How Friendship Christian Center, Third Baptist Church + Color are Reimagining Community Service
of patients offered HIV testing opted in
patients were tested in just 1 week
of patients surveyed had not been tested for HIV within the past 12 months
of patients surveyed had never been tested for HIV
In December 2021, Friendship Christian Center and Third Baptist Church partnered with Color Health to bring HIV and STI testing services to their communities. Free testing was offered at two existing COVID-19 vaccination sites, and 40% of participants opted-in to get tested.
Improving Accessibility to HIV and STI Testing within a Pandemic
With the onset of COVID-19, the testing and delivery of services related to HIV and STIs has become much more challenging. Stay-at-home orders, overwhelmed healthcare providers, and a lack of available appointments have made it difficult for many Americans to receive the care they need.
Transforming Churches into Healthcare Delivery Sites
Fortunately, two California churches, Friendship Christian Center in Oakland and Third Baptist Church in San Francisco, recognized this need for more accessible healthcare delivery within their communities. When normal services were disrupted by the pandemic, these organizations turned their churches into COVID-19 testing and vaccination distribution centers in partnership with Color.
In December 2021, Friendship Christian Center and Third Baptist Church also launched HIV and STI testing programs at their existing vaccination sites. When patients arrived to receive a vaccine, they were offered a free, quick, and confidential HIV test. If the patient decided to participate, they were then instructed to self-administer their test using an oral swab. Color returned results via phone within 24 hours.
Increased Awareness to Reduce Transmission
In just one week of this pilot program, Color, Friendship Christian Center, and Third Baptist Church were able to test hundreds of patients for HIV. Out of the patients offered a free screening, nearly 40% opted in to get tested.
48% of patients surveyed had not been tested for HIV in the past 12 months, and 31% had never been tested. According to the CDC, 40% of HIV cases are transmitted by people who don’t know they carry the virus, so providing easier access to testing is crucial to preventing future transmission.*
One patient who participated in the screening said it was “painless, quick, and easy. Results came same day and gave me peace of mind. I’m happy free HIV testing is available in my community.”
The Vital Role of Community Partners
None of this would have been possible without a strong partnership between Color, Friendship Christian Center, and Third Baptist Church. While Color possesses the expertise and health infrastructure to deliver exceptional healthcare to diverse populations, the successful execution of on-the-ground testing programs requires local leadership and collaboration.
With the community knowledge, creative problem solving, and passion of groups like the Friendship Christian Center and Third Baptist Church, Color and its partners are actively working to provide more accessible, equitable healthcare across the nation.
Color is a complete platform for healthcare delivery, providing the technology, infrastructure, and logistics required to distribute large-scale health initiatives to diverse populations. Color works with businesses, public health departments, schools, communities, and more to provide equitable, accessible healthcare services.
“I absolutely feel Color should be a core part of healthcare benefits, because I believe it provides a powerful tool for not only the Teamsters Fund, but also for the members.”
“We want to empower our employees to treat disease before they get it…if you can put a program like Color’s in place and get people to participate, you’ll see ROI.”
In the first 6 months of running this program, ACHD and Color screened over 1700 residents, and nearly 700 kits were ordered.