Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic Reopens After an Extensive Expansion and Modernization of Its Historic Building

Newly revamped clinic will provide expanded sexual health services, including
state-of-the-art HIV treatment and prevention as well as express testing services

Expansion of services is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Ending the Epidemic (EtE) plan, which aims to end the HIV epidemic by 2020 in New York City

Health Department launches updated “We’ve Got You Covered” social media campaign to advertise the clinic’s new services and reopening

Chelsea Sexual Health  ClinicMarch 15, 2018 — The Health Department today announced the official reopening of the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic, 303 Ninth Avenue, after a multi-year renovation to modernize its historic 1930s building. The revamped Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic will offer expanded sexual health services, including HIV treatment initiation, HIV prevention medication, such as daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and emergency post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and quick start contraception. In addition, the clinic will soon offer a dedicated space for express testing services, in which patients without symptoms can get quickly tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV without seeing a doctor. Patients seeking express testing will currently be processed through the main clinic space. The clinic reopens after extensive renovations that were designed to increase patient capacity and provide a new, welcoming atmosphere for patients. This $26.3 million overhaul — made possible by a partnership with the Department of Design and Construction and designed by Stephen Yablon — ensures that the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic will continue its tradition of providing low- to no-cost sexual health services while also returning as a safe and inviting space for all New Yorkers, including the LGBTQ community. Learn more about the Health Department’s Sexual Health Clinics and services.

“The reopening of the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic is yet another monumental moment in our effort to eliminate the HIV epidemic and revolutionize the conversation about sexual health in our city,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “The newly revamped Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic returns to its role as a safe space for all New Yorkers to receive the judgement-free sexual health services they deserve. I thank Mayor de Blasio and our partners at DDC for their dedication to reopening this historic and vital space. Together with our community partners, this City will lead the country in ensuring every person has the resources they need to live happy and healthy sex lives.”  

“DDC has worked with the Health Department to enhance the delivery of important health services while meeting many of the City’s goals for sustainable and healthy design,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “The new space meets LEED Gold standards for energy efficiency. A new central staircase encourages usage by patrons and staff, promoting active design principles. And accessibility has been improved through a new chairlift and the installation of an additional elevator. We’re very pleased to help provide this beautiful facility to the neighborhood.”

“The rebirth of the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic is a testament to the strong relationship between public health and its advocates; it demonstrates the values that have taken ‘ending the epidemic’ from theory to an ever-accelerating reality,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, Deputy Commissioner for the Health Department’s Division of Disease Control. “This clinic, and all of the other Health Department Sexual Health Clinics across the city, are here to provide cutting edge service in an environment of love, respect, and community responsiveness.”

“It’s been a long 3 years but today we are here to celebrate a new state of the art Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic that will serve hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from all walks of life regardless of immigration, sexual orientation, gender equality or economic status,” said Speaker Corey Johnson. “I want to thank Commissioner Bassett, DOHMH, community members and advocates for their tireless work to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to these vital services and quality healthcare.”

“While the President and Congress are hard at work to undercut the decades of progress we’ve made to revolutionize sexual healthcare in our City, the reopening of the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic reaffirms our City’s commitment to pushing forward,” said City Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Health Committee. “For decades, this clinic has stood as a symbol of our fight against HIV and to increase access to quality care for all—it reopens to continue that incredible tradition as a state-of-the-art facility and as a model for sexual health centers across the country. I applaud Commissioner Bassett and her team for their unrelenting dedication to this mission and I look forward to working with them in the coming years to bring more facilities like this to life.”

The Health Department is also launching a new social media campaign to notify New Yorkers of the resumption of services at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic. The updated “We’ve Got You Covered” campaign will be placed on digital media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Grindr, Scruff, Jack’d, and Gay Ad Network partner sites. The campaign was made possible by the MAC AIDS fund, through the Fund for Public Health in New York City, a nonprofit partner of the Health Department.

