UFO Project Services
“I got good counseling. Someone sat with me while I cried. There were no judgments about my addiction. The staff consistently shows compassion.”
We are located at UCSF’s Tenderloin Clinical Research Center at 964 Market Street (between 5th and 6th). We hold a weekly viral hepatitis prevention and education group with dinner on Wednesdays from 4:45-5:30pm, to which all young adults with or at risk for HCV are welcome. Research activities begin at 5:30pm; youth and young adults are welcome to be screened and, if eligible, participate in our paid research projects. Research participants receive pre- and post-test counseling, as well as regular onsite testing, for HCV and HIV.
An integral component of the UFO Study, “UFO Presents!” provides viral hepatitis education, prevention and care services to young IDU. The following services are provided to young adults with injection risk regardless of their participation in UFO’s paid research projects:
Viral hepatitis prevention education
We offer a weekly viral hepatitis prevention education group led by a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Peer educators offer experience and support, while nursing staff provides information and education. Topics covered include Hep C 101, Liver Health for the Active Drug Users, Hepatitis B, Hep C and Mental Health, Treatment Eligibility and Transmission Prevention. Participants are encouraged to meet with nursing staff for individualized care plans and education. Food and snacks are served at the beginning of group.
“I like the interaction with the staff and the family feel.”
Free HAV and HBV vaccinations are available to all participants. Our electronic database records date of vaccine administration and tracks when the next one is due. E-mails can be generated to remind participants to drop in for next immunization. Street and office-based outreach workers are available to help participants return. We offer referrals to similar programs outside of the Bay Area for youth who are frequent travelers to facilitate vaccine uptake.
HIV, HBV, HCV and other STD testing
Through partnerships with the Berkeley Free Clinic and SFDPH, we offer on-site counseling and testing for HIV, HCV and STIs. Our experienced HIV-trained counselors perform risk assessments and provide client-centered risk reduction counseling. Testing includes HIV, anti- HCV, LFTs, viral load, as well as HAV and HBV immunological status. We promote and support harm reduction services. Outreach workers are available to remind participants to return for testing results. Referrals for further workups and appropriate medical treatment is available through program staff.
Our nurses have many years of experience working with young IDU and have a strong understanding of the particular health needs and concerns of this group. Staffed by a nurse practitioner, a clinical nurse specialist, and an RN, our nurses are available for medical consultation, referrals to other medical clinics or mental health care. We also provide acute care such as treatment of infections, including abscess care, common respiratory infections, rashes and other basic acute medical needs. We train clients how to prevent and manage overdose situations and provide prescriptions for Narcan.
“I learned about injection hygiene. Because of you, I haven’t gotten an abscess.”
Drug treatment referrals
Direct referrals to methadone and buprenorphine programs are available to those interested, as well as access to residential treatment programs or other programs tailored for drug users. We work to find the program best suited to participants’ needs. We provide referrals and advocacy and work closely with participants before program entry, during program participation and after program completion.
Housing and social work referrals
We offer referrals and support for access to housing and other social services, including SSI eligibility, educational and vocational programs as well as maternal-child services. We will work with case managers or other providers of care for program participants to optimize their ability to access supportive services.
Quality of life services
We provide free food, clothes, socks and hygiene supplies (soap, shampoo, razors, etc.) on site, whenever possible. Clean needles and injection supplies are available on site and that we can provide information to area exchange programs. At our sites, young IDUs can access the Internet, use a telephone for free, and receive mail.
Last modified: February 24, 2011