Screening Services


HIV/HCV/STI Screenings

APW offers only serum testing for HIV/HCV and syphilis. We no longer offer rapid testing.

Testing for HIV, Hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is an important part of taking care of your health. Screening for these infections is simple, easy and is available at our offices at 85 Green Street (entrance at 12 Plymouth Street), Monday – Friday from 8:00 am-4:00 pm and Saturdays from noon-4:00 pm.

No appointment is necessary.

Tests currently offered:

HIV and Hepatitis C screening: A blood draw is performed by a trained phlebotomist and the sample is sent out to the lab. Results are usually available in 3-5 business days. This one blood sample will be screened for both infections.

Syphilis screening: A blood draw is performed by a trained phlebotomist and the sample is sent out to the lab. Results are usually available in 7 business days. 

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia screening: A urine sample is sent to the lab with results usually available in 5 business days.

hpvt3

A blood draw tests for HIV with a result in 3-5 business days.

 APW also offers these screenings at college campuses and health fairs. If you are interested in coordinating such tests, please call (508) 755-3773 and ask for Prevention and Screening.

Knowing your HIV status has two benefits. First, when you know you are HIV positive, you can discuss treatment options with your physician. Second, when you know you are infected, you can take precautions to prevent infecting others or re-infecting yourself.

Fourth-generation tests can detect the presence of HIV as early as two weeks after infection. If you think you may be at risk for HIV, consider an HIV test. The only way to be sure is to get tested.

 PrEP Program (Pre-Expsoure Prophylaxis)

Are you interested in PrEP? If you are HIV-negative and have multiple sexual partners, if you are a person who injects drugs, if you are an MSM, or in a relationship with someone who is HIV-positive, consider PrEP, a one-pill a day regimen that is proven to keep you HIV-negative.  APW is collaborating with UMass Memorial Healthcare to provide PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to those who are HIV-negative. Call Amanda Mehaffey at 508.755.3773, extension 29, or email her at mhaffey@aidsprojectworceser.org for more information. The PrEP medication might be free to you and counselors are available to discuss options.

 Who should get tested for HIV?

  • Anyone over the age of 13 who has not been tested for HIV should be tested at least once.
  • Individuals who are sexually active should be tested for HIV at least once a year as part of their regular preventive health routine. Individuals who have more than one regular sex partner a year should consider getting tested every 3-6 months.
  • Individuals who regularly inject drugs and share needles with others when injecting drugs should be tested for HIV at least once a year, but ideally every six months.

Who should get tested for Hepatitis C (HCV)?

  • Anyone who was born between 1945 and 1965 who has not been tested for Hepatitis C before.
  • Anyone who has received a blood transfusion or organ donation prior to 1992.
  • Anyone who has injected drugs, even if only once.
  • Anyone who regularly injects drugs should be tested for Hepatitis C at least once a year. Hepatitis C can be spread not only from sharing needles to inject drugs, but also from sharing other injection equipment such as cottons, cookers, and water.
  • Anyone who has gotten a tattoo or piercing that was not performed in a licensed, professional parlor.
  • Anyone who has received long-term dialysis treatment.

Who should get tested for gonorrhea, syphilis or Chlamydia?

  • Anyone who is sexually active should be tested at least once a year as part of their regular health routine. Individuals who have more than one regular sex partner a year should consider getting tested more often.
  • Individuals may be infected with Chlamydia or gonorrhea and not experience or notice any symptoms, which is why regular and routine screening is important.
  • In Massachusetts, rates of Chlamydia infection are particularly high in young adults between the ages of 15 and 24.

PrEP (Pre-Expsoure Prophylaxis)

Are you interested in PrEP? If you are HIV-negative and have multiple sexual partners, if you are a person who injects drugs, if you are an MSM, or in a relationship with someone who is HIV-positive, consider PrEP, a one-pill a day regimen that is proven to keep you HIV-negative.  APW is collaborating with UMass Memorial Healthcare to provide PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to those who are HIV-negative. Call Amanda Mehaffey at 508.755.3773, extension 29, or email her at mhaffey@aidsprojectworceser.org for more information. The PrEP medication might be free to you and counselors are available to discuss options.

If I think I’ve been exposed to HIV through unprotected sex or sharing needles, what should I do?

There are post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) medications that can be administered within a 72 hour period after you think you have become infected. PEP is most effective if administered within the first 48 hours after exposure. This can be arranged through your physician or a hospital emergency room.

Where can I get materials to reduce the risk of STI infections?

Condoms and other risk reduction materials can be obtained at no charge in the lobby of APW, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am-5:30 pm and Saturdays from noon-5:00 pm. Our entrance is at 12 Plymouth Street, Worcester.

Syringe Services Program

Thanks to the support of the Worcester City Council, the Worcester Board of Health, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, APW became the site for Worcester’s first Syringe Services Program (SSP) on March 1, 2016. Clean syringes, bleach kits, and other harm reduction materials are available free of charge from our office (entrance at 12 Plymouth Street) Monday through Thursday 8 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Saturday noon-5:00 p.m. We would also like to thank AIDS United for its financial support of our SSP.

In addition to staff in the office, staff is also out on the streets, retrieving syringes, talking to people who inject drugs, and letting them know about the SSP. It is not a simple needle exchange: needs are assessed and people are referred to appropriate services that might include primary care, detox, mental health, nutrition, addiction treatment, or other supportive services.

Where can I safely dispose of used syringes and sharps?

You can dispose of used sharps and syringes by placing them in a disposable container and then placing that container in the Yellow Box that is located in our lobby at APW, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am-5:30 pm; Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm; and Saturdays from noon-5:00 pm. Our entrance is at 12 Plymouth Street, Worcester. Sharps containers are free and are also available in our lobby. Yellow Boxes are also available at the Worcester Senior Center (128 Providence Street), Edward M. Kennedy Health Center (19 Tacoma Street), the Worcester Division of Public Health (25 Meade Street) and Family Health Center of Worcester (26 Queen Street). 

Narcan (Naloxone) Program

APW has been part of the Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) pilot program since its inception by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in 2007. Naloxone – or Narcan – is an opioid antagonist that can reverse the effects of an overdose. If you work for an agency that works with people who inject drugs and would like to have staff or clients learn about how to administer Narcan, please call APW at 508.755.3773 and ask for Myles Leo, Luis Cantres, or Britni Opatka – they would be happy to schedule a training. If you would like to learn how to administer Narcan yourself, please come by for a training Monday through Thursday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., or Saturday noon-4:30 p.m.