"We are thrilled to once again provide comprehensive, affirming sexual health services in the Chelsea neighborhood,” said Dr. Susan Blank, Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of STD Control. “The community's vocal response to the Chelsea Clinic's closure in 2015, and our subsequent collaboration to ensure a timely reopening, is one more example of the power of activism in ending the epidemic of HIV and promoting sexual health."

“The renovation and expansion of the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic brings much-needed sexual health services to the West Side,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio, Health Commissioner Bassett and Speaker Johnson for the collaborative and inclusive effort that helped shape this facility and the innovative services it will offer.”

“The Chelsea Clinic is a critical piece of Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen's healthcare support system," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The city as a whole is dealing with climbing STD infection rates, and Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen are unfortunately hard-hit. Against this backdrop, it's welcome news to have the Chelsea Clinic back online and serving this community in a newly-renovated, first-class facility.”

“Many municipal sexual health clinics often feel like stigmatized places that offer inadequate care, but the design of the new Chelsea facility reinvents this experience by creating an environment that feels welcoming, respectful, and reassuring,” said Andrew Miller, Associate Partner/Director at Stephen Yablon Architecture.

“MAC Cosmetics is excited to continue supporting the Bureau’s work to improve access to critical sexual health services,” said Nancy Mahon, Global Executive Director, MAC AIDS Fund. “The Chelsea clinic will serve as a vital entry point for many individuals in need of early HIV treatment, improving outcomes and helping accelerate the decline in HIV related deaths and transmissions throughout the community and beyond.”

“Sexual Health Clinics serve a vital need for communities across New York City,” said Sara Gardner, Executive Director of the Fund for Public Health in New York City. “The reopening of the Chelsea clinic will offer this community access to high-impact prevention and treatment services.”

“Housing Works is thrilled by the reopening of the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic. Modernized facilities such as this are not just essential to ending AIDS as an epidemic, but are essential to the health and well-being of all New Yorkers. We will continue to advocate for more resources dedicated to positive sexual health,” said Charles King, President and CEO of Housing Works.

“With a known and respected sexual health screening and treatment practice, Callen-Lorde is thrilled to continue to support the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic at its re-opening today,” said Wendy Stark, Executive Director for Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. “We share the philosophy that everybody deserves quality sexual health services that are stigma free and non-judgmental. Further, we are optimistic that DOHMH’s innovative and progressive public health approach to sexual health — to be delivered in this modernized facility – will help further stall the parallel epidemics of HIV and STIs in our city. We thank DOHMH for bringing this necessary clinic back to life for all who need it.”

"The revamping of the City’s Sexual Health Clinics is really a testament to the power of outspoken community advocacy; it is because of activists that we now have the resources we need to meaningfully address STIs via the City Clinics and fight for an end to the HIV and Hepatitis C epidemics in our communities,” said Jeremiah Johnson, Community Engagement Coordinator for Treatment Action Group. “The innovative programs that will be available in the renovated Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic — including rapid access to PrEP, PEP, and HIV treatment — are the direct product of open communication and collaboration between DOHMH and community advocates. Our work now is to continue to support the transformative initiatives being implemented by our public health officials, and pushing back on any financial barriers to the sustainability and expansion of these essential sexual health services."

“We strongly believe that a major component in realizing Mayor de Blasio’s “Ending the Epidemic” plan is the accessibility of vital services such as HIV testing, PrEP, PEP, and quick start contraception, and the linkage of that care to comprehensive primary and behavioral health services to support patients in taking control of their sexual health," said Dr. Freddy Molano, Associate Vice President of Infectious Diseases and LGBTQ Programs. “With this in mind, we felt it our duty to step in and provide care to the patients who would have lost access to these services during the renovation. We congratulate the Department of Health on the opening of their new facility, and look forward to continued partnership as we continue to work toward our mutual goal of eradicating HIV and AIDS.”

“The closing of the Chelsea STD Clinic for renovations brought community activists and DOHMH personnel together,” said Jim Eigo, an activist from ACT UP NY. “Working in accord with the effort to end the HIV epidemic in New York, we sketched out a plan: How could an STD clinic become a one-stop hub for HIV prevention and care, and beyond that, a place for fostering community-wide sexual health? This alliance successfully advocated with elected officials for funding this transformation.”

