Howard Brown Health Center (Chicago, IL)

Image Source: http://www.howardbrown.org/hb_locations.asp

Howard Brown Health Center was founded in 1974 and is now one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations.  Howard Brown Center is based in Chicago and serves men, women, infants, youth, and children through many health clinics and research centers.  For more information about Howard Brown Health Center’s history, click here.

Mission:

“Howard Brown exists to eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness.”

The Howard Brown Health Center provides many services including:

  • Walk-in Clinic
  • STD & HIV Rapid Testing
  • Transgender Health
  • HIV/STD Prevention & Services
  • Youth services
  • Elder services
  • Community initiatives
  • Alternative Insemination (AI) Program
  • Case Management
  • Counseling & Psychotherapy
  • Domestic Violence Support
  • Workshops & Support Groups

Howard Brown Health Center offers discounted health services to qualifying patients who are uninsured and have low income.  They also accept many insurance plans, in addition to Medicaid and Medicare.

For a list of locations, hours and specific services, click here.

For health related matters, please phone Howard Brown Health Center at 773-288-1600.  For urgent health issues, please call 911.

Connect with them via Facebook or Twitter.

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American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

The American Sexual Health Association, founded in 1914, aims to communicate to the public, patients, press, providers and policy makers by developing and delivering sensitive health information about sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases/infections.

Their mission statement:

“The American Sexual Health Association promotes the sexual health of individuals, families and communities by advocating sound policies and practices and educating the public, professionals and policy makers, in order to foster healthy sexual behaviors and relationships and prevent adverse health outcomes.”

The website provides information about:

You can also get updates from the ASHA Blog and through their Youtube channel.

Can Text Messaging Results Reduce Time to Treatment of Chlamydia Trachomatis? (2009)

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This article, published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infectionsexamines the impact of text messaging as the preferred method of communicating positive Chlamydia trachomatis test results to patients and see if there was a reduction time to treatment.

The researchers found no significant difference in median time to treatment for all patients, which differed from an earlier study which did find reduced median time to treatment after the introduction of text messaging.  However, this study showed that there was not ethnicity disadvantage associated with text messaging and supports the notion that using text messaging is at least as effective as traditional means of communication.

Citation:

Lim, E. J., Haar, J. and Morgan, J. Can text messaging results reduce time to treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis? 2008. Sex Transm Infect. 84:563-564.

Link to “Can Text Messaging Results Reduce Time to Treatment of Chlamydia Trachomatis?” (Subscription only)

P.O.C. Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections Increases Awareness and Short-Term Abstinence in Adolescent Women (2009)

This study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, evaluates the effect of point-of-care (POC) testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on reported awareness of test results and STI risk-reduction behaviors in adolescents.

Point of care (POC) testing is defined as medical testing at the site where patients visited their clinician and had a pelvic exam.  In the usual STI testing scenario, the patient is tested for STI and given presumptive treatment which might be inappropriate and some patients may remain unaware of their actual STI status.  Patients in this study were given POC results within 20 minutes and no one left without receiving her results.  Subjects were also recruited for a follow-up phone call and had to answer questions about sexual activity, condome use, treatment and partner notification.

This research study found that young women with positive POC results were more likely to report their awareness of their STI diagnosis and this awareness also increased risk-reduction behaviors such as abstinence, partner discussion and partner testing.

Link to “P.O.C. Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections Increases Awareness and Short-Term Abstinence in Adolescent Women”

Predictors of Adolescent Participation in STI Research (2008)

The researchers of this study wanted to investigate whether a requirement for parental consent for a STI study had any effect on adolescent enrollment rates for the study.  This is important as institutional requirement of parental consent may bias the sample of adolescents who agree to participate in clinical STI research studies.

Study participants were sexually active females ranging from the ages 14-21 years old who needed a pelvic exam with STI symptoms or risk factors.  Enrolled participants completed a confidential interview and STI testing.  During the interview, each participant was asked whether her parent/guardian was aware of her sexual activity, her STI testing today, and her participation in the research study. During the first 3 months of the study, consent was obtained from the adolescent and parental consent was obtained for those who were under 18 years of age. After the first 3 months the IRB granted a waiver of the requirement for parental consent, allowing subsequent consent from all adolescents aged 14 –21 years.

Previous research studies have shown that parental barriers accounted for a large number of adolescents refusing enrollment in research studies and results from this study supported these previous findings.

The results showed that:

  • Removing the parental consent requirement increases enrollment rates in this population
  • Even when adolescents report parental awareness of sexual behavior, requiring parental consent appears to decrease participation in STI research
  • Regardless of parental consent, 100% of enrollees requested that STI test results be handled confidentially, confirming that privacy and autonomy are important to adolescent women

Citation:

Reed, J.L. and J. S. Huppert. Predictors of Adolescent Participation in Sexually Transmitted Infection Research: Brief Report. 2008. Journal of Adolescent Health. 43:2. 195-197.

 

Link to “Predictors of Adolescent Participation in Sexually Transmitted Infection Research: Brief Report.”