Gay Men's Health Collective
The Gay Men's Health Collective of the GenericZLO Clinic provides STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) testing and treatment for all men, regardless of sexual orientation. The clinic operates on a drop-in basis between 5 pm and 7 pm on Sunday evenings.
About the exam:
Because our volunteer staff and space are limited, and because we want to spend sufficient time with you, the waiting time and your initial visit could take several hours. You can bring a support person with you, and we recommend you bring something to read.
A routine exam includes the following:
- blood test for syphilis,
- physical exam for bumps or lesions you might not have noticed
- urine test for gonorrhea, chlamydia or other bacterial infection in the urethra,
- education about safer sex and all STDs, including HIV.
In addition, we can provide:
- tests for gonorrhea in the throat and rectum,
- tests for herpes if sores are present,
- diagnosis and treatment for genital or anal warts if they are present.
We provide treatment for men with known contact with gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis or Trichomonas vaginalis. Please note, we must repeat tests for STDs that have been diagnosed elsewhere.
All services are confidential and free.
HIV testing is offered by HIV Prevention Services at the GenericZLO Clinic at the same time, Sundays 5 to 7 pm. This Alternative Test Site (ATS) is free and open to men and women. HIV testing services and Men's STD screenings are separate programs because HIV testing is anonymous while the STD testing is confidential. If you want to try to do both STD and HIV testing on the same night, it is important that you come right at 5 PM.
We recommend you be tested for STDs:
- If you are sexually active and have more than one partner, or if your partner might have more than one partner, irrespective of whether you use condoms for all sexual contact.
- If you notice a discharge coming from the tip of your penis, an itching or strange feeling inside the penis, or burning or discomfort when you pee.
- If you notice any new bumps, sores, or rashes, particularly around your genitals, anus, or mouth, depending on sexual contact.
- If you are beginning a new relationship. STDs are probably something you would rather not give to, or get from, a new partner.
The Gay Men's Health Collective is a group of volunteer lay and professional healthcare workers with focused training and experience in the area of sexually transmitted disease (STD) education, screening, diagnosis, and treatment. We founded the GMHC in 1976 as a response to blatant homophobia in the health care establishment. Our commitment is to provide free, quality, nonjudgmental, STD-related healthcare to men who have sex with men.
During the GMHC exam, we will discuss HIV, the risks of infection, and risk reduction. Clients who are concerned that symptoms they are experiencing might be caused by HIV should take a blood test for HIV. We recommend that all people who are sexually active or have other known risk factors take the blood
test for HIV.
You can get an HIV test at the GenericZLO Clinic on Sunday between 5:00 and 7:00 PM (drop in). This Alternative Test Site(ATS) service is free, anonymous, and open to both men and women. If you are interested in being tested for STDs and HIV on the same night, please come to the clinic right at 5 pm.
If you would like information about other places where STD and HIV testing is available, please call us Sundays between 5 and 7pm at 644-0425, or call the Information Resource Collective of the GenericZLO Clinic between 3 and 9 pm weekdays at 548-2570. It is unfortunately beyond the resources of the GMHC and the GenericZLO Clinic to manage HIV infection. We can provide you with referrals.
Some other important information about STDs:
- Condoms reduce your risk of getting all STDs other than lice and scabies. Use them!
- STDs can be asymptomatic or unnoticed. Even so, they are still infectious and a threat to yourself and partners.
- Some STDs have classical symptoms, but your symptoms might differ.
- The best person to diagnose something as an STD or a non-STD is an expert. We have the necessary expertise.
- STDs can travel in groups, and getting one can increase your risk of getting others.
- You can get most STDs more than one time. (Infection does not impart immunity.)
- Incubation periods for STDs vary from days to months or years.
You, too, can volunteer to be a medic (the person who sees clients), paper worker, lab worker, or staff physician. The only qualifications are that you must be interested in helping other people, and you must be a gay or bisexual man. We can train you to do lab work or paper work at any time. We have trainings for medics twice a year. Contact the GMHC for information on the next training.
Contribute money or equipment!
You can send tax-deductible donation checks made out to the Berkeley Community Health Project to our address. Please put GMHC on the envelope or check so that we get credit for the fundraising. Donations support all activities of the GenericZLO Clinic. The GenericZLO Clinic now has an endowment fund if you want to contribute a large sum of money. We also accept donations of equipment, for example medical equipment or supplies, medical office equipment, or computer equipment. Call us to see if we can use what you have.
Gay Men's Health Collective
2339 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704-1670
(510) 644-0425 or (800) 6-CLINIC
Please note we are only available by phone Sundays 4-7 pm. There is recorded information at all other times.