Dorchester Knows

Dorchester Knows

What's your status?


What is the Dorchester Knows?

Dorchester Knows is an initiative helping all Dorchester residents, between ages 15-65, learn their HIV status and broaden their knowledge of HIV and AIDS. In collaboration with religious, community, business and public health organizations, Dorchester Knows strives to: 

  • Provide a voluntary HIV test to every person in Dorchester and Mattapan
  • Make HIV testing a routine part of health care in Boston.
  • Identify undiagnosed HIV-positive people in Boston and link them to medical care.
  • Connect at-risk people who test negative for HIV to prevention services, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis PrEP.

Why do a Testing Initiative in Boston?

Boston has a disproportional rate of HIV infections, with the highest prevalence being in communities of color. Black (non-Hispanic) and Latino residents account for 24% and 18% of the Boston population, respectively. However, they account for 59% of people living with HIV.  By launching this initiative, it is our hope to identify those individuals who are unknowingly living with HIV. Dorchester Knows will link those who test positive to patient center medical care, and ultimately decrease Dorchester’s seroprevalence—the community viral load. The HIV Testing Initiative is modeled after the successful Bronx Knows initiative. The Bronx Knows community partners conducted 607,570 HIV tests, identified 4,544 people newly diagnosed with HIV.

How will HIV Testing Initiative implement the Testing initiative?

HIV Testing initiative plans to start the testing initiative May 1, 2017. We will take the following steps to achieve this goal.

  • Identify key stakeholders (local and state health departments, community, religious, business and civic leaders) to introduce the project and get feedback.
  • Revise the project proposal based on stakeholder impact and report back
  • Promote community health education to address stigma and cultural barriers related to HIV/AIDS.
  • After the  Kickoff event a local marketing campaign will begin along with collaborative events, distribution of talking points and educational materials, and the start of community based testing sites

Is there a cost or insurance charge to residents who get tested?

No, all testing is free. Those testing will not be asked for payment, insurance, billing information, or immigration status.

What type of testing will be done?

OraQuick rapid testing will be used. This test uses blood from a small finger prick.

How will patients be linked to prevention and care services?

Counselor and Testers will perform a brief behavioral risk assessment while test is being run. Health education and recommendations will be made to patient for primary care, PrEP and/or STI screening.  People who test positive will be linked to local HIV services for care.


HIV testing is the gateway to HIV prevention and treatment and is also a vital step in ending the epidemic.

Visit www.dorchesterknows.com for more information about testing sites and events.