The Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia is Pennsylvania’s only LGBTQIA-specific health care provider, and I am lucky enough to be a patient in their care. Since 1979, Mazzoni has given our community and those living with HIV/AIDS a safe place to seek life-saving and
affirming medical care. Begun as a tiny all-volunteer clinic, it has developed into a top-rate health and wellness center that has the means to provide medical, mental, and legal care for those in the Trans*, LGB, and other minority communities. Here is a VERY short list of just a few of the amazing programs and services they offer:
- Trans* specific care including:
- Clinical medical services
- PACTS (program for pediatric/adolescent Trans* care)
- Support groups
- MUCH NEEDED training programs for medical professionals
- Counseling + Recovery related to drugs and alcohol, and even couples/family therapy
- An adolescent drop-in medical clinic (age 14-24) with no need for insurance
- HIV/AIDS care including free testing, counseling, and education.
- Legal services directed towards protection for Trans* people and protection against discrimination
They offer a myriad of financial aid services, including a grant that covers Yours Truly: anyone under the age of 25 without insurance has completely free care. I don’t pay a dime. They also partner with Walgreen’s Pharmacy, one of which is physically connected to the clinic and offers incredible discounts on medications. If I fill my Testosterone prescription at that exact pharmacy, it’s only about $50 without insurance. Normally, it’s upwards of $84.
Money aside, what’s most important to me is the medical care I receive every time I step foot in the center. Cis people do not understand the concept of being absolutely TERRIFIED to seek medical attention because of the likely event that they will be turned away or even abused by a medical professional. At Mazzoni, even if the staff and doctors aren’t Trans* themselves, they have the training to help them assist patients of all gender and sexual identities, and to provide the necessary care for each individual body.
This post is intended to be a very basic overview and introduction to the Mazzoni Center. Due to the sheer amount of information and material necessary to discuss Trans* health care, look out for upcoming posts detailing political and social obstacles, my experiences, and more about Mazzoni’s medical practice! If I were to tell you everything that I loved or thought to be important about Mazzoni, you would still be reading this post when New Year’s rolls around. Stay tuned, and please don’t hesitate to reach out through my contact page if you or a loved one have any questions or comments. Also check out Mazzoni on Twitter!