Seeks to shift the role of our members from receptors to EDUCATORS by creating informal educational “hotspots” where Latino immigrants feel safe seeking HIV information. Voces Latinas trains business owners along Roosevelt Ave to Take the Pledge as educators. Each establishment is equipped with a poster that faces Roosevelt Ave, educational information, a Promotora, training, and location (Voces) for HIV testing. This allows for a continuous flow of risk reduction information to the community of Queens. Business venues refer their customers to get tested for HIV and provide them with basic prevention information including free condoms.
HIV Rapid Testing
Voces Latinas provides rapid HIV testing using INSTI, a finger stick. We are available during office hours Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm and Thursdays, Friday, and Saturday nights from 7pm to 12am in our mobile van. The test is 99.9% reliable. The test takes 15 minutes and includes pre and post test educational counseling.
Linkage to Care
If the test is positive for HIV, we will conduct a confirmatory test called Dry Spot analysis. This confirmatory test gets sent to the lab and within one week we receive the results. But at Voces Latinas we begin connecting those testing positive for HIV to care immediately after testing positive on the preliminary (INST) test. We schedule an appointment with a hospital or clinic of their choice, and accompany them the following day. The Voces staff continues the accompaniment the entire 5 to 12 months later until the individual is virally suppressed.
Voces Latinas offers screening and linkage to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). It means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV, but the sooner you start PEP, the better.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who do not have HIV but who are at substantial risk of getting it to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.
When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken consistently.