NORTH SHORE, Mass. — PRISM LGBT Health was forced to close its doors this summer thus leaving gay residents in Massachusetts’ North Shore and Merrimack Valley communities to seek services — particularly those related to HIV and AIDS — elsewhere. It had been there 16 years according to the Rainbow Times, a regional gay newspaper.
The program, which operated under the Health & Education Services division of CAB Health and Recovery, was funded primarily from a Department of Public Health grant but a takeover by Lahey Health resulted in several programs being cut including PRISM, the Rainbow Times reported citing information from Kirsten Freni, a PRISM HIV tester and educator.
The CEO of Lahey declined to comment, the Times reported.
A representative from the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers, which has a disease prevention and screening service, told the Times that the state Department of Public Health asked the Alliance to “take over the contract when PRISM went out of business.”
Although the Alliance had previously done HIV testing, Freni expressed reservations and said PRISM is referring people to another agency — Health Quarters in Beverly, Mass., the article said.