Bebashi-Transition to Hope approved by AACO to continue community HIV testing amid COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Philadelphia, PA (September 14, 2020) – Bebashi – Transition to Hope recently passed an inspection by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Aids Activities Coordinating Office (AACO), granting approval for the 35-year-old full-service HIV/AIDs non-profit organization to continue HIV testing in community settings, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The inspection conducted by representatives of AACO included a video walk through of Bebashi’s facilities, along with a simulated testing encounter to evaluate its check-in and testing procedures, to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

“In order to fulfill these requirements, we have put several measures in place to ensure the safety of our clients, including the cleaning and sanitization of testing areas following each visit, and check in and waiting area procedures that follow social distancing guidelines,” said Keira Ragsdale, Bebashi’s Prevention Education Services Supervisor.

Throughout the pandemic, Bebashi is one of two agencies that remained opened to serve the community, providing access to food, health services, testing and other much needed resources on a walk-in basis. Although these services were modified to comply with guidelines, the organization still experienced a significant increase in the number of persons who made use of the services offered.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic has negatively affected the incomes of many households throughout Philadelphia and has forced persons into a position of economic insecurity. What is also being emphasized are the health care disparities that exist in impoverished and underserved communities. This is why Bebashi has continued to work, throughout the pandemic, to provide access to reliable, quality healthcare and other resources to residents of these communities,” said Sebrina Tate, Director of Programs and Administration.

The organization continues to accept walk-ins for testing services, however, as there are restrictions to the number of persons that can be accommodated at the facility, appointments are strongly recommended.

To learn more about Bebashi and our health screening services, visit www.bebashi.org or call 215-769-3561.

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About Bebashi – Transition to Hope

Bebashi -Transition to Hope is a nonprofit that was founded as a full-service HIV/AIDS organization with special interest in serving low-income people of color with HIV disease. As the second-oldest AIDS service organization in the Philadelphia region, Bebashi was the first African American organization in the United States to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It remains one of Philadelphia’s largest community-based minority providers of HIV/AIDS education and services for the urban community.

Bebashi’s purpose is to empower people to enhance the quality of their health and overall well-being by providing access to culturally sensitive high-quality healthcare to economically challenged individuals and families. Since its inception in 1985, the organization has expanded to address other health disparities impacting the community. Bebashi’s services also include hunger relief, breast health education, primary medical care and criminal justice.

 

Media Contact:

Jude-Anne Spencer-Phillip
Communications Specialist
Bebashi – Transition to Hope
Phone:  (215) 769-3561 ext. 159
Email:   judeannesp@bebashi.org

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