BOSTON— On December 1, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) will recognize World AIDS Day with outreach events and confidential HIV testing services offered throughout the state. All seven PPLM health centers offer confidential testing, including a rapid test that provides results in just twenty minutes.
Over 5,000 Boston residents and 17,000 Massachusetts residents are known to be living with HIV/AIDS, while hundreds more are diagnosed each year. And these statistics don’t even tell the whole picture: one of every five people living with HIV in the U.S. doesn’t know it.
“World AIDS Day brings global attention to the HIV epidemic but also to its devastating impact on our communities and families,” said Dianne Luby, President and CEO of PPLM. “This is an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of education and access to confidential HIV testing, both of which are offered at PPLM.”
PPLM will participate in the Facing AIDS campaign run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the goal of promoting testing and reducing stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. “PPLM is facing AIDS by providing compassionate care to the patients who come to our health centers every day. Routine HIV testing is a vital part of curbing the HIV/AIDS epidemic and keeping our communities healthy,” said Luby.
PPLM will also support the community by participating in the World AIDS Day presentation at the State House and donating materials to events at Northeastern University. Similar events will take place across the Commonwealth.
PPLM’s health centers offer rapid HIV tests by scheduled appointments (same-day appointments are usually available) and accept insurance, self pay, and in some cases a sliding fee scale depending on family income. The Somerville health center also accepts walk-in appointments but encourages patients to call ahead or schedule online.
All seven PPLM health centers offer rapid HIV testing, as well as screening and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), women’s heath appointments, and contraception. For more information or to schedule an appointment, patients should call (800) 258-4448.
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is the largest freestanding reproductive health care provider in the state. For over 80 years PPLM has protected and promoted sexual and reproductive health and freedom of choice through clinical services, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.pplm.org.