Posts Tagged ‘health’

September is Sexual Health Awareness Month

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

This month we’re talking about sexual health and you. How you can get to know your body and get to know yourself. September is Sexual Health Awareness Month. According to the American Sexual Health Association, sexual health must go beyond outdated views of simply avoiding disease or unplanned pregnancy and should include experiencing pleasure and intimacy when desired, along with respecting the sexual rights we all share. As you think about what sexual health means, you should try to think about your own definitions of sex and how that relates to your body. Much like general physical and mental health, sexual health is just as important to your overall well-being. Educating yourself on your body and knowing what you need is important to being healthy. Your body, your mind, and your desires all matter when it comes to self-care.

Knowing and understanding sexual health means understanding what safer sex looks like. Some good questions to consider are:

  • What does safer sex look like for diverse bodies?
  • How can we make sure we’re being safe and taking care of ourselves?
  • What are your needs and what are your desires?

As you delve into sexual health, it’s about being aware of not only your particular body, but also your potential partners! Whatever your gender or sexual orientation may be, it’s important to embrace your sexuality, educate yourself on safer sex, and respect others’ boundaries.

–courtesy of

National LGBT Health Awareness Week

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

National LGBT Health Week

Sex & Chocolate: Sexual Health Discussion (Zoom Meeting)

Friday, February 5th, 2021

Sex & ChocolateTalk sexual health with Hudson Valley Community Services and the Newburgh Free Library!

Thursday February 18th at 6:15 p.m.

The program will include a presentation on common STI’s, prevention and harm reduction methods, and methods of safe sex. It will also include a conversation on overall health. After the presentation HVCS will open up the conversation for questions and offer services to anyone who may be interested.

These groups are held in a safe space, are 100% confidential, and are LGBTQ affirming.

Register here:

Aging In Prison: A RealHealth Article Includes Perspective From HVCS

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Jennifer Brathwaite, our Director of Education and Prevention, is quoted in this two-part article on aging in prison on

This a lengthy yet eye-opening article that is well worth the read. Jennifer’s contributing quotes appear in Part Two.

Here’s an excerpt:

Brathwaite finds that sometimes formerly incarcerated seniors may not be aware and educated about issues concerning HIV. “While I wouldn’t want to stereotype or put everyone in the same group, I think that with our older population, there is less knowledge or access to information that’s current about the advancements in this area and in what we know about HIV, hep C, STIs [sexually transmitted infections], infectious disease transmission and things like that,” she observes. “I think there’s still a lot of stigma, specifically around HIV, and a lack of knowledge about how the virus is transmitted.”

Part One

Part Two


The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Is Here To Help!

Friday, July 17th, 2020

ADAP 2020


ADAP Espanol

HVCS’ Response to Coronavirus Crisis

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020 we will be operating our offices with smaller staff on duty each day.

Contingency plans also include:

  • For program specific information, guidelines and schedules, please contact your HVCS care/case manager or specialist.
  • All face-to-face meetings with clients are suspended until further notice, and there will be no walk-ins in any office.
  • All groups and educational sessions are suspended until further notice.
  • We will continue to provide regular food pantry bags. Until further notice, clients will need to call ahead to arrange for a food bag pickup. We will post flyers with a number to call on our doors.  Food bags will be left outside of the office door, so there is no physical contact. All food bags will need to be pre-packed (no client choice options). During this time, toiletries may not be available due to supply chain issues. If you are in an emergency situation and need food, bags will be provided outside our office space.

These plans will remain in effect for two weeks (until April 1). During this time we will continually re-evaluate our situation and may need to take further steps if we are required to do so by governmental authorities.

Remember these precautions:

  • Frequent handwashing is your best defense!
  • Practice social distancing: stay 6 feet away from others as much as you can. Greet people with a wave rather than physical contact.
  • Keep spaces clean and disinfected. Light switches and phones should be disinfected too!

More plans and news will be forthcoming as they become available. Stay healthy!

