WHAT IS HELPCENTER?
Helpcenter offers low treshold consultations for sexual health issues to vulnerable populations who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV and/or STI (sexual transmitted infections).
Helpcenter is primarily available for:
- Africans and other immigrants from countries with high HIV prevalence
- Men having sex with men (gay or bisexual)
- Drug users who use needles
- Newcomers without access to regular health care
- Customers of sex workers
- Persons have ran a high risk of contracting an STD (occasional partners, multiple partners, partners belong to one of these risk groups)
- People who absolutely need to remain anonymous and have run a significant risk of infection.
We cannot help everyone in Helpcenter. Patients from the target population have priority. If you do not belong to one of these groups, please see a GP. We realize that there may be several reasons for not wanting to involve your own physician or general practitioner. “Helpcenter” can act as an alternative to you, although we do want to stress that we don’t replace your physician. Everything is done confidentially.
We do not deliver PrEP at Helpcenter. The doctors and nurses are able to provide you with information and can refer you to the dedicated PrEP consultation at ITM, or you can make an appointment for a PrEP consultation right now.
- If you take PrEp, you cannot come to Helpcenter for an STI/HIV screening. STI/HIV-screenings are part of PrEp consultations.
- If you are taking PrEp and have symptoms that could indicate an STI, make an appointment with one of the doctors, not the Helpcenter, as soon as possible.
More information on PrEP is available in Dutch or French.
There are different options for testing:
- Classic test: this test is possible 4 weeks after the risk contact. The results are know after several days. This is the standard way to test for HIV.
- Rapid test: a rapid test is an option 6 weeks after the risk contact. The result of the test is available after 30 minutes. Other results (for other STD) can be given by phone or email after 1-2 weeks. During your consultation we will discuss if the rapid test is a viable option.
- Anonymous: HIV-testing and consultation are free, other tests cannot be offered anonymously.The consultation and tests are confidential in any case - we do not inform anyone else and you'll get no follow up mail).
If you are really worried or were exposed to a very high risk, you may come earlier to Helpcenter for a risk evaluation. The doctor will decide whether it is necessary to start some preventive actions. We are bound by medical confidentiality (data will not be sent to third parties -except to your health insurance- and no information will be sent home).
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
It is possible to make an appointment (can also be made anonymously). Fill in your birth date and telephone number (home or mobile) correctly, preferably also your email. You can choose a name or write “anonymous” for your name and family name (don’t use any numbers). Only HIV-tests can be done anonymously, other STI tests require identification. Bring your identity card when you come for consultation. Bring your document from the mutuality if you’re a non-Belgian EU civil.
We will not charge you for:
- An HIV test (anonymous if necessary)
- STD screening by a nurse (If the nurse refers you to a doctor, you will have to pay for a consultation and it will no longer be free of charge.)
- Advice on sexual risk behaviour
- Therapy to lower your risk (sexologist on appointment)
We will charge a fee for:
If you cannot pay at the Reception immediately after your consultation, we will send an invoice to your address.