Audre Lorde Health Program

Clinical Services

Our care providers are trained to deliver care in a way that honors the way that you hold space in the world, recognizing how your various identities and values impact your health. Programs and services include:

Even healthy people benefit by having a strong relationship with a primary care provider. Together, you and your primary care provider establish your road to wellness by identifying your short and long term health goals. Additionally, a primary care provider can perform address routine preventative care needs, discuss health issues that may arise unexpectedly, and place specialty referrals when necessary. A well-adult visit includes a complete medical, family and social history; blood pressure and vital sign assessment; physical exam; counseling on healthy behaviors and habits; addressing specific concerns; vaccines; indicated labs and referrals.

Whether you are living with HIV, Asthma or diabetes, the medical team at ALHP can help you be the healthiest version of you possible. In certain situations, a health care issue requires a specialist’s intervention. When this happens, your primary care provider will make a referral. Our team of nurses and providers will be sure to obtain copies of the records from your specialists appointments and help coordinate your care.

People who menstruate generally start having cycles in early adolescence, between ages 10 and 13, and will continue having monthly periods until menopause, which generally happens around age 51. There are many factors that can affect menstrual health including hormones, stress and nutrition. For some people, periods can be a source of stress because of cramping, excessive bleeding, and mood changes. For other people, periods may be irregular and come every couple of months or not at all. Your health care provider can help you track your cycles and identify issues that may be affecting your cycle.

If periods are distressing, it may be possible to start a medication to help suppress your monthly bleed. If you have any questions or concerns about periods, talk to your ALHP health provider.

For many people, the journey through perimenopause and menopause can feel especially lonely. During this period, the body can experience many physical, emotional and sexual changes. These can include worsening depression, dramatic shifts in temperature and pain or discomfort with sex. These changes are often not discussed in popular culture nor, often, in medical encounters. For these reasons, many people are surprised and overwhelmed when their bodies start to feel different. At ALHP, we are ready to hear your experience and discuss options that are available to help balance your physical and emotional self.

There are many methods of hormonal contraception (or birth control) that can be used to prevent pregnancy and regulate menstruation. Some of these options are taken daily and others are longer acting and require no regular maintenance. Identifying the right contraceptive method for you is an important process. Your ALHP health provider will work with you to identify factors to identify your contraceptive needs and factors that may make method the right choice for you.

Depending on your health history and individual needs, your health care provider may suggest the birth control pill; the contraceptive ring, patch or injection; the arm implant or intrauterine device (IUD). If you have more questions about hormonal contraception, make an appointment to speak with your ALHP health provider.

There are also options to prevent pregnancy after sex if you did not use contraception or the condom broke. Emergency contraception is available for up to 5 days after unprotected sex. There is one option for emergency contraception that is available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. This pill most effective if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex and may be less effective in people whose body mass index is above 25. If you think you may need emergency contraception or want more information about the option that is right for you, call for an appointment with an ALHP provider as soon as possible at 323-993-7500.

Sexual health is an important aspect of your wellness journey. Sexual relationships can be a source of comfort, connection, and pleasure. For some people, the relationship to sex and sexuality can also be more complicated. Depending on the culture in which a person was raised and their past sexual experiences, sex can provoke anxiety and unease. Sometimes sex can even be painful. People in the queer community may have experienced rejection and shame regarding their bodies and sexual selves which can affect their relationships with others and themselves.

Your ALHP health providers are trained to support you in your journey toward sexual wellness. We will listen without judgment and do our best to help you connect with your sexuality in a way that feels both affirming and safe. This also includes counseling about HIV prevention and testing and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections.

Deciding when and how to become a parent can be both an exciting and daunting experience. LGBTQ-identified individuals often face increased financial and emotional stress when starting the journey towards pregnancy and parenthood. Even in the even the absence of fertility issues, many queer couples and individuals are forced to involve medical professionals in order conceive. This process can be extremely expensive and invasive.

To help members of the LGBTQ community in their journeys toward parenthood, the Center is introducing a new alternative insemination program (importantly, we don’t use the word “artificial” when describing this procedure because there is nothing artificial about our families and how we choose to form them). Potential participants must register for an informational session delivered once a month by a medical provider. In this session, participants will have a safe space to ask questions regarding the path to parenthood through insemination. Specifically, the session will cover menstrual cycle and ovulation tracking, sperm options, the insemination process, and legal and psychosocial considerations. If, after the session, participants want to continue in the program they will schedule their first medical visit at our clinic.

For more information on these sessions or about our fertility services, e-mail alhp@lalgbtcenter.org.

If you are feeling depressed, anxious, or stressed, or if you’re dealing with issues that feel beyond your control, you’ve got a warm, welcoming place to turn for counseling—at rates you can afford.

The Center offers individual, couples, family, and group therapy, as well as psychiatric care. We operate one of the few programs to assist LGBTQ people involved in domestic and intimate partner abuse and violence. Our programs to combat substance abuse include a renowned outpatient program for those who want to stop or reduce substance use.

Our counselors and therapists are highly qualified in many aspects of mental, emotional, and psychological issues facing members of the LGBTQ community. Our counselors are highly skilled in cultural competency surrounding individuals identifying as LGBTQ, gender non-conforming, gender queer, gender fluid, and anyone who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community. Our goal is to meet you where you are in your life and help you flourish.

Some of the issues for which people seek treatment include:

• Depression
• Anxiety
• Relationships
• HIV
• Substance use
• Domestic violence

To begin care, you need to have financial screening. We will determine your fee and gather some information about why you are seeking services to help determine how to best help you. You can also reach us directly Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 323-993-7500 ext. 5 to help determine how we can better assist you.

