APLA Health has been serving the South Los Angeles community since 2002, when we opened an NOLP food pantry to address a critical lack of food and nutrition services for those living with HIV/AIDS. Working in partnership with the Oasis Clinic at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, we added a dental clinic and expanded NOLP in 2009.
Now we are honored to be working with Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to bring comprehensive medical, dental, behavioral health and sexual health services to more people in our community in South Los Angeles.
Our new 10,000 square foot APLA Health-Willowbrook Health Center, opening in 2021, will serve historically Black and Latinx neighborhoods – communities that face discrimination and are disproportionately impacted by HIV. Caring for people who have been marginalized, stigmatized, and silenced is something APLA Health knows a lot about. Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting communities of color the hardest and exposing the harsh contrasts in health care access that exist in this country, our new Willowbrook Health Center is needed more than ever.
Substance abuse can increase the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. How?
People who use substances, particularly people who use meth, are more likely to engage in sexual risk behaviors, including HIV transmission risk behavior. In addition, people who used stimulants such as meth were less likely to be virally suppressed than people who did not report stimulant use.
By supporting AIDS Walk Los Angeles, you’ll be helping many people receive services with APLA Health’s substance harm reduction programs, including with our counseling services and Party Wise, a program aimed at reducing the risk of HIV transmission and the social isolation caused by crystal meth. Party Wise consists of risk-reduction health navigation sessions and community events with gay men who use methamphetamine.
Supporting AIDS Walk Los Angeles helps APLA Health reach more Angelenos who may need mental health services, regardless of income, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or HIV status.
APLA Health has always been ambitious. In 1983, AIDS Project Los Angeles (now APLA Health) was founded to help stop AIDS in Los Angeles County. Our early mission was to educate our community with factual, up-to-date information about AIDS. We launched one of the nation’s first AIDS hotlines, initially housed in an old closet with all that we knew about AIDS — a single page of facts and resources on a clipboard.
For nearly 4 decades, we have maintained and worked to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Los Angeles County, the second largest in the United States! There are still significant disparities in healthcare, though, that APLA Health is working to eliminate. We are located in the areas where people need us and can get to us without a car, and we continue to provide factual resources and culturally competent care for our community. From a small closet to more than 20 sites throughout LA County, we remain committed to our community now more than ever.