntary participation in HIV counseling, testing, and referral services.
NovaSalud, Inc. provides services to everyone in the community regardless of gender, race, and sexual orientation while focusing on our target population of Latinos, especially men who have sex with men (MSM), substance abusers, and high-risk heterosexuals. Limited accessibility and apprehension regarding HIV/AIDS services among these populations has created an immediate yet unfulfilled need for NovaSalud, Inc.’s services in Northern Virginia.
Hepatitis C Prevention and Education
Recent emergence of new, simpler, and effective Hepatitis C drugs is followed by an increase in Hepatitis C screening efforts. NovaSalud supplements our HIV rapid testing and education with Hepatitis C rapid testing and education. Our comprehensive Hepatitis C prevention education covers comprehensive counseling on Hepatitis C disease, behavior risk assessment, prevention, and treatment options. Our linkage to care service provides active linkage to comprehensive health care; patient navigator service; transportation to medical appointments; case management; mental health services; as well as most needed social services.
HIV/AIDS Related Stigma Reduction & Elimination
Stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS contributes to an often-unquantifiable burden of disease. stigma is typically characterized by social discrimination of individuals and populations who are identified with particular health problems. Such disqualification often contributes to limited access to services and other social disadvantages which, in turn, results in adverse effects on health. The emotional impact of social disqualification adds to the burden of the disease and adversely affects care-seeking behaviors. The stigmatization of HIV/AIDS creates barriers to voluntary testing, counseling, treatment, and adherence to treatment. Timely knowledge of HIV status and treatment benefits the individual and society by reducing morbidity, improving health, and reducing the risk of further infection.
NovaSalud uses a multi-faceted comprehensive approach to stigma reduction:
- Affected persons-focused stigma reduction: empowerment and other sigma-reduction interventions which target the affected persons can enforce a sense of empowerment and reduce the impact of stigma.
- General public-focused stigma reduction: education and information dissemination is the best form of intervention to reduce stigma in the general public. Information dissemination and social marketing are just a couple of ways to help reduce stigma.
- Health provider-focused stigma reduction: while unfortunate, stigma also exists among health providers. Informational and awareness seminars can help to reduce stigma among health care providers.
ginning PrEP to providers.