For reasons that are not entirely understood, acupuncture has been found to be effective in reducing the cravings associated with drug dependence and drug withdrawal. The theory is that it releases naturally occurring chemicals called endorphins in the body that ease the symptoms of drug withdrawal and help users fight their addiction. We provide acupuncture treatment to any client who requests it.
Acupuncture available every Thursday from 1pm-5pm
Art, Film, & Poetry Classes
PHP’s Arts program encourages clients to express themselves through creative and artistic pursuits, including slam poetry, film drawing and music. The program invites artists to perform and lead workshops in the agency’s community room and sponsors events like slam poetry sessions that give clients an opportunity to perform for each other. PHP has formed a partnership with the Marymount Manhattan College Film Department through which students can spend time at PHP making documentaries and educational films about HIV risk reduction.
Many of our clients are homeless or experience other major difficulties in life. Our case managers help clients find housing, refer them to detoxification and mental health services, assist them in applying for social security disability benefits, and help them manage and retain their HIV medical benefits. We also provide behavioral case management through which clients learn to decrease health and medical risks through comprehensive risk reduction counseling.
Case Management Services available from Monday through Friday - 10am - 5pm
Community Education & Training
For a small fee, experts at Positive Health Project are available to provide LBGTQ sensitivity training as well as presentations on a variety of topics including harm reduction for your community or organization.
Please call us at 212-465-8304 Ext 107 or email us for more information or to schedule a presentation.
Crystal Meth Outreach & Education
Crystal meth (methamphetamine) is a powerful stimulant that gives users a feeling of intense euphoria. Because it increases the desire for sex and lowers inhibitions, crystal meth users, usually men who have sex with men (MSMs), frequently engage in unprotected sex. Studies have shown that new HIV infections are significantly higher among people who use crystal meth, and syphilis, hepatitis C and other serious sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also on the increase among this population.
Because of crystal meth’s prominence in New York’s sex party circuit, PHP launched its innovative Crystal Meth Project in 2005. Through personal and web-based networking, the Project learns of underground sex parties. Project staff and peer educators attend the parties and conduct safe sex demonstrations and referrals as party-goers arrive. They hand out condoms and culturally appropriate educational materials, and talk to anyone who is interested in learning more about practicing safer sex.
Crystal Meth Users Support Group - Date and time to be determined.
Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program (ESAP)
In 2000, after years of advocacy by the harm reduction movement, the New York State legislature passed the Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program (ESAP). The law permits licensed pharmacies, health care facilities and health care practitioners to sell or distribute up to ten hypodermic needles to anyone over 18 years of age. (Prior to ESAP’s passage, distributing needles without a prescription outside of a licensed harm reduction agency was a criminal offense). PHP quickly took advantage of the law with two new programs: a mobile clinic, and a pharmacy education project. PHP’s mobile clinic, housed in a converted ambulance, goes to two underserved communities: Harlem and Washington Heights. Mobile clinic staff and volunteers conduct outreach where drug users congregate, distribute clean needles, provide risk reduction education and demonstrations and administer rapid HIV tests. Needs and medical assessments are done, and participants are enrolled as PHP clients.
PHP created an education program to train pharmacists and their support staffs on how to interact with drug users, comply with ESAP, and collect data for evaluation purposes. PHP has conducted trainings at forty pharmacies throughout Manhattan.
Harm Reduction & Public Health Education
We teach clients how to reduce the public health risks associated with drug use and sex work. Clients who gather in PHP’s large and comfortable community room, either after they have exchanged needles or while they are waiting to be seen by a case worker, HIV/HCV tester, client intake specialist, transgender advocate, detox/Buprehenorphine referral specialist or mental health specialist, are offered a series of ongoing trainings and demonstrations by PHP staff and other experts. Topics include overdose prevention, Hepatitis C prevention and treatment, methadone education, safe injection practices, safe sex practices, domestic violence, and legal issues among others.
Hepatitis C Testing & Follow-Up
Hepatitis C is extremely prevalent among long-time drug injectors; recent estimates indicate a 50% or higher positive rate among this population. If left untreated, it can cause serious and often fatal liver disease and cost up to $300,000 in medical bills. PHP administers tests to identify people who are infected and then refers them for appropriate medical care. Because it is difficult to treat, and because the side effects from Interferon Combination therapy—the current treatment for the disease—can be severe, PHP monitors clients to ensure compliance and follow-up care. The Project has a 100% referral rate.
We have a licensed Physician’s Assistant (PA) on site who provides basic medical care to clients. The PA can prescribe Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride), an “opioid antagonist” which prevents overdose, and make referrals to detox facilities.
Mental Health Services
Many of PHP’s clients have mental health problems ranging from depression and anxiety to bipolar disorders. Of these, the majority have been rejected by traditional mental health settings because of their chaotic lives and active drug use. PHP’s transgender clients in particular have a difficult time accessing more traditional mental health services. PHP provides psychotherapy and counseling and makes psychiatric referrals as needed.
Five days a week teams of outreach workers fan out to the Port Authority Building, Penn Station, and other sites on the west side of Manhattan where drug users and sex workers congregate. Other teams go to known shooting galleries, drug “trading posts,” clubs and street hang-outs. They distribute safe sex kits, safe drug use kits and educational materials, and provide risk reduction demonstrations. This is one of the agency’s most effective methods for recruiting new clients to access all of PHP’s services.
Rikers Island Project
In this partnership with the New York City Health Department, PHP provides educational services to jail inmates who have a history of drug abuse. Trainings on site include overdose prevention, safe injection practices, HIV and Hepatitis C prevention, and discharge planning.
Syringe Exchange Program (SEP)
Syringe exchange is a proven method for preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other blood borne infections among intravenous drug users. PHP’s SEP is open five days a week, Monday through Friday. Staffed by peer educators under the supervision of PHP staff, the SEP provides clean needles and on-the-spot harm reduction advice and information to thousands of clients. By the end of 2008, PHP had distributed two million clean syringes and collected 1.5 million used ones, representing a healthy exchange rate of seventy-five percent.
Syringe Exchange is available from Monday thru Friday from 12pm - 5pm
A significant number of transgender people live and work in the Chelsea-Clinton area, and some of them are sex workers who do not have access to health care services. Multiple sexual contacts and self-administered hormone injections put them at high risk for HIV and other infections. PHP has developed a holistic and innovative program for this special population. Peer outreach is conducted regularly within the transgender community, in clubs and at other social service agencies. Special workshops help HIV-positive clients with treatment adherence, and support groups give them a safe place to discuss problems and issues. Many of PHP’s transgender clients access the agency’s mental health services as well.