Programs & Services

HIV/Hepatitis C Testing     Medical Case Management     Benefits Counseling   |   Nutrition 

Transportation   |   Support Groups     Outreach   |    Syringe Exchange   |

HIV and Hepatitis C TESTING

The Rural AIDS Action Network provides free, confidential or anonymous HIV and Hepatitis C testing.  Both tests involve a simple fingerstick that is quick and relatively painless. Testing sessions are about 30 minutes with same day results.

How does the test work?

If you are infected with HIV or Hepatitis C, your body produces antibodies that can be detected by the rapid tests. You will receive either a non-reactive or reactive test result. A non–reactive test result means that no antibodies have been detected. A reactive means there were antibodies detected.

It is important to know that it can take up to three months after you have been exposed to HIV or Hepatitis C for your body to produce enough antibodies to be detected by the test.

If your result is non–reactive, but you’ve had a risk for HIV or Hepatitis C in the past three months, it’s recommend that you return for another HIV or Hepatitis C test three months following your most recent risk.

A reactive test result means the test detected HIV or Hepatitis C antibodies. All reactive tests must be confirmed with a blood draw that is sent to a medical laboratory. Rural AIDS Action Network does not do confirmatory testing but your testing counselor will help you find a clinic in your area that does.

How do I get tested?

If you are interested in getting an HIV or Hepatitis C test done, please call 1-800-966-9735. You will then be directed to a RAAN office in your area that can conduct the testing. RAAN’s offices in St. Cloud, Moorhead, Duluth, and Mankato Office offer both HIV and Hepatitis C rapid testing.

When you come in for a test, the testing counselor will conduct a brief risk assessment, and ask any questions you may have about testing.

The Rural AIDS Action Network is open from 8am-4:00pm Monday-Friday.

Is my information confidential?

The Rural AIDS Action Network provides anonymous or confidential testing services. Anonymous testing means we do not require you to provide personally identifiable information. If you choose to test confidentially, we do collect individually identifying information. Either of these options can be discussed with your testing counselor.

All information you provide in your testing session is confidential and protected under HIPAA regulations and Minnesota data privacy laws. If your test result is reactive, we are required to report your test result to the Minnesota Department of Health, along with any personal identifiable information you provided us. Your testing counselor will explain all of this and ask you to sign a form saying that you understand how your information may be used and that you are consenting to be tested.

How often should I be tested?

Check out the Risk Assessment below, if you have or are currently engaging in any of these risky behaviors you should consider getting a test. How often you should be tested depends on how frequently you are engaging in these risks:

  • Had unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sexual activity or intercourse.
  • Had unprotected sex with a man who has had sex with another man or other men.
  • Had unprotected sex with someone who has HIV or AIDS, or who you think might have been infected.
  • Had unprotected sex with someone you believe has injected drugs (someone who “shoots up”).
  • Injected drugs, steroids, or vitamins, or have a sexual partner who did or does so.
  • Shared needles and/or the same cooker, cotton, rinse water, or other possibly contaminated materials.
  • Had multiple sexual partners.
  • Given or received money or drugs in exchange for sex.
  • Had a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, genital herpes or warts, or had a sexual partner with an STD.
  • Received transfusions of blood or blood components between early 1978 and mid-1985, or had a sexual partner who did.
  • Had sexual partners who have had other sexual partners who did any of the above.

If you answer “yes” to ANY of these questions you may be at increased risk for HIV.

To inquire about free and confidential HIV testing in your area, make the toll-free call at 1-800-966-9735.

