Gay City Health Project Programs
HIV/STI Testing and Counseling
Gay City Health Project is the leading provider of free, anonymous HIV and STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) testing and counseling for gay, bi and trans men in Seattle, operating in English and Spanish six days a week. Testing available at Gay City includes both rapid and standard HIV testing, HIV RNA testing, and screening for syphilis. We also offer chlamydia and gonorrhea screening, as well as rapid Hep C screening, for those that are eligible. In 2013, we provided more than 3,159 HIV tests, screened 2,962 clients for Syphilis, and 2,702 for other STI’s. Our consistently high case finding rates (positive results) demonstrate that we are effective in reaching a diverse, at-risk population of MSM and connecting them with testing and access to care.
Gay City LGBT Library and Resource Center
The Michael C. Weidemann LGBT Library at Gay City houses nearly 6,000 volumes, covering a wide range of LGBT topics from queer history to transgender studies, from fiction to theology. The collection is available to members of the community, on a free lending basis, afternoons and evenings six days per week. Our library is staffed by a committed team of volunteers who provided more than 2,500 hours of service in 2013. Our library also houses and staffs the Seattle LGBT Resource & Referral Center, which connects thousands of LGBT individuals each year with the information and resources they need. Resources are available both online and on a drop-in basis, including free internet access and trained volunteer support staff.
Gay City Arts
Through Gay City Arts, Gay City collaborates with LGBT artists to galvanize an audience for queer arts, foster the development of LGBT artists, and facilitate artistic excellence that is accessible, including the promotion of new works. The Calamus Auditorium at Gay City, home to Gay City Arts, hosts challenging, dynamic and excellent queer art across a wide range of disciplines, including theater, music, dance, film, spoken word, literary and visual arts. Arts programming is facilitated by a volunteer Curating Council of local queer artists. Gay City Arts concludes its inaugural season on June 1, 2013. Gay City Arts Season Two: Crossing the Line will run from September 2014 - June 2014.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Suppressing HIV in Seattle
Gay City’s Wellness Center opened into 2004 to provide community-based access to free HIV testing and STD screening, and to lead a new era of HIV prevention in our region. Over the past decade, local progress in responding the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been astounding. 92% of people living with HIV in our region are aware that they carry the virus. Of those, 76% are virally suppressed, meaning that they are engaged in treatment sufficient to bring their viral load to undetectable levels, making it nearly impossible for them to transmit the virus to others. These numbers are the best of any city in the U.S.
Gay City has been instrumental in achieving these extraordinary results. For the past decade, Gay City’s Wellness Center has targeted - and reached - those individuals at highest risk for HIV infection: gay, bi and trans men. In fact, since we began testing, the rate of new diagnoses in King County is down 23%, and more than 95% of people diagnosed with HIV are connected to care within 90 days. Gay City’s contribution has been essential in helping Seattle & King County reach this extremely hopeful point in our response to HIV/AIDS.
A Home for Queer Arts in Seattle
Art is the voice, spirit and conscience of every community and is a vital tool for community reflection, dialogue and pride. Gay City is proud to have created The Calamus Auditorium, currently the only space in Seattle specifically dedicated to queer performance art. Further, we have developed the Gay City Arts program to be a means of connecting and resourcing Seattle’s LGBTQ artists. At this point in the development of Gay City Arts, it is critical that we create and fund a part-time arts administrator position, in order to realize the potential that this new arts initiative holds for Seattle’s LGBT communities and overall cultural landscape.