Audre Lorde Health Program
You'll find a radical new medical home at the Center’s Audre Lorde Health Program (ALHP). ALHP welcomes all who have identified as women or girls on their journeys, centering those who are lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer. Our medical providers are trained to deliver care that honors the way you hold space in the world, recognizing how your various identities and values impact your health.
Our Clinical Services
About Our Care
Our services are offered for free or at low cost based on your financial need. We accept Medi-Cal, Medicare, most major insurance plans, and some HMOs. If you need health insurance, assistance with applications is available.
Primary Care & Specialty Referral
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 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.
Chronic Disease Management
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 coordinate your care.
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 five days after unprotected sex. There is one option for emergency contraception that is available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. This pill is 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.
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.
Cervical Health and Cancer Screening
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. We can help monitor and treat your cervical health, as well as offer screenings for cervical cancer. For certain patients, particularly those who cannot tolerate a pelvic exam, it may be possible to collect cells from your cervix yourself.
Gender Affirming Hormonal Therapy
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.
Breast and Chest Health
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.
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. The Audre Lorde Health Program team can help you navigate matters of fertility in a judgment-free, queer affirming way.
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 in many medical encounters. For these reasons, some 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.
Access to Our Full-Service Pharmacy
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.
Looking for Patient or Registration Forms?
At some point in your health journey at the Center, your provider or our Call Center may reference patient forms. We’ve made a list—organized by category—and subsequent contact information, just in case you need more help.Click Here
Mental Health Services
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.
What We Offer
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.
We Understand You
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, genderqueer, 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.