I’m interested in joining… now what?

UPSIDE has 3 components that you can get up to $110 in gift cards for completing.

To get the $35 in gift cards for the testing component, the staff at one of our collaborating syringe exchange program sites (SEP) will prick your finger for a blood sample. You can even complete the survey during this same visit and get $50 in gift cards that day!

If you did the survey at home and haven’t been tested earlier as part of UPSIDE, we will ask you to come in to be tested for HCV and HIV. Our staff will call or email within 1-2 business days using the information you provide to schedule a testing visit with one with one of our collaborating syringe exchange sites near you.

Where is testing happening?
The detailed locations and times will be provided with you by our project staff, but here is a brief overview of where and when you can get tested in the Capital Region, Plattsburgh area, or Norwich area.

The survey asks some questions about you and your background, your medical history, your experiences with drug use, and your history with harm reduction services and medical care. The survey takes about 45 minutes. We appreciate your complete and honest answers and can only compensate you if you fully complete it. Remember, we have a Certificate of Confidentiality, which means your data are protected from courts.

Depending on how you’ve joined the study, you may have been given information about how to connect to the survey, or you may have completed it already. If you have any questions about accessing the survey, just give us a call or send us an email!

Important tip: If you have not been tested when you complete our survey, we will reach out to you to schedule a testing appointment. When our staff contact you, they will also email you a Certificate of Completion that proves you are part of UPSIDE, have completed the survey, and are ready for testing. Please print this out or make sure it is is on your phone. When you come in for your testing, you must show this Certificate of Completion to the staff to get your gift cards!

At the end of your survey, you may have been invited to ask up to 3 people you know (“peers”), such as friends or family who inject drugs too and might be interested in joining the study. The people you refer would complete an online survey similar to the one you took today and be asked to come in for testing. After you contact them and they enroll, you can both get paid!

You should have receive up to three emails, each with a special coded invitation link that you can send each peer you are referring. If you haven’t received one or more emails, check your spam folder! If not, please contact us. After you get your codes, recruit your peers as follows:

1. Decide how you would like to contact your peers. 
You can contact them yourself by calling, texting, email, Facebook or any other way you would like. Forwarding our email with the invitation link works or you can copy the link and include it in your message or conversation.

2. Tell them about the UPSIDE Study and give them the invitation link to the study.
Some things you can mention:
    – The chance to make a difference in the community
   – Small time commitment
   – Free HCV/HIV testing
   – Help getting into care if they have a positive test result
   – Compensation for being in the study

Helpful tips:
1. If they want to know more, they can go to our website, call (518-402-4903) or email us at (upside@albany.edu).

2. Each code is unique and can be used only once. We have processes in place to check that peers who join are real, eligible people. If we suspect fraud, your peer or you might not be able to be paid for parts of the study.