Keep It Up!
Keep It Up! is a new online program designed for young gay and bi+ men ages 18-29 that gives them an opportunity to learn more about HIV, sexually transmitted infections, dating, and many other topics in a fun, inclusive, and highly accessible way. The program can be accessed from any device (i.e., phones, tablets, desktop computers.)
KIU! contains five 45-minute online episodes that unlock as participants complete them. As participants watch episodes they will gain skills that clarify and answer questions about HIV/STIs, safer sex strategies, mental and emotional health, and communicating their values to their partner(s) as they develop a plan their fits their overall health goals. In addition to the viewing the online content, we ask participants to complete a full HIV/STI screening at the end of the program so we can discuss and review the goals and the strategies that worked for them.
Want to Be a Part of It?
If you are a young man who have sex with men between the ages of 18 and 29 who has recently tested negative for HIV*, you are invited to enroll in KIU! The program was developed for and evaluated primarily among individuals whose assigned sex at birth was male and who currently have a male gender identity, but trans men can also participate in and may find benefits from KIU!
*Note: Participants can receive free HIV testing at APRI once current COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, we can provide referrals for testing or may be able to supply an at-home HIV testing kit for those who enroll.
If you are interested in enrolling or learning more about KIU!, please contact our Peer Health Navigator Gene Hernandez at 401-996-6142 or send an email to email@example.com.
Personalized Case Management (Non-Medical)
Our case managers work with clients to understand and get access to services they are eligible for and to help them take control of certain aspects of their lives. Case managers provide direction on things such as assistance with paperwork and connections to medical, dental, and mental health providers. Case managers also provide information regarding housing, legal referrals, food resources, wellness programs, emotional support, education, medication, clinical trials, and statewide service organizations.
Oral Health Care Services
This program provides access to dental insurance for individuals who do not currently have it. In partnership with Delta Dental, APRI clients are enrolled in an insurance plan that covers teeth cleanings and allows for a maximum annual coverage for pre-approved dental services of $1,750. Medically necessary exceptions that exceed this amount are considered on a case-by-case basis. All payments are made directly to the provider on behalf of the client.
Emergency Financial Assistance Program
Clients may be eligible to receive financial assistance for a variety of needs, including medical costs, rent, heat, and other utility expenses. Verification of income and expenses, along with completion of an Emergency Financial Assistance application is necessary. Clients must apply for funding, with an annual limit of $2,500. All payments are made by APRI directly to the landlord or service provider, as appropriate.
Bus Passes & RIDE Tickets
Limited supplies of RIPTA bus passes and RIDE tickets are available for persons in need of transportation to medical visits. Clients who are able to obtain their own transportation are not eligible. Clients who are disabled are encouraged to apply for bus passes through RIPTA directly, or we can assist you in applying.
Mental Health & Substance Use Counseling Services (Outpatient)
Clients can receive counseling by providers who specialize in HIV, relationships, substance use/abuse, and other issues. Services are provided to individuals regardless of insurance status. (Counseling services are also available for HIV-negative individuals. Please contact us to discuss and set up an appointment.)
Afia Center for Health & Wellness
APRI is proud to offer of a variety of services through our Afia Center for Health & Wellness, co-located at Open Doors at 485 Plainfield St. in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Providence. Afia is a drop-in center that operates on Wednesdays and Thursdays 12-3 p.m. and offers hot meals; a food pantry that also includes access to personal care items; outings and group activities; and much more. New members must meet with APRI’s program coordinator to determine eligibility for services. There is no fee associated with the services offered through the Afia Center.
Clients who have a statement or evaluation from their medical provider indicating the need of a nutritional supplement are provided cases of Ensure Plus or Glucerna. Clients who have health insurance are eligible for this program if they can show written proof that they cannot get nutritional supplements from their own pharmacy. APRI’s licensed dietitian provides counseling for a client who is prescribed nutritional supplements.
ADAP Enrollment & Medication Management
We can assist clients in filling out and submitting paperwork for the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which guarantees access to HIV and other necessary medications. In addition, APRI offers services from a registered provider who can discuss medications with clients as needed.
Legal Services & Referrals
For older individuals living with HIV, end-of-life planning can be critically important. APRI partners with local attorneys who specialize in elder and estate planning to offer the creation and notarization of documents such as: Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters, RI Health Care Power of Attorney, RI Living Will, and HIPAA authorization form. Clients need only be Ryan White eligible to receive these services.
Stable housing is a crucial part of maintaining one’s overall health. We work with clients who are homeless, housing unstable, or who are seeking a change to their housing situation to apply for assistance, search for different housing options, and more.
Health Insurance Premium Assistance
APRI can assist clients who need help paying for their own health insurance premiums or COBRA payments for up to six months. If longer term assistance is needed, we will help a client transition to another insurance provider through Health Source RI.
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 us 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).
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.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we can still arrange to provide you with free condoms and other safer sex supplies through contact-less pickup or dropoff. Please email us at email@example.com for more information.
We offer free condoms and other safer sex supplies at our main office at 9 Pleasant Street in Providence for visitors. Drop by between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday to pick some up. We also provide free safer sex supplies via our testing van, and whenever and wherever we offer health education and testing services in the community.
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!
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.