MAIN SITES:
Jamaica
161-21 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, New York 11432
(718) 896-2500
Far Rockaway
1139 Foam Place
Far Rockaway, New York 11691
(718) 868-8645
Woodside
62-07 Woodside Avenue
Woodside, New York 11377
(718) 472-9400
Satellites
Harm Reduction
89-31 161 Street
Jamaica, New York 11691

ACQC Program Services

LEGAL SERVICES 

Since 1991, the ACQC Legal Services program has provided education, advocacy and legal representation for HIV+ Queens residents, their collaterals and family members at our primary service sites in Far Rockaway, Jamaica and Woodside. Legal Assistance for HIV negative people with incomes below the poverty level residing in Jamaica and Far Rockaway with housing issues. The scope of legal service provided includes, but not limited to, the following:
  • Wills
  • Medical directives
  • Discrimination and employment issues
  • Landlord-tenant matters
  • Immigration
  • Family law
  • Public benefits
  • SSI/SSD
  • Guardianship
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Confidentiality issues
Legal representation by ACQC staff attorneys has prevented hundreds of evictions, development of permanency plans for the children of many of our clients, development and execution of advance directives such as wills health care proxies and powers of attorney, development of debtor payment plans, maximizing clients’ entitlements and educating clients on immigration law issues.

Due to constant changes in the laws concerning HIV+ people and individuals with AIDS, the Legal Services Program staff is available to present educational programs concerning issues of relevance to HIV+ people such as confidentiality, the rights of tenants, parents and HIV+ patients, as well as consumer issues to staff, clients, and community members.

An appointment is necessary in order to see a staff attorney except in cases of emergencies such as Marshal eviction notices, restraint of bank accounts, or emergency placement of a child.

To schedule an appointment to meet with a staff member from our Legal Services Program, please contact Sitza Paja-Terarache at (718) 896-2500 or via email at sitza@acqc.org. When you arrive for your appointment, be sure to bring with you all legal documents relevant to your situation as well as proof of your HIV+ status.
 

HOUSING 

ACQC Housing Department provides assistance to people who are homeless, precariously housed or at-risk for homelessness, and are living with HIV/AIDS. We locate and provide independent, permanent housing in the community, and home and office-based supportive services to assist with housing stability, access to medical care, and independent living.

Our work affirms what numerous studies have shown: stable housing is the cornerstone of HIV/AIDS treatment, allowing people who are living with HIV/AIDS to access comprehensive healthcare, adhere to specific drug therapies, and improve their quality of life. Our programs assist single individuals and families in Queens; referrals from other boroughs are also accepted. While most housing is located in Queens, apartments in Brooklyn and Bronx are also secured.

We have 7 individual programs:

  1. The Second Chance Program is scattered site, permanent supportive housing for individuals and families who are additionally struggling with mental illness and histories of substance abuse. The program houses 89 clients at one time; 19 programs slots are targeted for people who are HIV+ and asymptomatic. Leases are in the participant's own name.
     
  2. Project STREET is scattered site, permanent supportive housing for individuals and families who were released from city or state correctional facilities and have been incarcerated for at least 6 months. The program assists 31 clients at any one time; 19 programs slots are targeted for people who are HIV+ and asymptomatic. Leases are in the participant’s own name.
     
  3. NY/NY III is scattered site, permanent site, permanent supportive housing for individuals who are additionally struggling with mental illness and/or substance use. The program assists 30 single adults who are referred directly from HASA. Apartment leases are in ACQC’s name; participants hold a sub-lease agreement.
     
  4. HOPWA Housing Placement Assistance (HPA) locates and secures permanent housing for at least 100 HASA-eligible individuals and families on an annual basis, and ensures connection to primary care. Leases are in the participant’s name.
     
  5. RYAN WHITE Housing Placement Assistance (HPA) locates and secures permanent housing for at least 50 HASA-eligible individuals and families on an annual basis, and ensures connection to primary care. Leases are in the participant’s name.
     
