This spring, San Francisco AIDS Foundation will open the doors of a new center for gay and bi men’s health and wellness at 474 Castro Street. Tim Patriarca, executive director of the center, answers our questions about what it will be like to drop into this brand new community wellness space.
What resources will be available at the new location?
When people visit us, they’ll find a lot of the same services and activities the foundation currently offers through Magnet, Stonewall, the DREAAM Project, 50-Plus Network, Bridgemen, and Positive Force. None of those programs are going away — they’re all moving to the new location. You’ll find screening for HIV and other STIs, groups for substance use counseling, and community support groups. We’ll also have the same kinds of community events that we’ve seen at Magnet. The great thing about the new space is that it allows us to expand on all the work we’ve been doing for years. And we’ve got some great new programs coming too.
Tell us what people can expect when they walk through the door. What will happen when someone goes in for the first time?
When someone visits us, they’ll meet our concierge who will link them to the right place. Someone might come in for an HIV or STI test and realize they want to get involved with Bridgemen, a community group that gets together for social events or to do volunteer projects in the city. Or, maybe they’re attending a fun community event, and while they’re here, they pick up more information about drinking and harm reduction. Visitors will find the support and answers they’re looking for regardless of where they started, or what their needs are.
The campaign to promote the new center is called #SeeYourselfHere. What’s that about?
The message is simply that the new center will be a place where gay and bi men can feel welcomed and supported as they manage their health. The See Yourself Here campaign—with all those photos of real people from the community—really brings it home to people that this is going to be their health and wellness center. That it’s a place where they can get support for what they need, free from judgment, shame or stigma.
Check out the #SeeYourselfHere campaign at www.474castro.org. Join the campaign on Instagram.
The best way to fight HIV is to know your status. A simple test can determine if you are infected with the virus.
Our diverse programs help thousands of people every year. From testing to prevention to care, our services assist communities where need is greatest.