Face to Face: What We Do
Our mission is ending HIV in Sonoma County while supporting the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Since our beginning in 1983, Face to Face has addressed the ever-changing challenges presented by the HIV epidemic in Sonoma County.
To this end, we offer HIV prevention education and services to Sonoma County and we empower clients living with HIV with supportive services including housing assistance, benefits counseling, information, referrals, and transportation. We strengthen our community through outreach, education and HIV policy advocacy on a local and national level.
In Memory of Mert Preston
Some agencies are blessed with dedicated donors, some with energetic volunteers, and some with outstanding staff. In addition to these three things, Face to Face was blessed to have Mert.
Mert Preston joined our Board of Directors in his mid-50’s and served there for 17 years, doing “whatever needed to be done.” He leaves a legacy that will continue here at Face to Face. Each year we honor someone who has made a great impact on the #HIV system of care and the people we serve with the aptly named Mert Preston Award.
Mert grew up in a poor, truck-farming family in the San Joaquin Valley. Even though they didn’t have much, Mert’s parents always made sure to help other families in need by giving them food from their garden. Since then life has been good to Mert. He owned and operated several auto parts stores in and around Sonoma County. When those were sold he began to invest in real estate. “I believe in paying it back and sharing my good fortune. Face to Face has been there to support me and my friends, and I’ve always been impressed with the organization and everyone involved in it.”
So, when Face to Face thinks of things to be thankful for, we will always think of Mert. RIP.
Our Strategic Plan 2021 and Beyond
“HIV is not over. The inequities that fuel HIV are not over. We have made incredible progress since our start in 1982, but after years of downward trends in new infections, we’re seeing an uptick of new HIV cases, many of whom are late to diagnosis. At face to face, our work is ending HIV in Sonoma County, but we know we cannot defeat HIV, COVID-19, or any other pandemic that is fueled by racism, stigma, and discrimination… “
We invite you to read our strategic plan for more information on how we can work together to overcome these challenges.
We offer comprehensive support services to people living with HIV disease in Sonoma County. All our services are provided free of charge and are completely confidential.
July 1, 2021 Update
As of July 1 our doors are back open to do HIV Testing, PrEP initiation and Care Services In-Person by Appointment only. You can call our offices to schedule an appointment at 707-544-1581. We are open Tuesday through Friday 9:00am-4:00pm
We look forward to seeing you Face to Face!
June 8, 2020 Update
As of today we have resumed our Rapid HIV Testing Services. We are following proper guidelines to keep both our staff and clients safe. In order to do this the HIV testing will take place in a covered tent in our back parking area to maintain privacy for you. Please come to our back door and knock so that our prevention team can come out to assist you.
Our HIV Testing Hours are Tuesday-Friday 9:00am-3:00pm
What California Syringe Services Programs are doing amidst COVID-19 pandemic
All of us here at Face to Face wish you continued health!
Facts About HIV
In the United States,
- over 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the US
- 15% of those people do not know they are HIV-positive
- 38,500 people become newly infected with HIV
- 38% of these infections result from individuals who did not know they had HIV
Getting treated prevents the spread of HIV. When an individual with HIV is consistently engaged with antiretroviral therapy and routine medical care and the level of HIV in their body is undetectable, there is very little risk in transmitting the virus sexually.
Only 51% of people living with HIV in the US are virally suppressed. Engaging in medical care and staying in medical care is crucial for remaining undetectable and untransmittable.
Who is most impacted by HIV?
HIV continues to have a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minorities and gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
According to the CDC, if current HIV diagnoses rates persist
- 1 in 2 black MSM
- 1 in 4 Latino MSM
- 1 in 11 white MSM will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime.
- Teens and young adults (under 35) accounted for 56% of new HIV diagnoses in 2017 (those ages 13-24 accounted for 21% and those ages 25-34 accounted for 35%).
- The prescription opioid and heroin epidemic has led to increased numbers of people who inject drugs, placing new populations at increased risk for HIV.
This is why prevention education and outreach are so important – so people know they may be at risk can access PrEP and other prevention services to stay that way.
HIV Negative? Great! Stay that way.
- Get tested regularly. Face to Face offers free, anonymous, rapid oral testing with results in 20 minutes. Due to COVID-19, we are currently unable to provide HIV testing in person. We are now providing in -home HIV tests in both English and Spanish. We are here to support you through the process.
- You must be at least 17 years of age
- You must have a controlled environment to ensure accurate results. We are here to work with you to find a solution if necessary
- Keep up the condom use.
- Check out PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis). When taken daily, PrEP is over 90 percent effective in preventing HIV infection.
- Finding those who do not know they have HIV.
- Get them into lifesaving care, and virally supressed.
- Educate everyone about the risks of getting HIV.
- Promote regular testing and risk reduction.
- Talk about HIV. Reduce fear and stigma.
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Face to Face
873 Second Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
9 AM - 4:30 PM
Rapid HIV Testing
Tuesday to Friday
9:00 A.M. to 4:30 PM
First Wednesday of Each Month
First Thursday of Each Month