Treatment is provided on a sliding scale fee and costs are at reduced rates to our clients who are paying for services by determining a 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% or 100% sliding scale fee (based on your income and household size). We also accept Medi-Cal, Medicare, and many insurance plans and can bill many third-party payers. If you have questions regarding if your insurance covers our services please call your insurance plan directly and speak to a member services representative who can assist you.

Pharmacy services include:
  • Private consultations with staff members who can answer your questions about medications, especially HIV-drug regimens and side effects
  • Free, confidential delivery in California (some restrictions apply)
  • Prescription refill assistance program
  • On-site assistance in English, Spanish, Russian, and Thai
If you’re a client of our health center, pharmacy staff will work closely with your physician, nurse, nutritionist, case manager, and/or mental health provider to help you achieve your health care goals. We accept ADAP, Medi-Cal and most private insurance plans. Our staff is experienced with HIV and secondary billing and can update you on new and changing reimbursement programs. If prescriptions are needed for travel or business, please contact the pharmacy a minimum of 5 business days prior to your travel date for further information. Feel good about filling your prescription at the Center knowing that by doing so, you’re helping to support the Center’s many services for those with limited incomes. Lost or stolen meds may be limited or not covered at all by insurance plans, or require a police report. Please contact your insurance for further information. For any further questions or concerns, please contact the pharmacy at 323-993-7513.

Breast/chest cancer occurs when cells in this area of the body start to grow out of control. It is the second most common type of cancer in women and people with chest tissue. Cisgender and transgender men who have undergone top surgery can still develop chest cancer, but it is much less common.

There are many factors that affect a person’s risk of developing breast cancer including family history and genetics, smoking and alcohol use, age of first menses and first pregnancy. Though white women and Black women have similar rates of being diagnosed with breast cancer, Black women die at a much higher rate from the disease. There are likely many factors that contribute to this disparity including institutional racism that affects prevention efforts in communities of color and the ability of Black women to access early treatment.

In order to prevent breast cancer, medical professionals recommend a diet low in saturated fat and high in fiber, avoiding alcohol and tobacco. Additionally, routine mammograms are recommended, depending on your age and risk factors, beginning between ages 40 and 45. Talk to your ALHP health provider about your personal risk factors for breast/chest cancer and how you can best ensure the health of your chest/breasts.

We respect and honor the gender diversity of our clients. Gender affirming hormonal therapy is a service offered to clients whose current bodies do not match their internal gender identifications. Our providers will work with you to identify how best to proceed in your gender affirming journey. This can include starting masculinizing or feminizing hormones, meeting with a mental health professional, or seeking a referral for surgery.

The cervix is a part of the anatomy that connects the front genital part/vagina to the uterus. It protects the uterus from bacterial infections, produces a discharge that varies throughout the month and helps people identify where they are in their monthly cycle. The cervix can become inflamed if it comes in contact with foreign bacteria or viruses. If an individual becomes infected with gonorrhea or Chlamydia, a person can develop a condition called cervicitis which requires treatment with antibiotics

Cervical cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is transmitted by sexual contact with other people carrying the virus. HPV can cause changes in the cells of the cervix that can eventually lead to cancer. However, our immune systems can often clear the virus on our own. Additionally, we now have a vaccine that protects against 70% of the strains of HPV that cause cancer so rates of cervical cancer are decreasing. Even in people who are vaccinated, cervical changes caused by HPV are still possible. Health care providers start screening for these changes at the age of 21, regardless of whether a person has started sexual activity or has received the HPV vaccine.

Cervical cancer screenings include two options depending on a person’s age: cervical cytology, sometimes called a Pap smear, and HPV screening. We don’t usually check for HPV in people under 25 because we want to give individuals in this age group the chance to clear the virus on their own. Both methods of cervical cancer screening usually involve a pelvic exam by a trained health care provider. This exam can cause people anxiety, so it is important to speak with your clinician about any concerns you may have. Your ALHP health provider will talk to you about the exam in depth before you make the decision to have the screening done.

For certain patients, particularly those who cannot tolerate a pelvic exam, it may be possible to collect cells from your cervix yourself. Talk to your ALHP health provider to see if this is the right option for you.

In order to see the cervix, a health care provider inserts a speculum into the front genital part/vagina. Once the speculum reaches the end of the canal, the provider opens the speculum and looks for the cervix. This can be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful.  After examining the cervix visually, the provider will insert a tool that helps collect cells from the cervical face. There is no cutting of the cervix. The provider will brush the tool against the cervix several times and then places the tool into a vial with a special liquid. This vial is then sent to a lab for analysis. The process usually takes only a few minutes.

Your primary care provider is your partner in health. Throughout the entire exam, you have autonomy or control over your own body. If the thought of this exam induces anxiety, talk to your provider. Sometimes there are medications that can be given in advance. Other times, alternatives to the speculum exam can be offered. If during the speculum exam you feel pain or discomfort, tell your health care provider. They can and will stop the exam at any time. Your comfort and safety are our first priority.

At the lab, the cervical cells are examined under a microscope. Depending on your age, and the results of your Pap smear or HPV test, your health care provider might recommend repeating the test at in a sooner timeframe than if the test had been normal. Or, your provider might recommend, doing an additional procedure called a colposcopy.

In a colposcopy, the provider inserts a speculum into the front genital part/vagina and again visualizes the cervix. This time, they apply different solutions to the cervix. After a few minutes, your provider will use a powerful microscope to see if there are any abnormalities and areas that need to be evaluated sooner. Depending on what they see, the provider may decide to send a biopsy.