  6. Transitional Housing Program provides temporary housing at a single location for 50 HASA-referred single adults. Through independent skills building, counseling and housing readiness, participants are assisted to stabilize and secure permanent housing.
     
  7. Enhances Supportive Housing Service works with individuals and families who are homeless or precariously housed and not consistent with medical care. The program goal is housing and healthcare stability for participants.
If you are in need of housing, want more information about our Housing Programs, or are a broker/landlord interested in renting your vacant apartments, please contact Harriet Cohen, Director of Housing at 718-896-2500 or hcohen@acqc.org.

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HARM REDUCTION
SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION

Harm Reduction provides the lowest possible threshold services in order to meet the individual ‘where they're’ at any given moment. Our Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) operates at four of our sites throughout Queens. We not only provide sterile syringes, we also offer condoms, hygiene kits, a friendly ear and referrals to other services. We are often the first step in an active user's re-engagement with care services.

What is Syringe Exchange?
Syringe Exchange Programs are meant to help stop the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C, and other illnesses that are passed through blood. People who share needles are at risk of spreading or catching these illnesses. When HIV or Hepatitis C invade a community, everyone can be affected, not just those who share needles. Syringe Exchange is meant to protect people who use needles, and also their kids, husbands, wives, sexual partners, and others. We do this by giving out safe, sterile needles and other injection equipment, and by collecting used needles for proper disposal. Our goal is to make it possible for everyone who injects to use brand new equipment every time they inject.

We also focus on the serving HIV infected individual with a history of alcohol abuse or illicit drug use. Services include group and individual counseling, acupuncture, massage and case management. Educational seminars focus on substance abuse, medical, financial, legal and lifestyle issues in order to empower the person to take control of her or his own life. Our active programs of social and recreational activities allow participants to enjoy safe activities with other HIV infected persons and thus break through walls of loneliness and depression.

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Some Common Questions:

Q. How does the program work?
A. Participants bring used syringes to the program, and trade them for clean ones. Each person who uses the service is issued an anonymous ID card to show that they can carry used syringes legally. We do not ask for the individual's name, address, or any other identifying information, as services are anonymous. Each person gets a unique code instead. We are available five days a week and no appointments are needed. When people show up, they can sit for a while, have some coffee, and talk with our staff, if they like. They can get condoms, female condoms, and other safer sex and safer injection supplies. We also provide a space at some of sites where participants can participate in activities including groups, case management (assistance finding food, shelter) or other things they might need. We also provide information about how to keep safe from overdose, HIV, abscesses, and other health problems.

Q. Who can use the program?

A. Anyone who uses syringes can use the syringe exchange. That includes people who are diabetic and use injection supplies, people who inject hormones, and anyone else who uses syringes, in addition to people who inject street drugs.

Q. Doesn't giving people clean needles encourage them to use drugs?

A. For some people, taking care of their health by using sterile syringes is one step in the direction of reducing or stopping the use of drugs. Those people can find help through syringe exchange programs, which often provide counseling, support, and help getting into drug treatment. There are other people who choose to not stop using drugs. This is a reality, no matter how much we would like things to be different. We believe that everyone deserves the chance to take care of their health and live as safely as possible, and this the main reason that we provide sterile syringes. There have been many studies that examine syringe exchange programs and none of these studies has shown evidence that syringe exchange increased drug use.

Q. Will a syringe exchange in my neighborhood bring a lot of needles into the streets?

A. Syringe exchange also helps by reducing the possibility of used syringes being discarded inappropriately. If you find syringes in the street, call us! We will collect discarded syringes so that they can be disposed of safely. Also, when someone can trade in their used needles for brand new clean ones, he or she is more likely to keep them instead of throwing them away. This makes the neighborhood safer for everyone.

Q. Is it legal to give out syringes?
A. Yes, it is legal for authorized programs to distribute syringes. Since 1992, New York State has allowed syringe exchange. Each group that wants to start offering the service must be approved through a rigorous process that involves consulting with people in the neighborhood to create a plan that works for everyone. Once the plan is approved and put into action, a syringe exchange is carefully monitored by the New York State Department of Health/AIDS Institute, to assure that safety standards are being met by all programs. It is also legal for certain registered pharmacies to sell a limited number of syringes to anyone over 18.

