We are proud to offer free HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis testing through our “Take Charge, Get Tested!” program and to help individuals and couples learn their HIV status in a safe, comfortable, and private environment. Our qualified professional testing counselors provide free, confidential, rapid testing on a walk-in basis on the following days:
Monday: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Tuesday: 4-6 p.m.
Thursday: 4-6 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
If you can’t make it at those times, please contact Jordan Rego at 401-831-5522, ext. 3844, or via firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to be tested on a weekday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Our office is located at 9 Pleasant St., Providence, RI, 02906 (just off North Main Street a block north of Doyle Avenue).
We also do testing via our mobile van and at additional locations in Providence and throughout Rhode Island. See a calendar of where we’ll be offering testing.
The rapid HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis tests provide results in approximately 20 minutes. All tests are done with a simple finger prick that collects a drop of blood. (An oral swab test may be available. If you elect to use an oral swab test, it is recommended you do not eat, brush your teeth, or floss for 30 minutes prior to the test.)
We understand some people feel nervous about getting tested or have questions they’d like answered ahead of time. Our staff is happy to assist, answer questions, and our goal is to help everyone—regardless of their race/ethnicity, sex, age, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation—feel welcome and comfortable getting tested.
Health Education & Public Speaking
Our staff regular speaks in communities around the state on a variety of topics, including HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sexual health, LGBTQ+ issues, health equity and social determinants of health, HIV/AIDS advocacy, substance use, PrEP, and much more.
We understand that these are topics about which many people, no matter what their age, have many questions or concerns. We aim to make educational speaking and presentations engaging, interactive, informative, and helpful.
We believe that providing people with facts in a frank, straightforward manner empowers them in making decisions that positively affect their overall health.
Condoms are important tools in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In fact, condoms can reduce HIV/STI transmission rates by more than 80% when used correctly! We provide free condoms at our 9 Pleasant Street office, via our testing van, and whenever and wherever we offer health education and testing services in the community.
In addition, the Rhode Island Department of Health has created a free condom map that shows you where you can pick up free condoms throughout the state.
PrEP & PEP
Let’s talk about PrEP and PEP and stop HIV!
PrEP stands for “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.” It is a method of preventing HIV infection by taking a medication (known by its brand name, Truvada) once daily. Things you should know about PrEP:
- When taken correctly, PrEP is up to 99% effective in preventing HIV transmission.
- Use condoms with PrEP! PrEP does not protect against any other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Anyone can take PrEP. It is not only “for certain people.”
- Most insurance plans cover PrEP and assistance is available help you with your co-pays.
- To get PrEP you will meet with a medical provider and have an HIV and STI screening to ensure you’re HIV-negative. Once you start PrEP, you will get blood tests every three months to make sure you have no side effects and for routine HIV/STI screening. This is also a chance for you to talk with a provider about how PrEP is working for you, and any other questions you may have.
- Side effects are minimal. When starting PrEP some people have nausea and headaches, which go away after a week or two. A very small number of people have kidney problems and PrEP may make that worse. Your medical provider will run blood tests to make sure everything is normal before and while you take it.
- PrEP is currently only available in pill form.
- PrEP will not work as well if you miss doses, so if you do take it, take it every day!
APRI can make referrals for PrEP for anyone who is interested in meeting with a medical provider. We also provide information about PrEP when we do HIV/STI testing. Call us at 401-831-5522 if you have questions.
PEP stands for “post-exposure prophylaxis” and is for HIV-negative individuals who have been or may have been exposed to HIV and who are not on PrEP. It is an emergency medicine that must be started within 72 hours of exposure to prevent HIV transmission. It is usually a combination of HIV medications that need to be taken orally for about four weeks. If you think you need PEP, you can contact your medical provider or go to nearest emergency room. We are happy to help refer you to a provider as well, and are available Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at 401-831-5522. (If it is a weekend, please go to an ER or urgent care facility if you believe you’ve been exposed to HIV.)
Become a Client
If you are living with HIV and interested in becoming an APRI client, get in touch with us! Simply call us at 401-831-5522 and ask to speak with our Program Coordinator. Potential clients must complete the intake process through Family Service of Rhode Island. The Intake team can be reached directly by calling 401-331-1350, ext. 2280.