AIDS Action is a safe and respectful place to receive testing and counseling for HIV and other STDs.
We offer free screening for HIV, hepatitis C, and other common sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. We also offer case management and medical referrals.
In order to book a slot, please call 617.450.1987 to pre-register. Make sure to call us or your doctor right away if you have symptoms of an STD, or someone you have recently had sex with told you they were just diagnosed with an STD.
As part of your visit, we offer confidential counseling to help you deal with the issues that surround your decision to test and the impact of knowing your status. Documentation of test results is available at your request.
For information on our testing locations, visit our Where to Get Tested page. To schedule an appointment, call 617.450.1987.
Information about HIV/AIDS & Other STDs
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome:
- Acquired means you can get infected with it.
- Immune Deficiency means a weakness in the body’s system that fights diseases.
- Syndrome means a group of health problems that make up a disease.
AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. If you get infected with HIV, your body will try to fight the infection. It will make antibodies—special molecules to fight HIV. A blood test for HIV looks for these antibodies. If you have them in your blood, it means that you have HIV infection. People who have HIV antibodies are called “HIV-Positive.” To schedule an HIV test or for more information, call 617.450.1987. For more information about HIV/AIDS, click here.
Hepatitis refers to viral infections of the liver. There are several types of hepatitis, but here we will discuss the most common—Hepatitis A, B and C. Different types of hepatitis are transmitted in different ways:
- Hepatitis A is transmitted through oral contact with contaminated feces. It can be passed through sexual contact, especially in men who have sex with men, or by coming into contact with contaminated food. There is a vaccine for hepatitis A.
- Hepatitis B is highly contagious and usually contracted through sexual contact with an infected partner or through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. There is a vaccine for hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis C is more difficult to acquire than other types of hepatitis and is most commonly transmitted through blood-to-blood contact as can happen when injection drug users share needles. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C and it can often be difficult to treat and cure.
Hepatitis symptoms vary in intensity from person to person but commonly include:
- Fatigue, at times severe enough to make it difficult to get out of bed
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting that gets worse as the day progresses
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Darker urine than normal and sand colored feces
- Loss of smoking desire
- Dull pain in upper abdomen (hepatitis A)
For more information on hepatitis, it’s symptoms and how to protect yourself from it, click here. To schedule a test for hepatitis or learn more about vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, call 617.267.0159.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are infections you can get through sexual contact involving the mouth, penis, vagina or anus. Each year, there are more than 15 million new STD cases in the United States. STDs are more common that most people think. Young people are at particularly high risk.
Most STDs are easily cured if they are caught early. Unfortunately, many people don’t seek treatment because they have no symptoms and they don’t know that they have an infection. Other people have symptoms, but they don’t go to the doctor because they are embarrassed or they don’t realize that their symptoms are the warning signs of a serious infection. If left untreated, some STDs can cause severe health problems or even death. And if you don’t have an STD treated, you are more likely to pass it on to someone else. Talk to your doctor or counselor about any STD concerns you might have.
Click on the links below for more information on three common STDs that AIDS Action provides testing for:
To schedule an STD test, please call 617.267.0159.