Today, March 26, marks the start of National LGBT Health Awareness Week, organized each year by the National Coalition for LGBT Health. This year’s theme is “Come Out for Health,” and the gayborhood in Philadelphia offers a plethora of health services for the LGBT community.
Take the first important steps to being informed and getting healthy by checking out some of the below free or low-cost services:
Mazzoni Center (21 S. 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215.563.0652)
· STD Screening: The Mazzoni Centers offers free screening for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea on Tuesdays from 1 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m, at their Washington West location. All STD screening is confidential. For more information, click here.
· Rapid HIV Testing: Free Rapid HIV Testing is available Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to midnight, and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Washington West Project at 12th & Locust. No appointment is needed. For more information, click here.
· Trans Care: The Mazzoni Center offers a variety of services to members of Philly’s trans community, including primary medical care, HIV medical care, hormone therapy & monitoring, laser hair removal, and more. The Center also publishes a Transgender Resource Guide, which is available here.
Planned Parenthood (Locust Street Surgical Center, 1144 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA | )
· STD Screening/Prevention: The Locust Street Surgical Center offers STD testing, diagnosis, and treatment, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and more, and prevention services including STD and safer sex education. They also offer HIV Testing. For more information, click here.
· Pap & HPV Tests: Women should get routine screening to help prevent cervical cancer, sometimes caused by a common STD known as the human papilloma virus (HPV). The Locust Street Health Center also offers breast exams, mammogram referrals, vaginal infection testing & treatment, and more. Women’s health services are available on a walk-in basis. Medicaid is accepted and uninsured patients may qualify for a state-funded program or a lower fee scale. Click here for more information.
Take action this week regarding your health. Eat healthier, get outside and exercise, and take advantage of the potentially life-saving screenings and tests offered right in Philly’s gayborhood. For fact sheets regarding LGBT health and more resources, visit the National Coalition for LGBT Health.
[box] Contributor Lauren Z. is a freelance writer and editor based in SouthPhilly. She graduated from Temple University magna cum laude with a degree in Communications. During the day,she’s an SEO Specialist and in her free time she handles marketing and public relations for Phierce Philly. If you would like to share an upcoming LGBT event or tip with Lauren please contact her at [email protected][/box]