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Honoring LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week

This week is LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week, where we raise awareness of the unique and important health needs of LGBTQ+ communities and increase education around the issues impacting these groups. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the LGBTQ+ community faces multiple disparities when it comes to employment, relationships, insurance coverage, medical care, and more. On average, they are less likely to be able to afford health care than their straight and non-transgender counterparts.

This week, we will highlight two organizations that help the LGBTQ+ community with a variety of services and resources. The first being the USF Health Ybor Youth Clinic (YYC). The YYC is the only clinic in Hillsborough County that provides targeted health care and risk reduction to youth, aged 13-24. The YYC provides a safe and non-judgmental environment for HIV/STI testing and receiving treatment.

The services the YYC provides are the following:

  • Free HIV and STI testing

  • HIV and STI Treatment

  • Prevention Services, including PrEP and PEP

  • Access to Youth Research Trials

  • On Site Navigation for Linkage to Community Agencies

  • Substance Abuse Treatment Resources

  • Counseling and Mental Health Resources

The second organization we will highlight is Metro Inclusive Health. Metro Inclusive Health is an organization that “provides health and wellness services that are inclusive, relevant, supportive, and represent the lifetime continuum of the diverse people in our community”. Metro Inclusive Health provides comprehensive medical and social services to best assist the community, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or economic status. In addition, Metro Inclusive Health incorporated a gender affirming healthcare approach, which gives non-judgmental health care to all genders and sexual orientations, provides group, family and individual counseling, and can provide letters of recommendation for hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Also, Metro Inclusive Health provides youth peer support events and socials where anyone between the ages of 13-17 can come and connect with others.

Some of the services Metro Inclusive Health provides are the following:

  • HIV services

  • Social activities and classes

  • Support Groups

  • Counseling

  • Health and Wellness Programs

  • Psychiatric medication management

This weekend is the 2022 Tampa Pride Festival, where there will be vendors, artisan and crafts shows, a community health fair, food alley and more. This is a weekend to celebrate and embrace the LGBTQ+ community.

Join us on Saturday, March 26th for the street festival in Ybor City starting at 10:45 a.m.! Stop by the Teen Connect Tampa Bay and Ybor Youth Clinic table where we’ll be sharing giveaways, youth resources, trivia, and more!

Written by: Alexandra Dent, Teen Connect Youth Advisory Board Intern



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