Center-WeHo opens its doors and launches new, sex-positive campaign known as “What R U Into?”
The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s newest facility, simply known as the Center-WeHo, opened its doors today.
It offers free HIV testing, STD testing and treatment, HIV prevention medications: PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prohylaxis), vaccinations for hepatitis A/B and HPV, partner notification services, and condoms. Soon, Pap smears will also be available.
I attended a jam-packed ribbon cutting ceremony for the 2,600-square-foot facility last night attended by much of the West Hollywood City Council and took a tour of the facility and was very impressed – very.
It’s much larger than the previous STD clinic in West Hollywood (The SPOT) and clinic staff will now be able to provide up to 15,000 HIV/STD tests a year—that’s triple the capacity they could’ve provided at The SPOT. Clients also have greater access to PrEP and PEP.
Center-Weho is located above Gym Sportsbar and Coffee Bean at 8745 Santa Monica Boulevard in the spot where the restaurant-bar Numbers was once located as well as, briefly, the bar The Office.
Center CEO Lorri L. Jean says of the new facility: ‘We’re offering the services and support that are essential to protecting the sexual health of our community and we’re providing them in a welcoming, sex-positive environment where everyone will feel comfortable talking to our providers and counselors about their risk factors, their interest in going on PrEP, STD symptoms they may be experiencing, and more.’
Dustin Kerrone, the Center’s Director of Sexual Health Services, points out that f everyone who is HIV-positive could get treatment and reduce their viral load to an undetectable level, HIV could be stopped.
‘But first they have to know they’re positive,’ Kerrone says. ‘Today, one out of seven people who are HIV-positive don’t know it. By increasing our testing capacity, by offering fast and convenient testing in a sex-positive environment, and by making it easy to obtain PrEP and PEP, we hope to help slow the spread of HIV in L.A. where 83% of those living with HIV are gay or bisexual men.’
To promote the Center-WeHo, a new, sex-positive campaign known as What R U Into? has been launched.
It features a diverse range of men in various West Hollywood locations, pictured with the wide-range of emojis they use on smart phone apps to convey what they’re ‘into.’ The campaign’s simple message is this: ‘Whatever you’re into, caring for your sexual health is our priority at the new Los Angeles LGBT Center-WeHo.’
The campaign will run in print, online, mobile and outdoor media supported by the website whatRUinto.org.
Center-WeHo’s hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 4 – 7 p.m. Testing services are available on a walk-in basis or appointments can be made by calling 323-860-5855. Additional information is available at lalgbtcenter.org/WeHo.