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Below are the answers to some commonly asked questions about arranging a Mobile Health Team Outreach Event at a school or community agency. Click on each question to see our response.

What's the age limit for Project STAY's Mobile Health Team?

We work with youth ages 14 to 24. All are welcome within this age range!

How soon can you come? Is it too late for something this week?

We try to schedule events at least three weeks in advance. Most events are booked a month in advance and space is limited, so book yours now!

What information do you provide in the presentation?

Our initial presentation is an interactive PowerPoint which reviews sexually transmitted infections and HIV, with a brief overview of birth control. We try to limit the presentation to the length of a classroom period (40 minutes). If we have more time, we are able to make it more interactive. We love coming back to an agency to provide follow-up testing six months later, which gives us an opportunity to present our healthy relationships workshop.

What types of tests do you offer?

Project STAY can provide tests for Chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV.The Chlamydia and gonorrhea tests are done with urine samples and the HIV test is an oral test. Both are free and confidential to anyone participating in the program.

I'm interested in hosting the presentation, but I'm concerned about the testing afterwards. Is it safe to do testing outside of a clinic?

Yes! Project STAY's testing methods are non-invasive: All tests are either urine or oral samples, so there are no needles, sharps, or other blood drawing techniques. All of our counselors have been formally trained to conduct youth oriented pre- and post-test counseling and risk reduction education. They are supervised by clinical staff from New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

We'd like to test on-site, but my supervisor is concerned about parental consent. What are the legal issues around this?

Most people don't know that in New York State, all minors' access to reproductive and sexual health care services is protected by law. Parental consent is not required, so young people can participate without their parents' permission. However, we understand if you feel the need to obtain parental consent beforehand, and we can provide a draft letter explaining our services and benefits.

What about approval from the Department of Education?

Project STAY is partly funded by the New York State Department of Health and is endorsed by both Roger Platt at New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Empowerment School CEO Eric Nadelstern. Schools can choose to host Project STAY within their own protocols.

Will you do the presentation without the testing?

Our schedule is busy, and we try to give preference to organizations that allow us to do testing on-site. We can arrange a workshop without testing as our schedule allows. If you are interested in just health education, we can refer you to other programs that offer similar workshops.

What about the results? What do I do if someone's results are positive?

We return with results and follow-up care about three weeks after the original event.

If participants test positive for a sexually transmitted infection, a Project STAY health care provider will make arrangements for him or her to receive treatment at one of our clinics. If someone tests positive for HIV, a Project STAY social worker will provide mental and psychosocial counseling at our clinic and offer the client an opportunity to enroll in a program specialized in providing social services and medical care to HIV-positive youth (Project STAY).

Client confidentiality is protected throughout the entire process.

Parking is limited at our location. Where will you park your van/RV?

We call ourselves the Mobile Health Team, but our wheels are public transportation. We travel via subway, bus and car service, so there is no RV or van associated with our testing services.

We'd love to have testing done at our organization, but space is a major issue. How much room do you need for testing?

Each student would need to meet with an HIV test counselor one-on-one for testing. We also need space that protects the privacy and confidentially of the client. With that said, we recommend spaces like a classroom or staff offices, anything with walls/doors to provide both visual and audio barriers. We usually bring two or three counselors to each event, so a minimum of two separate rooms are needed for testing.

Our organization isn't very tech savvy. Do we need fancy equipment to have your presentation?

Nope. Our presentation is computer based, but we provide all the necessary equipment. The only thing you need to provide are 1) the youth and 2) a room large enough for everyone with a blank wall or screen for projection and an outlet.

Renee Cohall, Mobile Health Team Project Director

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