ACQC operates SEP services at four locations, three of which are provided on a mobile van. Click below for locations and hours.

http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/aids/harm_reduction/needles_syringes/docs/sep_hours_sites.pdf

The 24 hour number to our Syringe Exchange Program is (917) 670-5687

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS.

Contact: Raquel Algarin, Syringe Exchange Coordinator
(718) 896-2500 ext 2564

OHY-Outreach to Homeless Youth


To get in touch with our OHY team, please call: ext. 3251, 3285, or 3259

OHY Locations and Times
Thursdays:
Jamaica Center
8:00 PM-1:00 AM
Fridays:
Long Island City/Astoria/Jackson Heights
8:00 PM-1:00 AM
Saturdays:
Far Rockaway
4:00 PM-8:00 PM
MTA Subway Station Outreach
Sundays:
4:00 PM-12:12 AM
Substance Use Case Management
EXT 5713 or 5747
 
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HEALTH EDUCATION and PREVENTION SERVICES


The mission of the Health Education and Prevention department at ACQC is to prevent HIV/AIDS/STIs and promote health and wellness in the communities we serve. This is accomplished by providing Health education and intervention services using a harm reduction approach, in a friendly, respectful, and culturally sensitive environment.

The Health Education and Prevention Department provides the Queens community with structured interventions approved by the AIDS Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Public Health Solutions, Inc. (PHS). Additionally, the Health Education and Prevention Department also conducts: on-going formal presentations, health education workshops, in-service trainings, on-site/mobile rapid HIV testing, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis testing. Outreach to community settings are sought to reach the general Queens community and specific sub-populations where they congregate.

Community HIV/AIDS Training
ACQC's CHAT (Community HIV/AIDS Training) is one of the most featured educational trainings offered in all ACQC offices. As well as off-site trainings to other Community Based Organizations as requested. These programs are to target the community at large regardless of ethnicity or culture.

CHAT trainings are free of charge and include monthly continuing education, skills development, and support. Upon completion of the six-week training, individuals will receive a certificate of completion and can become certified peer educators.

Peers conduct outreach for the agency in all communities of Queens County; thereby, becoming a connection between some traditionally disenfranchised and isolated communities and the agency, which can provide essential services and interventions for HIV infected and affected individuals.
The Health Education and Prevention Department provides health awareness for the general public by participating in community health fairs, educational events, and providing presentations in schools, churches, and other community based organizations.

Prevention education services are offered at our primary service sites in Jamaica, Woodside, and Far Rockaway.

For more information or to request a presentation, please call Gladys Jennerjahn, MSA Director of Health Education and Prevention Services at 718-472-9400 ext. 5754 or send an email to gjennerjahnn@acqc.org

On-Going Education Groups

The Health Education and Prevention Department offers a variety of free services that target the Queens Community. Anyone can participate in one or more of the programs offered by the Education Department. Following is a list/description of the programs offered by the Health Education Department:

ADOLESCENT/LGBT &HETEROSEXUAL YOUTH PROGRAMS

Provides a safe environment for youth to learn about HIV/AIDS, sexuality and risk reduction in group and individual settings. Peers participate in outreach events. 718-896-2500 pgranham@acqc.org

C.A.P.P. PROGRAM
Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention at ACQC provides a comprehensive approach to teaching adolescents & young adults between 10 and 21 years of age about making responsible choices regarding sexual activities. We offer a variety of workshops created specifically to boost self-worth and prepare adolescents for a successful adulthood.
718-472-9400 tgyles@acqc.org

LATINO PROGRAM
Provides training and discussions on HIV/AIDS preventive measures to the Latino Heterosexual populations by using culturally sensitive approaches. The program offers peer outreach, as well as group and individual risk reduction sessions.
718-472-9400 ealbaracina@acqc.org

