In response to the skyrocketing statistics of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Dallas County, Prism Health North Texas (PHNTX) announces the opening of Oak Lawn Center, a brand new clinic that will support the sexual health needs of the local surrounding community in Dallas.
Conveniently located on Lemmon Avenue with easy access to US-75, Oak Lawn Center will provide personalized sexual wellness care that is welcoming, affirming, private and affordable. Services from other Prism Health North Texas locations will be provided at Oak Lawn Center including PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) health care and STI testing and treatment as well as behavioral health support for patients if requested. In addition to services, Prism Health North Texas staff supports every patient with their sexual health needs and a few of the staff members have relocated from other locations to the new center.
Re-imagined with patients in mind, the one-of-a-kind space is modern with an industrial design offering free Wi-Fi, industrial café seating for a more relaxed vibe, multiple spots for resting before and after appointments and computers for patient use if needed. The new location boasts doctor’s visits in and out in less time than an average lunch break and complimentary covered parking and underground parking.
“The Oak Lawn Center was designed with patients’ needs in mind, namely privacy and efficiency,” said Dr. John Carlo, CEO of Prism Health North Texas. “Because PrEP visits must be made more frequently, we want the center to be as patient-friendly and time-efficient as possible.”
Unique to Dallas, Oak Lawn Center offers PrEP services beyond just prescribing a daily pill to prevent the spread of HIV. PrEP has been shown to be up to 99% effective at preventing the contraction of HIV.
Dallas County remains one of 48 counties in the U.S. for the highest rates of new HIV infections and leads the nation for the highest rate of increase from 2016 to 2017 for new Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections, 49.5% and 46.7% respectively. Having an STI is a risk factor for acquiring HIV, which is why PrEP and regular STI testing are key to reducing the number of new infections.
“We realized there’s an especially high rate of HIV among men who have sex with men in Oak Lawn,” said Dr. Deborah Morris-Harris, CMO of Prism Health North Texas. “Young black men who have sex with men are particularly at risk: their incidence rate of HIV is 47.2 per 100,000. STI data also revealed that the area is particularly high-risk.”
Prism Health North Texas aims to take sexual health out of the closet by removing the stigma and embarrassment of taking care of one’s sexual health and promoting the benefits of good sexual health. In preparation for the Oak Lawn Center opening, a 400-person poll of Dallas/Fort Worth residents was conducted by Prism Health North Texas and concluded that key themes were the anxiety experienced around getting tested and the stigma around personal sexual choices. To help empower people and encourage them to get tested and take preventative measures, Prism Health North Texas launched the “PrEP’d - Because My Sex Life Is A Big D!” campaign, showcasing a diverse set of individuals being fully themselves, empowered, confident and aware of the importance of taking care of their sexual health.
Earlier this year, Prism Health North Texas joined forces with Uptown Physicians Group to continue the high level of medical care currently being delivered to patients and to further expand access to primary and specialty care for those living with HIV, at risk for HIV or needing high-quality primary care. Together, both organizations focus on prevention, health education and access to necessary care while building a strong foundation to create health community centers focused on LGBTQ patients in North Texas.
The newly opened Oak Lawn Center provides the support and resources patients need for optimal health outcomes. No patient is turned away due to lack of insurance or being underinsured, and financial assistance is available for patients that qualify. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and offers late hours every first and third Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
For more information about PrEP services and Oak Lawn Center, please visit www.DallasPrEP.com. For more information about Prism Health North Texas, please visit www.PrismHealthNTX.com.