HIV Testing & STI Screening Services
The LGBTQ Center Long Beach is upgrading its database system and training new staff during the last couple weeks of July. Starting August 1st our Health Services Team will begin offering digital forms and follow up care using our new database: Penelope, by Athena.
We appreciate your patients during this transition and look forward to serving you in the very near future. HIV testing services have not been impacted with this change. Additional, LGBTQ affirming and low cost/free STI screening resources are available through a link below.
FREE RAPID HIV TESTING & COUNSELING
Monday – Friday 10:00am-8:30pm
*CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF LOCAL PROVIDERS OFFERING SIMILAR SERVICES
VISIT OUR FAQs FOR MORE INFORMATION
The Center is dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community to increase awareness around HIV & STI testing and reduce stigma around sexual health. Our Health Services team can help you better understand sexual health issues that disproportionately impact our community, by providing affirming and LGBTQ specific education, counseling and additional resources.
We pride ourselves on our fast, easy, and client-centered services. The HIV tests we use are FREE, highly accurate, and completely confidential, with results that come back in as little as 20 minutes. For complete HIV testing services, we ask for you to allow 40 minutes of your time. Whether your reason for getting tested is routine or urgent, we are here to help you consider your health first. Do you know your status? If not, come in and find out. No appointment necessary.
There are now more resources than ever before to help the LGBTQ community maintain their sexual health, specially those disproportionately impacted by HIV & STIs. Screening areas like the throat and rectum for gonorrhea and chlamydia have detected more cases than before. Included one-on-one counseling provide easy ways to tell your partners to get checked. The Center also makes access to free vaccination through collaborations events around meningitis and hepatitis B.
Nearly 8 out of 10 people living with HIV in LA County are gay and bisexual men. Bacterial STIs, like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea which are curable, are particularly common among gay and bisexual men. Syphilis has increased more than 365% since 2001 making it important to stay on top of the latest sexual health information. Make sure you are getting regular testing and treatment, if necessary.
Screening for STIs are now available on a walk-in basis
The Health Services team provides free screening on site. STI related exams as well as screenings by a Nurse Practitioner for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia are available along with rapid HIV test. We strive to make all of our services accessible to LGBTQ individuals without insurance, do not feel comfortable with their own provider and free of charge. STI screening is available for anyone in need. Donations are always welcome.
Having sex with more than one person and if that person is having sex with other people increases your chances of coming into contact with an STI. We recommend getting regular check-ups for HIV and STIs – the CDC recommends getting tested every 4 or 6 months. If you think you have HIV or an STI or find out you had sex with someone who does, get tested and treated right away.
If you find out that you have HIV or an STD, let those individuals know as soon as you can. That way, they can get treated as well, and it helps stop the spread of that STD in our community. STIs have a tendency to spread quickly in small cities, social circles and networks having the potential of coming back full circle.
STDs and HIV-Positive Men
For people living with HIV, STDs can take longer to treat and can be more likely to lead to serious complications. Complications from STDs can also be more severe, and progress more rapidly in people living with HIV. Visit your primary care provider on a regular basis, and ask about routine testing for STDs (including Syphilis) every three months, or else with your periodic exam and blood work. Also, if you get an STD, it’s important to get treated quickly. If you get Syphilis, you will not only need to get treated right away, but you will need to have a follow-up test to ensure you have been cured of your infection.
Know the HIV-STD connection
If you’re HIV-negative and have an STD like Syphilis or Gonorrhea, you are two to five times more likely to become HIV infected if you have unprotected sex with an HIV-positive partner. People who are HIV-positive and have an STD are more likely to transmit HIV to their partner.
If you have more than one partner, get HIV/STD check-ups every 4-6 months. HIV and STDs often cause no symptoms at first, but can cause serious problems later. There are some LGBTQ affirming clinics in the L.A. and Long Beach areas where you can get free or low-cost testing.
The Center’s STI screening program provides quality LGBTQ sexual health services to those who do not have access screening and treatment services anywhere else. Our staff works to address the specific needs of the LGBTQ community. Due to the high volume of clients making appointments to receive our tailored services, appointments may be made for up to a week from the time of scheduling. If you are unable to wait, please reach out to the following organizations that also provide free or low cost STI screening:
Long Beach Department of Health
2525 Grand Ave., Long Beach, CA
Mon- Fri: 7 am-5 pm
APLA Health Long Beach
1043 Elm Ave. Suite 302 Long Beach, CA 90813
Tue-Thu: 8:30am-10:30am and 1:00-3:30pm
Bienestar Human Services (Español)
1464 Cherry Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813
Mon & Fri: 10:00am-7:00pm
Need more than just STI screening services? Click here to search for a clinic near you that could help with more services.
PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV. If you think you’ve recently been exposed to HIV during sex or through sharing needles and works to prepare drugs or if you’ve been sexually assaulted, talk to your health care provider or an emergency room doctor about PEP right away.
