Bebashi-Transition to Hope fighting COVID-19 STI increases and test kit shortages with extended hours for health screenings

 

Philadelphia, PA (September 28, 2020) – The COVID-19 pandemic is causing reported increases in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and shortages of diagnostic test kits. Bebashi-Transition to Hope, a full-service HIV/AIDs non-profit organization, is fighting this trend head-on and increasing access to testing by resuming its extended hours every Thursday, until 7 pm.

“Bebashi is one of maybe two agencies that has remained opened throughout the pandemic, and it is important to us that persons who need it, have full access to HIV and STI testing and treatment,” said Keira Ragsdale, Bebashi’s Prevention Education Services Supervisor.

The organization recently passed an inspection conducted by representatives of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Aids Activities Coordinating Office (AACO), to assess the company’s compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, and was given the green light to continue providing community HIV testing services during the pandemic.

In addition, the CDC’s recent announcement of a shortage of STI diagnostic test kits, particularly for chlamydia and gonorrhea, has made Bebashi more determined to ensure that the community has the resources and information needed to take control of their health.

“Residents of low-income communities are often unable to access quality healthcare. Taking control of their health was never an option for some people. Bebashi provides HIV and STI testing and treatment counseling, and we do this for free, because we believe that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare and reliable health information,” said Sebrina Tate, Director of Programs and Administration.

The company previously offered extended Thursday hours, however, as a result of the pandemic, was forced to pause this service. Testing is also available Monday to Wednesday and Friday from 9 am to 4 pm.

Walk-ins are accepted for testing services; however, appointments are strongly recommended as the number of persons that can be accommodated in the facility is restricted. The organization also provides free at home HIV testing kits, which are available to order.

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

 

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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