MSM of Color (African American Men who have Sex with Men)
Men are provided a safe space to participate in groups and individual sessions sensitive to HIV/AIDS and the MSM of Color community.
718-472-9400 pvalencia@acqc.org

MSM Of Color HIV/STI Testing

The Program provides free anonymous STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infection) testing for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B & C. 718-472-9400 pvalencia@acqc.org

FAR ROCKAWAY ADULT PROGRAM
Provides training and discussions on HIV/AIDS preventive measures to the Far Rockaway community by using culturally sensitive approaches. The program offers peer outreach, as well as group and individual risk reduction sessions.
718-868-8645 kmiller@acqc.org

MPOWERMENT (CRECIENDO MAS SEGURO)
Gay/bisexual Latino men are provided a safe space to participate in groups and individual sessions sensitive to HIV/AIDS and their community. It focuses on social networking and teaching gay/bisexual Latino men how to enhance their safer sex options through education and information.
718-472-9400 pvalencia@acqc.org

POST-INCARCERATION

Provides training, workshops and topics in group and individual format to participants with a history of incarceration. Peers assist with outreach to reach this population. 718-868-8645 kmiller@acqc.org

RAPID HIV TESTING
Rapid HIV testing is conducted at ACQC’s three locations. Rapid HIV testing and mobile testing can also be requested from ACQC HIV testers for health fairs, community events, etc.
718-896-2500 breyes@acqc.org

HEPATITIS C VIRUS PROJECT
HEP C Virus Project provides HEP C testing to the residents in Queens. Program will also assist the client to obtain medical and follow up treatment.
718-472-9400 jcaicedo@acqc.org

Other Helpful Email and Facebook Addresses
gjennerjahn@acqc.org
Facebook.com/ACQCCAPP
Facebook.com/AYO
Facebook.com/creciendomasseguro
Facebook.com/ACQCHepatitisC
 
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PROGRAMS & SERVICES

Rapid HIV Testing
The AIDS Center of Queens County's Counseling, Testing, and Referral program, provided through the Health Education and Prevention Department, is designed to provide a continuum of sexual health related services integrated with HIV testing that will support continued risk reduction behavior by all clients regardless of their HIV status. The CTR program will also facilitate access to early intervention information and treatment for those who test positive for HIV or any other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

ACQC's HIV testing program strives to:
  • Enhance the value of HIV counseling and testing as a primary prevention tool by incorporating testing into a continuum of supportive services designed to help HIV-negative individuals to maintain good health and to avoid behaviors that could transmit the virus.
  • Enhance the value of HIV testing as an early intervention tool by providing a comprehensive range of services to enable HIV-positive individuals to learn about and access treatment options and appropriate health care, and obtain entitlements or benefits that will enable them to cover treatment costs.
  • Enhance the value of testing for STI's by providing supportive counseling and testing services designed to raise a client's awareness of their risk, support them in their desire to reduce their risk, and assist them in the ongoing maintenance of their specified goals.
  • Provide individuals at risk an accessible, high-quality counseling and testing program to assist them in their decision to test for HIV and other STI's.
THE BEST WAY TO KNOW WHETHER YOU ARE INFECTED: HIV-ANTIBODY COUNSELING AND TESTING

The HIV-antibody test is the only way to tell if you are infected. You cannot tell by looking at someone if he or she carries HIV. Someone can look and feel perfectly healthy and still be infected. In fact, an estimated one-third of those who are HIV-positive do not know it. Neither do their sex partners.

When HIV enters the bloodstream, it begins to attack certain white blood cells called T4 lymphocyte cells (helper cells). The immune system then produces antibodies to fight off the infection. Although these antibodies are ineffective in destroying HIV, their presence in the blood is used to confirm HIV infection. Testing can tell you whether or not you have developed antibodies to HIV.

You should receive counseling before and after taking the HIV-antibody test. This counseling will help you understand the results of your test, learn how to protect your health, and (if you are infected) gain the knowledge of how to prevent passing the virus to others. Regardless of your HIV status, counseling should be a central part of the testing process.

