AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)
will open its newest Men's Wellness Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday in
partnership with local nonprofit Gay
Men of African Descent (GMAD). The AHF Brooklyn Men's Wellness
Center is located in the GMAD facility at 44 Court St., Suite 1000;
Brooklyn, NY 11201 and is open on Wednesdays from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
Walk-ins are welcome. More information can be found at www.freeSTDcheck.org
or by calling (718) 222-6300.
The Men's Wellness Center is designed to make testing for STD's
accessible, convenient and affordable, as well as to encourage regular
sexual health screenings as part of routine health care for all sexually
active people. Services offered include: free screening and treatment
for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis, and free HIV testing. AHF and
GMAD are also working to offer screenings, vaccinations, and education
on meningitis at the new clinic.
"As a relatively new provider in the New York public health system, AHF
is excited to be partnering with such an established organization as
GMAD to tackle an issue that has impacted New York City, especially the
black gay population," said Michael Camacho, AHF's NYC Regional
Director. "We hope this new opportunity for testing, treatment, and
education will be particularly beneficial for people who are living with
a manageable condition like HIV but are out of care."
According to Vaughn Taylor, Executive Director of GMAD, the group
has been coordinating a partnership with AHF since the opening of AHF's
first Brooklyn facility - an Out of the Closet Thrift Store where sales
fund global HIV/AIDS care and where free HIV testing is available for
walk-ins - in April 2013. Taylor said that previous collaborations have
included work with the New York City Health Department and with local
community health centers, but this is the first comprehensive
partnership where another entity will be housed in and providing
services from GMAD headquarters.
"This is one of the better opportunities to connect community resources
with community needs that is very competent and compassion-driven,"
Taylor said of the new clinic. "I have this fantasy of bringing back
mobile [HIV testing] units and reintroducing the house call to the
community. I've heard about how effective that has been for AHF in
Florida and it's something that I think could happen here."
According to the New
York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, there were 3,481 new
HIV cases in 2010 throughout New York City's five boroughs. There were
also 63,544 new Chlamydia cases, 12,354 Gonorrhea cases, and 955 new
syphilis cases, according to the report.
The department reports that, in Brooklyn, the neighborhoods of
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Williamsburg and Bushwick carried the
highest rates of co-occurrence of STD diagnoses (which included new
cases of hepatitis B and C and tuberculosis in addition to HIV,
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis). The Bedford-Stuyvesant area has
historically had a large black community, and according to the 2009
American Community Survey the area's population was 82% black, making it
the largest African-American community in the United States at that time.
AHF also operates Wellness Centers in California, Florida, Ohio,
Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, as well as in Mexico City. Additional
location information can be found at www.freeSTDcheck.org.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS
healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care
and/or services to 270,000 individuals in 32 countries worldwide in the
US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. For more
information, visit www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @AIDSHealthcare
Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) has been serving the black gay male
community in New York City since 1986, offering a sweeping range of
programs covering sexual and mental health, support groups, treatment
adherence assistance, education and training, and a food pantry. For
more information, visit www.gmad.org,
find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMADNYC
and follow them on Twitter: @GMADNYC
Michael Camacho, +1.646.265.7460 (mobile)
Taylor, +1.718.222.6300 or 708.261.8705 (mobile)
Diener, +1.323.960.4846 or 310.779.4796 (mobile)