MEDICAL CASE MANAGEMENT

Medical Case Management includes the following services:

  • intake and assessment, service planning, monitoring and medical care coordination
  • attending medical visits with clients, providing education on treatment adherence
  • coordinating the insurance and financial needs as well as appropriate mental health and substance abuse referrals

To qualify for Medical Case Management services and financial assistance you must be HIV positive and earn no more than 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

2016 Federal Poverty Guidelines

 Household Size

 100%

 133%

 150%

200%

250%

 300%

400%

 1

$11,770

$15,654

$17,655

$23,540

$29,425

$35,310

$47,080

 2

15,930

 21,187

23,895

  31,860

39,825

47,790

63,720

 3

20,090

 26,720

30,135

  40,180

50,225

60,270

80,360

 4

24,250

 32,253

36,375

  48,500

60,625

72,750

97,000

 5

28,410

 37,785

42,615

  56,820

71,025

85,230

113,640

 6

32,570

 43,318

48,855

  65,140

81,425

97,710

130,280

 7

36,730

 48,851

55,095

  73,460

91,825

110,190

146,920

 8

40,890

 54,384

61,335

  81,780

102,225

122,670

163,560

BENEFITS COUNSELING

The RAAN Benefits Counseling staff is here to assist clients in navigating the complex healthcare system and other support programs.  As part your care team, we will coordinate you, your Medical Case Manager, and other providers to ensure that you receive the best care and benefits available.

Our goal is to empower our clients to make informed decisions for a healthy self both physically and mentally.


FOOD VOUCHER/NUTRITION PROGRAM

RAAN offers a monthly food voucher lottery for qualifying clients. Each month a lottery is held and those selected receive a gift card to a local grocery store.  This program allows clients to access healthier food choices and improve nutrition.

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TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE

Medical Transportation Assistance is only for medically related trips and covers the following transportation options:

  • Mileage reimbursement to the client or volunteer driver
  • Bus passes
  • Taxi fares

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SUPPORT GROUPS

Support Group options are available to men and women living with HIV/AIDS through RAAN at locations around the state. Please view the most recent calendar for support group dates and times.

  • For location of support groups, call your local RAAN office or our central office in St. Cloud at 800-966-9735.
    Participation is available through conference call. Check with your local RAAN office or our central location in St. Cloud for participation code.
  • Topics discussed in group include, but are not limited to: education information about HIV disease and treatment, HIV disclosure in rural Minnesota, nutrition, stress reduction, self-care, harm reduction, general wellness as well as community resources.
  • Free meals provided at each group.
  • Additional HIV support groups in Greater Minnesota: Minnkota Calendar and MAP HIV Resource Guide

 

Quarterly Calendar: 

We are currently revising our support group schedule, please contact your RAAN Medical Case Manager or the RAAN central office at 800-966-9735 for details about the July 2016 groups.

OUTREACH AND EDUCATION

Health Education/Risk Reduction (HE/RR) is provided to both people living with HIV/AIDS and those at-risk for HIV infection.

  • HE/RR services increase the ability of individuals living with HIV disease to better manage their health through the provision of services that educate people with HIV about HIV transmission and how to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
  • RAAN works to assist individuals to identify their risk for HIV infection or transmission learn how to change the behavior(s) that place them and/or their partners at risk and learn how to access HIV testing and learn their HIV status.

Prevention & Education services are provided to individuals at high-risk for HIV infection as well as the population at large.

  • RAAN understands that prevention and education is the most effective way to slow and stop the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Along with education and discussing harm reduction strategies, RAAN distributes condoms, sexual responsibility kits, and safer sex materials.
  • Outreach activities are conducted where there is a high probability of reaching at-risk population and may include: community events such as PRIDE Festivals, drop-in centers, homeless shelters, emergency shelters, bars, nightclubs, and others as deemed appropriate.
  • If you are interested in having RAAN speak at your organization please call 1-800-966-9735.

SYRINGE EXCHANGE (DULUTH)

Syringe Services Program commonly known as “The Exchange” provides sterile injection supplies to injection drug users (IDU’s) in Northeastern Minnesota.  Equipment provided includes; clean syringes, tourniquets, cottons, cookers, sterile water, alcohol wipes and antibiotics.  In addition “The Exchange” provides disposal of used syringes in compliance with federal and state biohazard requirements.

This harm reduction program is a testing site for HIV and Hepatitis C disease with referrals to local infectious disease clinics for confirmatory tests and treatment for reactive results.  A users group held weekly provides a supportive and nonjudgmental environment to discuss topics pertinent to IDU’s.