“We are proud to partner with the New York City Department of Health to ensure that New Yorkers receive the healthcare they need — and in their neighborhood,” said Alliance for Positive Change CEO and founding Executive Director Sharen I. Duke. “Through our partnership, we have been able to provide counseling, HIV and STI testing, and connection to prevention and care so that New Yorkers can feel better, live better, and do better. We are thrilled that the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic has reopened to serve the ongoing needs of the community.”

“We welcome the reopening of the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic as an important development under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Mary T. Bassett and her entire team. We know the reopening will contribute to addressing the HIV/STI epidemic and provide the needed sexual health information and support services in New York City,” said Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS & founder of the Hispanic Health Network.

"Offering JumpstART, PrEP, and PEP at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic will provide a tremendous opportunity for our community to preserve their health. I'm thrilled that the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic is reopening at such a critical time in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic in New York City,” said Terri L. Wilder, MSW, Director of HIV/AIDS Education and Training, Mount Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine.

Chelsea Sexual Health  ClinicThe Health Department will now be offering the following services at the new Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic:

  • Expanded hours. Chelsea clinic will be offering full services Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The clinic will also offer evening hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV testing.
  • Express visits.STIs such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia often have no symptoms and can cause irreversible damage if left untreated. Anyone age 12 or older can now receive screening for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV, even if they have no symptoms.
  • Daily PrEP Initiation and Navigation. PrEP is a daily drug approved to prevent HIV. Offering same-day initiation of PrEP in Sexual Health Clinics reduces many of the barriers patients experience and brings this epidemic-ending intervention closer to people who may not otherwise access PrEP. Eligible patients can initiate PrEP at Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic with navigation to longer term primary care.
  • Full course of Emergency PEP. Chelsea Clinic now offers a full, 28-day course of PEP, making this emergency medication more convenient for patients with possible recent exposure to HIV. The clinics administer the entire regimen, including all of the monitoring and follow-up care, and they can facilitate the transition from emergency PEP to daily PrEP.
  • JumpstART. Through the JumpstART program, patients living with or recently diagnosed with HIV, who are not currently on treatment, can immediately initiate HIV medication on the day of visit with linkage to longer term HIV primary care.
  • Counseling services. All eight Sexual Health Clinics have social workers onsite who can help patients with a variety of issues, including substance use and depression.
  • Quick start contraception. Eligible patients who are at risk of unintended pregnancy can initiate quick start contraception.
  • HPV Vaccination. Chelsea Clinic will also now offer the anal and cervical cancer-preventing HPV vaccine for all patients who are eligible based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The design is intended to emphasize the connection between the building and the park that surrounds it. A new state-of-the-art interior was crafted to maximize exposure to the park, and features curved wood ceilings, porcelain tile floors, green glass mosaic walls and earthen tone floors that resemble textures and colors found in the park. Plumbing and electrical systems were completely upgraded by DDC, and 155 windows and frames were replaced. The building now features a new HVAC system; new fire alarm and intrusion alarm systems; new internal communications; new internal and external energy efficient lighting; new audio/visual equipment; a new emergency generator and fuel tank; and an upgraded fire stairwell.

The Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic expansion in services is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Ending the Epidemic (EtE) plan, which aims to end the HIV epidemic by 2020 in New York City and includes a $23 million annual investment to reduce the number of new HIV infections and ensure a strong STI prevention infrastructure. Since EtE’s launch in 2015, the City has expanded hours of operation at its Sexual Health Clinics, in addition to offering express visits for all patients, even if they have no symptoms. Last year, the Health Department announced that 2,279 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2016, down 8.6 percent from 2015 and representing an all-time time low since HIV reporting began in 2001.

With the reopening of the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic, sexual health services will no longer be offered at the Manhattanville Health Center, which housed a temporary clinic during the renovation of Chelsea Health Center. Residents in the area can still receive services at the Riverside Sexual Health Clinic at 160 West 100th Street.  

Call 311 or visit nyc.gov/health to find your nearest City Sexual Health Clinic.

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