“While World AIDS Day serves as a reminder of the global issues surrounding HIV and AIDS, it also serves to remind us about the challenges we face right here in Western Pennsylvania”, says PERSAD CENTER Executive Director Betty Hill. “At PERSAD, we’ve expanded our free HIV testing hours and we continue to focus on providing the emotional support and counseling that people living with HIV often need.
The Healing Weekend offers a healthy escape from everyday life in a soul-nourishing environment. Participants find a peaceful atmosphere to share and learn from each other in support of leading healthy lives. The Healing Weekend is for anyone living with HIV, from the newly diagnosed to long-term survivors.
Free HIV testing at PERSAD does not involve the use of needles. The OraQuick rapid test is a gentle oral swab, and allows individuals to visit our Pittsburgh office at 5150 Penn Avenue, without an appointment, and receive their results in 1/2 hour. While getting an HIV test and learning your results can be stressful, pre- and post-test counseling helps clients face the future regardless of results. PERSAD is here to help.
Allen Brown is PERSAD’S testing and prevention specialist. He is dedicated to raising awareness about risky sexual behaviors, and helping people understand how substance abuse can impair good judgment. “I want to help people recognize all of the things they can do to protect themselves, especially young people. If I can help someone set small personal goals that will guide their behavior and keep them safe, they can quickly learn how to build on that success”, says Brown.