Early Intervention Services

MASS Provides Early Intervention Services

Our Minority AIDS Initiative Funding (MAI EIS) activities include HIV/STD Education, HIV Testing, Counseling and Referrals, and Outreach Services incorporating the Social Network Strategy Model for several service areas in the Norfolk Transitional Grant Area (TGA). These areas account for at least 10% of the TGA’s reported cases of HIV/AIDS.

The geographical locations include: Norfolk, Newport News, and surrounding rural counties. The Hampton Roads Regional Jail (HRRJ), Norfolk State University, the MASS agency in Newport News and several churches are included in our targeted areas. The target population includes black men and women, inmates, men who have sex with men and the emerging population with emphasis on the ages 13-29.

Work With Local Correction Facilities

The HRRJ was selected because it houses many inmates high-risk for HIV/AIDS who are not receiving HIV prevention services and are often lost to care. We provide testing to individuals who are unaware of their HIV status and, when necessary, link them to HIV primary medical care.

The following services are provided by MASS staff in the jail: pre-release medical case management including MAI EIS that include HIV/STD Education Classes, HIV Testing, Counseling and Referrals and links to care. MASS staff conducts evidence–based interventions from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Taxonomy of Prevention Interventions (HIV/STD 101 Class), and HIV Testing using the Oraquick Advance Rapid Test for all participants in the classes and for all inmates who voluntarily request HIV testing.

MASS HIV Testing program will include pre-test counseling and education, rapid testing, post-test counseling and referrals as applicable. Condom distribution is always included in our HIV Education programs as appropriate by age and event setting.

HIV/STD Education

The HIV/STD classes are conducted by the MASS HIV educator on basic information about HIV, HIV transmission, risk behaviors associated with contracting HIV, interventions for prevention and risk reduction, HIV testing, symptoms of HIV and AIDS and appropriate responses to HIV/AIDS in communities and organizations. Other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) including hepatitis will also be included in the sessions.

The HIV educator is responsible for coordinating the schedule for  the date and time for classes with the Program Director in the correctional facility. Recruitment efforts include placing flyers in each housing unit for the inmates to see with self- referrals by interested inmates as approved by the jail staff. HIV/STD educational material and literature will be distributed to the inmates as allowed by the facility. The classes will be open for both male and female inmates.

At the completion of the classes the inmates will receive information about the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV test and the meaning of the test results. A confidential area is provided by the jail to perform HIV Testing. The HIV Educator/Tester will obtain a signed consent from the inmate. They will be informed that the test is being done to detect the presence of HIV antibodies and that the test takes 20 minutes to complete. During this waiting period, the HIV Educator/Tester will complete the required paperwork, assess risk factors, discuss HIV/AIDS facts, and distribute HIV Test facts.

If the inmate’s result is positive, the HIV educator/tester will administer an oral confirmatory test. A positive confirmatory test will be sent to the Heritage Lab or a designated Lab for final test results. The medical department in the jail will be notified of the preliminary positive result for follow- up with the local health department. MASS case managers will work with the medical staff for HIV positive inmates to receive a referral to allow these inmates entry into our HIV care system.

MASS also Provides and Participates in Outreach Programs to Encourage
Awareness for HIV – AIDS Testing both Nationally and Locally