The 10th anniversary of the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) Blair Underwood Healthcare Center in D.C. will be celebrated this week.
The center first opened in 2009 at the current location in a medical services building at 2141 K Street, N.W. However, earlier this year, the AHF Underwood Healthcare Center was shifted to a larger office on a different floor. AHF provides medical services to people infected with HIV in 43 countries worldwide, including the U.S.
The D.C. center is named after actor Blair Underwood who has been an outspoken advocate for HIV prevention and services.
“Blair had been working with AHF in various projects to encourage African-American men to get tested for HIV,” Dr. Roxanne Cox-Iyamu, the D.C. center’s medical director told the Washington Blade.
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“He was here with his family. It was a big event. And then once the event was over the work of growing the center began. And we spent quite a bit of time in the community,” said Cox-Iyamu, adding that AHF Underwood Center has been participating in D.C.’s LGBT Pride events every year.
The D.C. AHF center has an onsite pharmacy that provides HIV-related prescription medication to its patients. The pharmacy provides HIV prevention drug PrEP for HIV negative people such as spouses and partners of people with HIV.
Since it started operating on K Street, AHF Center has also opened one satellite Healthcare Center at 1647 Benning Road, N.E. in D.C. and another one at 4302 St. Barnabas Road in Temple Hill, MD., in Prince George’s County, informed Cox-Iyamu.
“We take people regardless of their ability to pay, including those who are uninsured based on intake process that assesses the financial status of patients,” she said, noting that the centers also assign a case manager to each patient to help with applying for and obtaining Medicaid coverage and other insurances for which they might not be eligible.
According to Cox-Iyamu, clients can remain anonymous at the K Street AHF center located in a large medical services building if they’re fearful of being identified as having HIV. They can enter a general medical building that’s not labeled on the outside as an AIDS clinic.
The D.C. centers also offer a referral service for patients to other facilities where HIV patients can avail mental health and substance abuse services.