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Free STD/HIV Testing at Lakeview Specialty Clinic in Chicago

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DeDe Deylnn

Queer Lesbian Writer and Overall Fantastic Person

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Recently I went down the wonderful journey of getting tested.....and trying to find place I could afford! This was no easy feat considering most places start their sliding scale rates at $30 and being unemployed doesn't make this small fee easy.

So, via a quick google search I stumbled upon Lakeview Specialty Clinic. This place is amazing! It's free, run by the state, with the benefit that you can come in five days a week for anonymous STD/HIV testing and check-ups including early evenings. Like anyone, I was nervous before going in as all the fearful pictures played out in my mind. It can get tense when dealing with life threatening issues! Let me say, at LSC I didn't feel tense, frightened, nervous or like I was going to go running out the doors panicked. They have the best system I have ever seen period.

Upon entering ( get there early folks! ) you get a clip board to check in. I never had to ask, "What's next?", because there was not only a large hand written sign, but on the last page of the clip board I easily found more information about the next steps. As you are checking in, one of the videos starts to play informing the waiting room audience about various STDs with images as well. Not the kind that you might have seen in high school to scare you from having sex but a really informative perspective on Sexually Transmitted Diseases. After the video finishes they have a very knowledgeable person speak in more detail about STDs, including preventative measures, while answering any and all questions you may have. This method works so well and works to keep the flow of the testing procedure going quickly. While you are being called in for blood work or an examination the expert continues talking showing additional videos that are realistic with a bit of humor to lighten things up. This doesn't feel like a lecture but more like a conversation; a dialogue. For one gentleman, it was his second time at LSC and he came back specifically to listen to the expert talk about STDs and preventive techniques because well, it's a lot of information but they do it so well.

At LSC they see clients on a first come first serve basis, so there is a a bit of a wait, but the information is provided in a continuous stream filling any the gaps of inpatients. Expect to be there for at least two hours. The earlier you show up (get there at least twenty minutes before they open ) the faster you are seen and out of there. 

Sensitive about needles and doctors? No worries. At LSC they are calm and nurturing even if you fall apart. Which I did. I cried like a sleepy three year old child who's been up all night....twice. And then proceeded to quickly wipe my tears away before getting back to the waiting room so no one would know I was crying! Hell, my eyes were red. They knew. But the doctors, they were wonderful and humor was easily found as a method of calming me down. 

I'd like to also mention they give Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccination at LSC...for free! There currently is no vaccination for Hepatitis C and trust me, you want to protect your self against this. It's resistant and quite a beast. Hepatitis in all forms affects and can destroy your liver which is responsible for cleaning out toxins from the body. Now, imagine if they can't get out of your body and just nest instead. Not cool. I'm currently enrolled in the three step process of my vaccination against Hep A and B and I'm grateful that I was able to get it free. 

To my surprise, they also provide medication for most STDs and give referrals if needed to see specialty doctors. Ladies they also do a quick pap test for abnormalities in yeast down there and give medicine to get you back on track.

Hey, I'm 29 and I feel like I learned more about STDs then I ever knew thanks to LSC! Like, did you know that there are several STDs that are curable? I sure didn't know! My ill knowledge might have a bit to do with my catholic school upbringing but it probably has more to do with our society and it's conservative nature when talking about sex and it's risk factors. But it should be talked about. Especially LGBT health and safe sex practices.

Keep a look out for my Queer Women's STD/HIV prevention article soon. But for now, I just wanted to tell you how fantastic Lakeview Specialty Clinic is. Go ahead. Check it out for yourself. Get tested and keep yourself safe by checking with your partners as well. If nothing else, do it for yourself.

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1 Comment

Chicago STD said:

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If you are worried that you may have an STD, it may be tough to go through it alone. Having a clinic available that specializes in STD testing can really help.

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