For the 5.5 percent of Portlanders who identify as LGBT, accessing adequate healthcare isn’t always easy. In addition to the standard struggles of scheduling appointments and battling insurance companies, research shows that these populations can face discrimination by health care providers, and often receive inappropriate or inferior care—despite being at higher risk for medical issues from mental illness to sexually transmitted diseases.
Cascade AIDS Project is taking steps to address these disparities. The state’s largest HIV and AIDS service organization, CAP has announced plans to open a primary medical care clinic focused on LGBTQ individuals. “Patients do not have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender to receive care at this new clinic once opened,” explains CAP executive director Tyler TerMeer. “However, our services will focus on addressing the sensitive issues of sexual minorities and their families and friends.”
In addition to primary care services, which can address everything from minor injuries to the flu, the clinic is expected to offer mental health care, HIV and STD testing, integrated pharmacy services, and specialized services for the transgender community. The 8,500-square-foot facility is expected to open in 2017 on 2236 SE Belmont Street.