Harlem Word: Tracy Pierre-Louis helps young people get tested for HIV, and to earn some cash or prizes if they qualify

Editor June 10th, 2013

Tracy Pierre-Louis is the Care Coordinator for Project STAY (Services to Assist Youth). This program provides a medical “home” for young people between the ages of 13 and 24 who are at risk or living with  HIV/AIDS .  Here Pierre-Louis tells us about a new STAY initiative, Stay Healthy Stay Safe, that aims to help young men who have sex with men (YMSM) who are under 24 to get tested for HIV.

Q: What is Stay Healthy Stay Safe?
A: This is a new program of Project STAY (Services to Assist Youth)  that is geared toward young men who have sex with men (YMSM). We are trying to reach young men ages 13 to 24 who may not know their HIV (healthopedia) status. This program is also designed to help young people encourage other young people they know to get tested.

Q: How does the Stay Healthy Stay Safe program work?
A: We are reaching out to young people who will promote this program by getting friends and family to get tested for HIV and other STDs as well as getting vaccinated to prevent meningitis. They get a $25 Visa gift card for each person they bring in for testing. The person who brings in the most people for screening will be rewarded with an Android Tablet.

Q: What is the HIV testing like? And where do young people have to go to get it?
A: It is an oral rapid test so a person can get results within 20 minutes. We offer testing at two locations, one in Harlem on 125th Street and the other in Washington Heights on 158th & Riverside Drive. We also do a urine test to check for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea , as well as provide vaccinations for Meningitis.

Q: What do young people have to do to get involved?
A: The first thing is to contact me at 646-546-9590 or trp9022@nyp.org and attend an orientation. Next a person would need to be 13 to 24 years of age, and to be tested for HIV themselves so that they will be able to really promote the importance of testing to someone else. It will be important for people to contact us right away as we are aiming to recruit as many people by June 30th as possible.

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