To mark the fifth annual LGBT Health Awareness Week, organized by the D.C.-based National Coalition for LGBT Health, the Whitman-Walker Clinic is holding an open-house event Friday, March 16. The health week, which began March 11, ends March 17.
Kim Mills, director of communications and public affairs for the clinic, says the event is open to anyone wishing to meet the clinic's health providers or tour the clinic's Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center. The open house, she says, is also an opportunity for people considering the clinic as a primary-care location to learn more about what's available.
''For people who don't have regular doctors, or who are unhappy with who they're seeing, we do provide primary care,'' says Mills, adding that a list of accepted insurance plans is listed on the clinic's Web site.
''We have a battery of tests that your general practitioner can probably not give you,'' Mills says, highlighting how the clinic can provide sexually active gay men with services they may not readily find elsewhere, such as instant syphilis testing, anal Pap smears and HPV testing.
''Every six to nine months, you should be getting the oil checked,'' Mills advises playfully.
Though the clinic is well equipped to treat the health needs of gay men -- considering the clinic is an outgrowth of its 1973 beginning as the Gay Men's VD Clinic -- Mills says the clinic's current range of health providers are knowledgeable in all aspects of GLBT health.
The open-house event, scheduled to run from 6 to 8 p.m. with no formal format, follows LGBT Health Week events from years past when the clinic has held health-related community forums. According to Rebecca Fox, director of the National Coalition for LGBT Health, the clinic's open house is the only local event scheduled to mark the health week.