September 29, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

“What R U into?” asks Los Angeles LGBT Center’s new WeHo digs

Lorri L. Jean makes it official and cuts the ribbon,
Lorri L. Jean makes it official and cuts the ribbon. Photo by Arturo Jimenez

Hundreds celebrated the opening of the new Los Angeles LGBT Center in WeHo just weeks after opening a Latino focused center in Boyle Heights.

Located at 8745 Santa Monica Blvd., above the Gym Sportsbar and Coffee Bean theLos Angeles LGBT Center-WeHo offers free HIV testing, STD testing and treatment, HIV prevention medications: PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), vaccinations for hepatitis A/B and HPV, partner notification services, and condoms.

With WeHo the Center now offers 7 locations.

HIV/STD Testing Capacity Triples; PrEP and PEP Services Expanded

Lorri Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center has embarked on an ambitious expansion and says she is now busy raising $80 million dollars to develop a new project adjacent to The Village at Ed Gould Plaza.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center-WeHo is funded in part by the City of West Hollywood, L.A. County Division of HIV and STD Programs, California State Office of AIDS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AIDS/LifeCycle participants and contributions from other Center supporters. Architectural design services were provided pro bono by Center board member Michael Mueller.

“At the new Los Angeles LGBT Center-WeHo, we’re offering the services and support that are essential to protecting the sexual health of our community,” said Jean, “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.”

Interiors of the new WeHo Center
Interiors of the new WeHo Center. Photo by Arturo Jimenez

The ultra modern space was designed by Center board member Michael Mueller and features an outstanding collection of artworks by major artists. The facility is 2,600-square-feet and far larger than the Center’s WeHo based HIV/STD testing and STD treatment unit. The WeHo Center aims to offer 15,000 HIV/STD tests per year with those who test positive for HIV being an immediate high level of care. Those who test positive for STD’s will be treated onsite.

One of the works of art on loan to the WeHo Center from the collection of Michael Mueller. Photo by ARTURO JIMENEZ
One of the works of art on loan to the WeHo Center from the collection of Michael Mueller. Photo by ARTURO JIMENEZ

“If everyone who is HIV-positive could get treatment and reduce their viral load to an undetectable level, HIV could be stopped,” said the Center’s Director of Sexual Health Services, Dustin Kerrone, “but first they have to know they’re positive. 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.”

TheLos Angeles LGBT Center-WeHo will offer clients access to financial assistance programs that help cover treatment costs they are unable to afford.

The Center has launched a marketing campaign they hope will go social. “What R U Into?” is designed to help promote the new Center’s focus on sexual health by featuring people in locations throughout West Hollywood locations displaying their favorite “What R U Into” emoji.

Hundreds attended the debut. Frame right is Henry Scott of WeHoville.com chatting it up with West Hollywood City Councilman John D'Amico
Hundreds attended the debut. Frame right is Henry Scott of WeHoville.com chatting it up with West Hollywood City Councilman John D’Amico. Photo by The Pride

The campaign’s simple message reads: “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.

TheLos Angeles LGBT Center-WeHo hours will be Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to  2:30 p.m. and 4 to 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.

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