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Counseling & Support

Pride for Youth offers free, short-term, confidential counseling by professional workers at our Bellmore office and in some cases via home visits. This service is available to LGBTQ youth up to 26 and those questioning their sexual identity. Counseling can extend to family members as needed.

Some common reasons that young people request counseling include:

  • Fears about coming out
  • Not being sure about one’s identity
  • Conflict with family members or peers
  • Relationship problems
  • Concern about alcohol or drug use
  • Worries about HIV/AIDS

In addition, Pride for Youth runs support groups for young people at different times throughout the year. Support groups are places where youth can learn a lot more about themselves and help each other with common problems. Some of our groups use creative arts and/or theater as a method for helping youth express themselves positively and develop new talents. Groups are facilitated by professional workers and are located at our Bellmore office. Check out our Coffeehouse Events page, which includes a calendar listing current group meetings.

Inquiries about counseling and groups can be directed to:
Pete Carney, (516) 679-9000, ext. 11.

Talk to a counselor now

If you would like to talk to someone right away, please take advantage of these resources.

By Phone:
Call the Middle Earth Hotline at:
For free, confidential, anonymous help 24/7

Free, confidential, online counseling:*

Live, one-on-one free, confidential text message counseling is available Monday-Friday from 7pm until 11pm. Text LICC to 839863 to speak to a Counselor (standard text message rates apply).*

*Sorry. . . available to Long Island residents only!

MPowerment Program

Pride for Youth’s Mpowerment Program is designed to meet the needs of young gay, bisexual and transgender men (between the ages of 17-24), with a special emphasis on African American and Latino guys. Our culturally diverse staff works with young men individually, in groups and through community outreach and events to provide opportunities for these young men to socialize develop supportive relationships and become educated on HIV/STD prevention and safer sex.

The Mpowerment Program’s main objective is to help young men stay HIV negative and STD free in the midst of the ongoing epidemic. We also can link youth who are positive to resources and support. Check out our menu to learn more about what we do. You can also check out the Mpowerment Program on Facebook at Mpowerment Li.

To get involved, contact Galo Cunto, (516) 679-9000, ext. 17.

HIV Testing & FAQ

HIV/AIDS does not discriminate, but due to homophobia, transphobia and pressure to live one’s life on the down low, many young men who have sex with men are becoming infected with HIV. And even worse, most of them don’t even know that they are carrying the virus.

That is why getting tested for HIV is so important for each and every guy, whether you consider yourself straight, gay, bi, or transgender.

The Sexual Health Promotion Project sponsors free and confidential HIV Counseling and Testing in partnership with Planned Parenthood of Nassau County. A trained educator will talk to you about your risks and take a drop of your blood for the test – it’s called OraQuick. You’ll get your results in about 20 minutes. If you test negative, you’ll receive information about how you can stay that way. If you test positive, you’ll make an appointment to take another test to confirm the results. And if that test turns up positive, we can link you with support and resources to help you deal with it. In addition, we also sponsor free and confidential screening for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Clients are asked to provide a urine sample and a clinician from Planned Parenthood will contact within the next week with your results. Recent studies have shown that being positive for an STD puts a person and significantly increased risk for contracting HIV. In addition to Planned Parenthood, the New York State Department of Health also offers free and confidential HIV Counseling and Testing at Pride for Youth.

Counseling and Testing is offered at the Coffeehouse every second and third Friday of the month (with STD screenings being offered on the third Friday only) between 7:30pm and 10:00pm. No appointment is required. This service is open to any youth between the ages of 13 – 21. Youth are seen on a first come/first served basis. We recommend that you contact us to let us know that you’re coming. Contact Galo Cunto, (516) 679-9000, ext. 17.

If you are over the age of 21, and in need of testing and counseling, please call our main line, (516) 679-9000, and a counselor would be glad to provide you with a referral.

What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that can live inside your body and attack your immune system. Your immune system is what keeps you from getting sick.

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is a medical condition caused by having the HIV virus. People with AIDS have lowered resistance to infections, meaning they get sick easily. There are medications to help people stay healthy, but many people with AIDS have died because they can’t fight off sicknesses caused by viruses, bacteria and cancers.

How big of a problem is it?

HIV/AIDS is a serious problem affecting not only the United States but nearly every country in the world. Since the epidemic was first tracked in the early 1980’s, over half a million people with AIDS have died in the United States. Nearly the same number of people are currently living with AIDS.

Long Island has a disproportionate share of HIV/AIDS cases. About 4,000 Long Islanders with AIDS have died since the early 1980’s and over 7,000 people are living with AIDS. The best estimate is that 15,000 people are carrying the virus on Long Island.

HIV is of particular concern for young men who have sex with men. Adolescents account for over half of new HIV infections. And over half of new cases of AIDS among adolescents are attributed to male-to-male sexual contact.

There is treatment but no cure for HIV/AIDS.

Sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and New York State Department of Health.

How do you get it?

HIV is transmitted from person-to-person through the exchange of certain body fluids: blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal secretions. Sexual contact – either anal or vaginal intercourse – is one major way that you can get HIV. You can also get HIV if you share a needle with someone to shoot up drugs.

You cannot get HIV from casual contact such as touching, kissing, sharing a cup or sitting on a toilet seat.

How do you not get it?

There are many ways you can avoid getting HIV – what’s called staying HIV negative. Abstaining from sexual contact with others (e.g. anal, vaginal or oral sex) is the 100% sure way to stay HIV negative. Sexually active people can use latex barriers (e.g. condoms or dental dams) when having sex. This prevents fluid exchange between partners so the HIV virus cannot enter your body. Reducing your number of sexual partners and getting to know each partner better are also ways to lower your risk for HIV. Finally, you and your partner can get tested for HIV together so that you both know where you stand.

What is HIV testing?

HIV testing is a way of determining whether or not you have the virus in your body. This is a very important tool to staying negative and protecting yourself and your sexual partners. There are several different methods of HIV testing, some involving pricking your finger to obtain blood and others using a swab of your gums. Rapid testing is now available in most places. You will receive your test results in as little as 20 minutes.

The Young Men’s Program sponsors free and confidential HIV Counseling and Testing each month at Pride for Youth’s Coffeehouse. Check out Counseling and Testing.