KAKAAKO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two of Hawaii's key players in the fight against the spread of HIV have teamed up to launch a first-of-its-kind clinic in Honolulu.
The clinic, called the Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center, is located inside the Gold Bond building on Ala Moana Boulevard.
The clinic is the result of a partnership between Life Foundation, the state's largest AIDS service organization, and a prominent outreach and needle exchange program known as the CHOW Project.
"We see anybody," said Dr. Christina Wang, of the clinic. "It's free for those who don't have insurance."
Traditionally, many clients associated with these organizations are homeless.
The clinic will serve as one-stop shop providing an alternative to the hospital for urgent care.
But help doesn't stop there.
"A lot of times our folks don't get preventative healthcare so we're bringing that here," Wang said.
That includes diabetes and cholesterol testing as well as pap smears for women.
Another focus is preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. There are close to 3,200 people living with the virus statewide.
"We're in a really good position right now to end the AIDS epidemic," said PrEP and STD Program Coordinator Jefferson Remo. "If people are tested as soon as possible we can get them on life saving treatment. We can fast track them to the medication."
The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Clients can make an appointment or just walk in.