Prism Health North Texas (PHNTX) announces the opening of its Pride Clinic, an after hours STI and HIV testing service that is free and available to anyone.
The Pride Clinic is open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at PHNTX’s Worth Street Health Center at 4004 Worth Street in Dallas. Patients can be tested for HIV and common STIs including syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
According to 2018 data from Dallas County, STI infections were on rise in the metroplex. While new STI infection data has not been released by the County since 2018, PHNTX has seen this upward trend of infection continue, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While it is difficult to give a current rate of STI infection in North Texas, we do continue to observe a greater need for our STI treatment services,” Alexander Ortega, PHNTX Program Manager of Core Prevention said. “We are seeing patients that many times do not know that they have contracted an STI or HIV, which is why it is important to not only test regularly for STIs but to increase how often you are tested when you have multiple partners or are engaging in more sexual activity than usual.”
Once testing is complete, results are reviewed by PHNTX medical providers and patients are offered referrals to any needed services including treatment options, linkage to PrEP and HIV services, and additional general health screenings recommended.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, PHNTX absorbed much of the demand for STI testing in Dallas County, rapidly expanding its telehealth services in early 2020.
“Fortunately, during the pandemic we were able to step up and fill in many gaps in testing availability here in Dallas,” Ortega added. “Now that we have moved into a new phase, we feel that it is important to make testing not only available to the community, but truly accessible so that it is easy and convenient. We look forward to welcoming folks after their work day is over.”
The organization serves over 10,000 patients in North Texas, including more than 5,000 currently receiving HIV care. As typical HIV treatment costs $48,876 annually, prevention, education, and regular testing are essential in maintaining physical, mental, and financial stability.
PHNTX opened services in 1986 during the HIV/AIDS crisis in North Texas, through an initial grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Formed as AIDS Arms Network out of the Communities Foundation of Texas, PHNTX for the past 35 years has connected people living with HIV to care and services in the area. PHNTX evolved to be a nationally recognized leader in delivering high-quality HIV and sexual health services, most recently expanding services to address the alarming rise in sexually transmitted infections in Dallas County and North Texas. Roughly 30% of people living with HIV in North Texas receive medical care and support at one of the four health centers.
All of PHNTX’s services are available to North Texans regardless of insurance or socioeconomic status. Walk-ins are welcome and appointments can be made online.