HVCS’ Response to the Coronavirus

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

HVCS management and our entire staff are concerned about the novel Coronavirus and the risk to our clients. According to Dr. Angela Hulse, Medical Director at Cornerstone Family Healthcare (our future merger partner):

“The CDC has stated that people currently at risk for the virus are those that have traveled abroad, and those who have a fever and a cough. Individuals who are healthy [for 14 consecutive] days (the incubation period) post exposure are deemed uninfected. Those most at risk for serious complications from the virus are those who are immunocompromised, the very young and the elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions, including HIV.

Handwashing is the best method to prevent transmission of the virus. Soap and water are preferable to Purell or other hand sanitizers.

If you have a cough or a fever, DO NOT go to work, and you should call your doctor. Stay home, rest and call your doctor if you have fever and a cough.

Unless there is a change in the direction we get from the CDC, go about your regular lives, wash your hands, and stay home if you get sick.”

NY State’s governor and the mayor of NYC issued a joint statement which you can read here and which confirms the information above:

11:13 a.m., March 2, 2020

N.Y. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants 1,000 tests per day, encourages people to go about their lives

The morning after New York health officials announced the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the state, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sat down next to health experts and delivered a very clear message to the people of New York: “Go about your lives.”

“I get the emotion, I understand it,” Cuomo (D) said. “I’m a native born New Yorker. We live with anxiety, but the facts don’t back it up here.

“There is no doubt that there will be more cases where we find people who test positive,” Cuomo told reporters at the news conference. “This is New York. We’re the gateway to the world — of course we’re going to have it here.”

Cuomo emphasized that the symptoms are like a cold or the flu and, for most people, they treat themselves and it resolves. Both Cuomo and de Blasio (D) encouraged [healthy]  people to go to work, use public transit and to not worry about contracting the illness, which they fully expect to spread through the community.

De Blasio urged New Yorkers to take health precautions, such as “covering your mouth when you sneeze … washing your hands frequently.” And he encouraged people to go to a doctor or health-care facility right away if they think they might have the coronavirus.

The 39-year-old woman who tested positive in New York is a health-care worker who arrived on a flight from Iran on Tuesday night, Cuomo said. “Our best info is she was not contagious” when she was on the flight or in the car on the way home, he said, but officials are contacting other passengers from the flight and the driver of her car “out of an abundance of caution.”

Cuomo said they are working under the assumption that her husband is positive, too. Both the woman and her husband are staying at home because their symptoms are not severe.

Cuomo said that their main challenge is testing as many people as possible, so they know who has been exposed and they can work to contain the spread. Given that, “we are mobilizing with private labs around the state,” he said. “I’d like to have a goal of 1,000 tests per day capacity within a week, because the more testing the better.”

The NYS Department of Health has set up an informational web page at:

Hepatitis A Outbreak in Dutchess County

Monday, February 10th, 2020

Beginning this summer, officials noticed an uptick in Hepatitis A cases and by fall identified this as an outbreak. Infections are highest among transient populations including people who use/inject drugs, individuals who are homeless or in shelter/temporary housing situations, as well as individuals who have recently been released from jail.

With guidance from the Dutchess County Department of Health, we strongly recommend Hepatitis A vaccinations for our clients that identify as the priority population. As a general advisory, we want to make everyone aware that handwashing is the number one recommendation to safeguard yourselves. Additionally, Hepatitis A vaccinations are available with primary care doctors. Being vaccinated is the best defense against Hep A!

For more information, please contact us at (914) 345-8888 or by email.

Spin For HVCS: A Fun-For-All-Levels Charity Spin Class

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

You’re invited to our charity cycling/spin class! Do something healthy for yourself while helping to provide nutritious food for people living with chronic illnesses. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced cyclist, a spinning fanatic, or you’ve never taken a spin class before…this is a great way to try it out!

Spin for HVCS flyer

This event is generously sponsored by Orange Bank & Trust.

Orange Bank & Trust Company

Consumer Advisory Board Meeting

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Consumer Advisory Board on April 11, 2018HVCS’ Consumer Advisory Board will meet on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 from 2:30 to 4:00 pm in our Hawthorne office (40 Saw Mill River Road). Light refreshments will be provided, and transportation is available. Clients from across our entire service region (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties) are invited to attend, and you’ll be able to call in to participate in the conversation if you can’t make it in person.

Contact Christina at (914) 785-8290 or by email to RSVP.