Sexually Transmitted Infections Awareness

As the close of STI/STD Awareness Month approaches, Project Silk would like to acknowledge that sexual health can be an integral component of an individual’s overall wellness. We provide support at our community space for safer sex practices, dialogue with intimate partners, and medical advocacy during annual health screenings. Please read the statement below from our Sexual Health Support Specialist, Dalen Hooks:

Here at project silk we offer HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis testing on site. If tested positive for any of these STD’s, we can link you to medical care for treatment.

· STDs are usually spread through sexual contact with someone who has an STD. Sexual contact includes oral, anal, and vaginal sex, as well as genital skin-to-skin contact.

· In most cases these STD’S can be asymptomatic in woman and sometimes in men. For example, seventy percent of women with chlamydia don’t have symptoms.

· Some STDs (like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis) can be cured with medication. If you are ever treated for an STD, be sure to finish all of your medicine, even if you feel better. Your partner should be tested and treated, too. It is important to remember that you are at risk for the same or a new STD every time you have unprotected sex (not using a condom) and/or have sex with someone who has an STD.

· Genital sores, such as those caused by Syphilis, can make individuals more susceptible to acquiring HIV.

· HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and it has been linked to causing certain forms of cancer. Vaccinations are recommended for all children ages 11 or 12 years, however, they are available for females up to age 26 and males up to 21 years.

#GYT campaign:
www.itsyoursexlife.com/

Get Yourself Tested downloadable materials:
http://npin.cdc.gov/STDAwareness/GYT_Materials.aspx

New Changes at Project Silk

Community Human Services (CHS) has been a partner with the University of Pittsburgh providing service coordination and psycho educational support since the inception of Project Silk. In 2015, CHS acquired Project Silk from an operational standpoint as part of its intended transition to a community based organization.

The core components of programming will remain consistent. Project Silk will utilize social networking strategies as an outreach method for STI/HIV testing offered on-site to increase knowledge of undiagnosed infections; implement behavioral interventions related to positive adult identity development and sexual health education; and provide linkage to medical care and ancillary services to promote overall wellness within HIV positive as well as high risk negative communities.

Moving forward as we oversee the Project Silk space, we will aim to implement additional youth driven initiatives and recreational programming to promote self-efficacy. If you would like to get involved or have ideas for capacity building, please contact Jess Netto at jnetto@chscorp.org.

Our mission:

Project SILK provides a safe, healthy, supportive community environment for LGBT youth of color to grow, celebrate, and express themselves. With service providers and community partners, we advocate for our youth to determine the meaning and direction for their own lives.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. When was the last time you were tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections? We recommend getting tested every 3-6 months if you are sexually active.

Even if you do not want to get tested, our staff at Project Silk is happy to answer your questions about HIV and ways to keep yourself safe. For those who are HIV-positive, we are also prepared with referral resources to help you keep yourself healthy. So no matter your status, come on in to Project Silk and let’s talk!

New Service- STI Testing!

Great news! We have started performing free testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. These urine-based tests take no time at all, and very little effort, so we hope everyone who uses Project Silk’s space will consider taking advantage of this service!

Questions? Feel free to contact us!

Health Care Resources

Do you have questions about your health insurance? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services produced a number of documents to answer your questions! Check out the links below:

What you should know about seeing your doctor

What to know about getting your prescription medications

Appealing your insurer’s decision not to pay

I signed up, but don’t have health coverage. What should I do?

Getting emergency care

What you should know about early renewal of health coverage

What you should know about provider networks

New Resource on Obamacare for People Living with HIV

Thanks to a new webpage created by the Kaiser Family Foundation, people living with HIV have a new resource to help navigate the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare). As mentioned in the press release:

“Features of the Greater Than AIDS Obamacare and You portal include:

  • A ‘Find Your Story’ feature that explains how someone with HIV may be affected by the ACA based on their current insurance situation;
  • A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section that provides answers to more than fifty questions about the ACA as it affects people living with HIV, such as ‘Can I be denied health insurance because I have HIV?’ and ‘If I receive services from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program or AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), do I still need insurance?';
  • State-specific information for all 50 states and the District of Columbia on health insurance marketplaces (including a list of available plans and information about financial assistance), Medicaid coverage options, Ryan White HIV/AIDS and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, and other relevant HIV resources;
  • A guide to the essential health benefits provided under the ACA with detail about relevance to people with HIV;
  • A downloadable worksheet to help people applying for coverage gather relevant information necessary to enroll and make plan choices that best suit their HIV care needs;
  • Other tools, including links to the Foundation’s animated video explaining how to get ready for Obamacare and its health reform subsidy calculator.”

Visit “Obamacare & You” here

Welcome!

This blog is owned and operated by Project Silk, an HIV prevention project looking to address prevention at both the structural and behavioral levels. This page will continuously be updated with interesting resources and stories, as well as with information about Project Silk. We hope you will take the time to explore this site to learn more about the project, and take a look at the HIV Prevention and Care Project’s page to learn more about our larger group.