If you’re prescribed PEP after a sexual assault, you may qualify for partial or total reimbursement for medicines and clinical care costs through the Office for Victims of Crime, funded by the US Department of Justice (see the contact information for each state).
If you’re prescribed PEP for another reason and you cannot get insurance coverage (Medicaid, Medicare, private, or employer-based), your health care provider can apply for free PEP medicines through the medication assistance programs run by the manufacturers. Online applications can be faxed to the company, or some companies have special phone lines. These can be handled urgently in many cases to avoid a delay in getting medicine.
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is when people at high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected. PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body. It is highly effective for preventing HIV if used as prescribed, but it is much less effective when not taken consistently. Daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by more than 70%. Your risk of getting HIV from sex can be even lower if you combine PrEP with condoms and other prevention methods. Click here to get a CDC brochure on how to speak to your doctor about getting on PrEP.
Looking for PrEP in Long Beach? Here are some location near the Center that can help:
Long Beach Department of Health
2525 Grand Ave. Long Beach, CA 90815
The CARE Program at St. Mary’s Dignity Health
1043 Elm Ave., Long Beach, CA 90813
APLA Health Long Beach
1043 Elm Ave. Suite 302 Long Beach, CA 90813
If you have any questions or for more information about PEP or starting PrEP, please call us at the Center at: (562) 434-4455 or email: email@example.com
We strive to be able to answer as many questions as possible and also know that there may be more questions than what’s listed below. If you have a question that falls outside of the ones listed here, please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the front desk at 562-434-4455.
How long does the rapid HIV test take?
We offer the 4th generation rapid HIV test and result will be available for the counselor to read in about 20 minutes from the time the sample is collected. On any given testing day a person can wait 20 to 45 minutes, depending on how many people are waiting and the counseling session taking place before you. It’s our job to try to make this a quick and easy experience for you and we hope you understand if you have to wait a few minutes more for your results.
Can I take the HIV test anonymously?
No. Since 2006, HIV testing became available as a confidential test only. We do not share any of your information with anyone other than the Los Angeles County Public Health Department and the information shared is to support you access medical care if needed. All information collected at The Center and stored with the health department is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA.
Is STI screening and treatment free of charge?
As part of our grant with the Los Angeles County Department of Health’s Division of HIV and STD Programs (DHSP) we are able to offer free services to individuals who are disproportionately impacted by HIV and STIs. The LGBTQ, uninsured and under-insured communities are a few of those groups that we have committed to support with this program. We offer multi site screening for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia as well as a blood-draw for Syphilis. The cost of testing can range between $125 to $145 per person and treatment can vary widely depending on which STI we are treating. Our program works hard to ensure that we provide free services as much as possible to as many people as possible. Many of you offer donations for using this services and we welcome and thank you for that.
Why were you not able to see me today? It’s a testing day!
STI screening is offered on Tuesday and Thursday for a limited number of clients each day. As part of a limited grant we can see anywhere between 12-20 clients a week, which means we can surpass that easily in one day. If we have reached capacity, we ask that you return on another testing day or access services at another local provider that we collaborate with. We ask that people with access to medical care through insurance or other means use those services first before coming to The Center. Most insurance plans cover the cost of STI screening 1-2 per year and treatment is low cost under most plans.
How often can I be screened for STIs at The Center?
Our program can accommodate routine screening 3 times a year or every 4-months and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends screening for STIs every 3-6 months. If you are experiencing symptoms or you have a partner with a current infection, you may be able to access the screening program sooner after speaking with the nurse. This happens on a case-by-case basis and may require an examination.
How long does it take for an STI screening?
Wait times for the free STI screening program can take anywhere between 30-90 minutes depending the how many people are in the waiting room. Once you are called, the process can be quick with the average time taking 20-30 minutes if you are waiting for your HIV test results. We encourage people to call ahead of time to ensure that we have capacity on that and to plan for the process to take about 2-hours.
How long do I have to wait for results?
Results for STI screening can be available as early as 7-days and can take as long as 2-weeks depending the lab capacity and impact that day. Results are available online via Quest Diagnostics Laboratories web portal Quest Quanum. Reactive results, or result that have infection(s) present, will be discussed over the phone with a testing counselor. Non-Reactive, or results with no infection present, can be accessed online as soon as they are released by the program nurse. To access your results online make sure you provide your email to your counselor and let them know that you would like to receive you results electronically.
Can I make an appointment to be seen for STI screening?
Unfortunately, we do not offer appointments for STI screening at The Center at this time. The only appointments that we currently offer are for people who are seeking treatment or require a follow-up consultation with the nurse. Future options for STI appointments may be available.
Do you offer treatment if I have a reactive STI result?
Yes, we offer treatment for any person who has a reactive STI result through our program. We currently only offer free treatment for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis. Unfortunately, we can not treat infections that have been diagnosed at other clinics or medical offices.