10 clinics across the United States are doing incredible work in the fight against HIV / LGBTQ Nation
Looking for LGBTQ-friendly health providers or access to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)? Below are just ten of the most established and revolutionary clinics in the United States.
Illinois: Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago
The Howard Brown Health Center is Chicago’s go-to destination for LGBTQ health issues. It offers a range of walk-in sexual health services, including comprehensive STI screening, as well as hepatitis A and B vaccinations.
It also offers PEP (to be taken within three days of unsafe sexual contact) and PrEP: two courses of medication to prevent a person from contracting HIV. Staff can discuss financial assistance programs with patients regarding PrEP assessment if they are not fully covered by insurance and can suggest periodic lab work that those receiving PrEP should have, such as kidney function tests. Howard Brown has four clinics in Chicago.
âNormally, we offer same-day departures for all of our PrEP appointments for walk-in visits, so people can meet a provider, meet a PrEP navigator, and have their prescriptions filled on the same day,â Michael Castro, head of biomedical HIV interventions at Howard Brown, told LGBTQ Nation. In the wake of COVID-19, he is also now offering increased telehealth services as he views the provision of PrEP as an essential service.
New York: Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York
Callen-Lorde is one of the most respected healthcare providers for LGBTQ people in New York City. Based at 356 West 18th Street. New York, NY 10011, it also offers mental health services at the Thea Spyer Center, 230 West 17th St, and has a smaller facility at 3144 3rd Ave, Bronx, NY 10451.
Callen-Lorde has a history stretching back 50 years. âWhat hasn’t changed in 50 years,â said CEO Wendy Stark in her most recent annual report, âis our commitment to serving people regardless of their ability to pay, our passion for health equity and justice for our diverse communities and LGBTQ people living with HIV and our belief that access to health care is a human right, not a privilege.
It offers a wide range of HIV services, including testing, PrEP and PEP. It also runs its HOTT (Health Outreach to Teens) program, aimed at people aged 13 to 21.
California: The Los Angeles LGBT Center in Los Angeles and West Hollywood
The Los Angeles LGBT Center has several branches in Los Angeles and one in West Hollywood. It offers a wide range of services, including medical and HIV prevention services. It offers rapid HIV testing (results for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis take up to a week) and may even offer accurate tests just seven days after exposure to HIV. He encourages all sexually active people to get tested once every three months.
It also offers PEP and PrEP, with a dedicated online PrEP site that includes a quiz to help you determine if you are in a high-risk group and could benefit from PrEP.
California: Strut to San Francisco
Strut is the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s LGBTQ health and wellness center located in the heart of Castro. The San Francisco AIDS Foundation was founded in 1982 – only the second such HIV service agency in the United States – and today has more than 200 employees providing a diverse range of services to tens of thousands of clients.
Given her history, it is not surprising that she has been at the forefront of the fight against HIV. This work continues today, offering sexual health screening and treatment services, HIV testing, PrEP, PEP, substance abuse services, harm reduction supplies, counseling and community events. Among its current priorities, it is also dedicated to creating a comprehensive network of services for people over 50 living with HIV, reflecting the fact that more and more people are living in old age with the virus.
Strut is located at 470 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114.
Massachusetts: Fenway Health in Boston
Fenway Health has a history dating back to 1971 when it was founded as a community health center. Today, it is the largest LGBTQ-associated center in the country: its Ansin Building at 1340 Boylston Street (opened in 2009), has ten floors, 9,300 square meters of space and more than 450 paid staff.
It was one of the first centers in the United States to respond to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, diagnosing the first AIDS patient in New England in 1981. It continues to lead the way in care and HIV prevention, but beyond that, it offers, ‘For people, not-for-profit health services in many communities in Boston.
Texas: Legacy Community Health in Houston
Legacy Community Health Services was formed in 2005 by the merger of the Montrose Clinic and The Assistance Fund. The Montrose was a gay men’s health clinic established in 1978. It grew significantly in response to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.
Today, Legacy Health continues to serve communities facing health disparities. Her wide range of services include sexual health and HIV prevention (she took over the Center for AIDS in Houston in 2012), including testing and access to PrEP.
âPrEP will really help us get HIV under control over the long term, even reaching 90-90-90,â said Dr Vandana Shrikanth, infection control manager at Legacy Community Health. LGBTQ Nation when asked how much of a game-changer she has for the drug
90-90-90 is a target set for all nations by UNAIDS: to have at least 90% of HIV positive people tested, 90% of those who are HIV positive on treatment and 90% of them undetectable. It is believed that achieving this goal will go a long way in reducing the transmission of HIV.
âPrEP will help us because it will minimize new infections,â says Shrikanth.
Legacy Health has several clinics in Houston and neighboring Beaumont, but its Midtown Main clinic (2401 Main St., Houston, TX 77002) focuses on sexual health.
District of Columbia: Whitman-Walker Health in Washington DC
Whitman-Walker Health has a history dating back to 1973 when it was launched as a service primarily serving the health needs of gay men and lesbians. The onset of the AIDS epidemic led him to be one of the first healthcare providers in the DC area to offer testing and treatment for the virus. Since then, he has continued to champion prevention work and health support, treating all patients with âdignity, respect and loveâ.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the Whitman-Walker’s HIV / STI and PrEP testing clinic will be closed until May 29. See its Prepfordc website for more details.
Pennsylvania: Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia
Founded in 1979, the Mazzoni Center is an LGBTQ-focused health center for the citizens of Philadelphia. With the onset of HIV and AIDS in the early 1980s, it incorporated HIV prevention into its basic service delivery, becoming the first site in Philadelphia to offer HIV testing.
It continues to be at the forefront of HIV care and prevention in the city, including providing sexual health testing, PrEP and PEP. It provides assistance to approximately 35,000 service users each year.
You can find the center at 1348 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147.
Georgia: Someone in Atlanta cares
Someone Cares is celebrating its 24th anniversary this year. Founded by Executive Director and CEO Ronnie Bass, it has traditionally focused its resources on reducing HIV in communities of transgender and gay men of color – the two communities with higher incidences of infection. However, over time it has expanded its services and now also offers drug and alcohol treatment, and mental health counseling, among other programs.
It has clinics in Marietta, Georgia, and downtown Atlanta, serving the metro Atlanta area. It offers tests for HIV and STDs and can help service users access PrEP.
Kansas: Kansas Care Health Center in Kansas City
A popular health center dedicated to providing “quality, affordable and integrated health services to all members of the community”, including those in the LGBTQ community. The Kansas City Health Center provides comprehensive sexual health and HIV services. This includes testing for STIs and HIV, access to PEP and PrEP. In addition to helping people stay HIV negative, it offers a wide range of services for people living with HIV, all to achieve viral suppression and live long, healthy lives. This includes group work with peer educators who are themselves living with HIV. It offers service from four locations in Kansas City, as well as community testing.
For more information on more LGBTQ-friendly clinics in the United States, check out this state-by-state list from the CDC.