Should I seek HIV Counseling and Testing?
If you have engaged in behavior that can transmit HIV, it is very important that you consider counseling and testing. The following checklist will help you assess your degree of risk.

If I think I have been exposed to HIV, how soon can I get tested?
To find out when you should be tested, discuss it with your testing site staff or personal physician.
The test commonly used to detect HIV infection actually looks for antibodies produced by your body to fight HIV. Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 3 months after infection, the average being 20 days. In rare cases, it can take up to 6 months.

It would be extremely uncommon to take longer than 6 months to develop detectable antibodies. For this reason, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends getting tested 6 months after the last possible exposure to the virus. (It is possible to be exposed during unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex; as well as when sharing needles).

It is important, during the 6 months between exposure and the test, to protect yourself and others from further possible exposures to HIV.

Who should get an HIV test?
  • Counseling and early diagnosis of HIV infection are recommended for:
  • Persons attending sexually-transmitted disease clinics and drug treatment clinics;
  • Persons who have had multiple partners and had unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex;
  • Partners of infection drug users (either spouses, sex partners, or needle-sharing partners);
  • Women of childbearing age; TB patients; and patients who received transfusions of blood or blood components between early 1978 and mid-1985.
In addition, people considering marriage should seek information about AIDS, as well as voluntary counseling and testing.

The President also has mandated the screening of immigrants entering the United States, Foreign Service personnel, and inmates of Federal prisons.

Program Hours
The AIDS Center of Queens County will conduct confidential rapid HIV/STI testing through the HIV testing program at the following locations with the specified days/times of testing:

Jamaica Main Site
Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
10-4pm

Woodside
Mondays and Fridays
by appointment

Far Rockaway
Last Wednesday of each month
10am-4pm

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-472-9400.
 
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HEALTH HOME

ACQC Health Home is a Care Management service, which coordinates medical care, mental health, and social services for clients with chronic conditions. The goal of Health Home is to improve a client’s overall well-being and to reduce hospitalizations and admissions to emergency rooms.

The ACQC Case Managers assist people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases in coordinating the various services available to them. The primary goal of each Case Manager is to advocate for those living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases: they are experts in handling and working the red tape and bureaucracy that one encounters in “the system.” The services that Case Managers advocate for include the following:
  • AIDS Health Insurance Program
  • Client Education
  • Health Home (Targeted/Comprehensive Case Management Program)
  • Community Referrals
  • Legal Assistance
  • Medical Care
  • Mental Health
  • New York State Disability
  • Nutrition
  • Peer Education
  • Public Assistance/HIV/AIDS Services Administration
  • Social Security
  • Transportation
  • Housing

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

The AIDS Center of Queens County’s Mental Health Department is an OMH licensed Article 31 outpatient mental health clinics. We provide services to adults and adolescents (13 years and above) who meet the criteria of having an Axis I diagnosis. We provide individual, couples, family counseling, and crisis intervention as well as numerous support groups. We also provide psychiatric assessments, psychotropic medication management (including Buprenorphine), coordination of care, and referrals. Our goals are the following:
  • Help recipients improve their independence and copying skills.
  • Increase the individual’s ability to adjust to community life and to their disability, illness or problems
  • Assist to improve social and family relationships.
  • Help recipients to achieve or maintain an appropriate economic role in society according to their interests and capabilities.
  • Stabilize psychiatric services so that the individual can maintain herself/himself in the community without hospitalizations.
  • Coordination provider services so the individual is consistent with doctor’s appointments, medications, etc to remain at optimum health
Our Mental Health Department currently services 200 individuals throughout the borough of Queens. We provide services in 4 different locations
  • 161-21 Jamaica Avenue, 7th Fl. Jamaica, NY 11432
  • 89-31 161 Street, 7th Fl. Jamaica, NY 11432,
  • 1139 Foam Place, 1st Fl. Far Rockaway,
  • 67-07 Woodside Avenue 3rd, Fl.
We are open all times that ACQC is open in order to provide crisis services that may arise in other departments of the agency.

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