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Patient Resources | Overview

Boston HAPPENS provides services to youth, 13 and older, who are HIV positive or at risk for the disease and other STDs. HAPPENS also offers HIV/STI counseling and testing billed through insurance.

Support services

We also provide HIV positive youth with a variety of counseling services, including:

  • case management and connections to resource
  • individual and group therapy
  • referrals to groups
  • support for family, friends and partners

For Youth at Risk for HIV, STIs, and Viral Hepatitis

  • HIV counseling and testing (also available for adults, ages 13 and older)
  • STI and Viral Hepatitis Screening and Referrals for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and Hepatitis C
  • free male and female condoms, lube, and other risk reduction and educational materials
  • referrals for birth control, family planning, mental health, substance abuse counseling, and other services
  • post-exposure prophylaxis and HIV testing, follow-up and counseling for young people exposed to HIV through sex or needles or who are victims of sexual assault

HIV facts

Am I really at risk for getting HIV?

You are always at risk for getting HIV/AIDS if you are having sex or sharing needles.

Free and confidential HIV testing and counseling information

Having sex puts you at risk for HIV

  • It doesn't matter if you are heterosexual ("straight"), homosexual ("gay") or bisexual ("bi") - anytime you have sex you are at risk of getting HIV/AIDS.
  • You are at risk if you have ever had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. You are also at risk for getting HIV/AIDS if you ever had a condom break or slip off during sex.
  • If your sexual partner has HIV or is at risk for HIV, you are also in danger of getting the disease.
  • If you have had an STI (sexually transmitted infection) or have been sexually assaulted you are also at risk.
  • Don't have sex while you are drunk or high since this puts you at a greater risk for getting HIV/AIDS.
  • The only way to make sure you are not at risk for getting HIV/AIDS is to not have sex and not share needles. But if you do decide to have sex, always use a condom!
  • Sharing needles puts you at risk for HIV

    • You are at risk for getting HIV/AIDS if you have ever shared needles or "works" to inject drugs or steroids.
    • You are also at risk if you have ever shared needles for tattooing or piercing.
    • The only way to make sure you are not at risk for getting HIV/AIDS is to not share needles and not have sex. But if you do decide to use needles, always use clean ones!

    More HIV/STI Information

    Youth services directory

    Includes organizations in the Boston area specializing in HIV/AIDS/STD prevention and education, primary medical care, mental health, substance abuse and faith-based organizations.





    BMC Public Health Clinic 




    Domestic Violence Hotline




    MA AIDS Hotline




    MA Commonwealth Connector




    Massachusetts Sexual Health Helpline




    MA Substance Abuse Hotline




    Mayor's Youthline




    National Clinician's Post-Exposure Prophylaxis




    National Hopeline




    National Runaway Hotline




    Peer Listening Line (GLBT support)




    Health education

    Boston HAPPENS is a proud member of CARE for Youth, a state-wide coalition that is working to keep kids safe and healthy by passing legislation to make comprehensive health education a reality for all Massachusetts public school students.

    Helpful links

    • AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is New England's oldest and largest provider of AIDS services, education and advocacy.
    • AIDSinfo is a service of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services offering info on HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and research.
    • Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth (BAGLY) is a youth-led, adult-supported, social support organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning youth and their straight allies, 22 years old and under.
    • Boston Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS) is a non-profit project of JRI Health committed to giving gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning young adults a safe place to meet, talk and hang out.
    • Boston Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) is a research program that works to educate health care providers on how to care for teens. Features a list of health services and resources for teens for things like mental health, eating disorders, sexuality, girl power, and substance abuse.
    • Center for Young Women's Health provides information on general health & nutrition, reproductive health issues, emotional health and much more for teen girls.
    • Boston Children's Hospital is the website for Boston Children's Hospital, one of the nation's top pediatric medical institutions, with links to health information, hospital departments and other hospital programs.
    • Health Initiatives for Youth (HIFY) is working to improve access to prevention, care and treatment for adolescents living with, and at-risk of, HIV infection.
    • HIV InSite is an HIV information resource project sponsored by the University of California at San Francisco.
    • is an HIV/AIDS testing informational website sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    • is for patients, employers and providers and explains the new law in Massachusetts requiring that adults 18 and over have health insurance. It also provides health insurance resources. 
    • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reaches out to America's teen girls and young women about the dangerous link between non-injecting drug abuse and HIV.
    • National Prevention Information Network shares HIV/AIDS and STD resources and information about education and prevention and has published materials and research findings, as well as news about related trends.
    • Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is a program that offers training for teens on sexuality and relationships, as well as pregnancy counseling and other reproductive health care services.
    • The Body is an HIV/AIDS resource with access to a 15,000-document library.
    • is a site to help teens find health info and services in Massachusetts that meet their needs.