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HEALTH SERVICES

TESTING & SCREENING

HIV TESTING

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) does not discriminate. Anyone, regardless of gender, age, race, sex, or sexuality, can become infected.

We believe that everyone should get tested if they are unaware of their HIV status—and keep getting tested regularly. Getting tested for HIV on a routine basis is a simple and powerful way to take control of your health and the well-being of your partner(s).

Getting tested for HIV with Bienestar has many benefits:

  • Fast—results in as little as 1 minute with our rapid finger stick tests
  • Confidential—we make sure your personal information is safe and protected
  • Answers—get all the answers you are looking for about HIV/AIDS, PrEP, safer sex, etc.
  • Empowerment—getting tested means you are taking action for your health & well-being
  • Compassionate—if your test is positive, the HIV counselor will link you to the help you need and provide a non-judgmental space to address your concerns and questions

We provide free, confidential, rapid 1 minute HIV testing at six of our center locations:

HIV Testing hours are:
Monday through Friday, 10:00am – 6:30pm
Walk in, call (866) 590-6411 or CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment.

Who should get tested?

HIV can be transmitted through various means including sexual contact or sharing needles with an HIV-infected individual. If you have been in any risky situations involving blood-to-blood contact with someone whose HIV status you are unsure of, it is highly recommended to get tested.

When you get tested, our HIV counselors can also help answer any questions or concerns you may have.

We also bring mobile testing vans to local bars, clubs, parks and community events to offer free HIV testing as a service to the Greater Los Angeles community. Look for our Bienestar vans and come get tested with us!

For more information about HIV testing or to request a Bienestar mobile testing van for an event, please contact:

Sandra Medina, Manager of Testing Services
Smedina@bienestar.org
(866) 590-6411 ext. 409

HEPATITIS C TESTING

Hepatitis C (Hep C) is an infection of the liver from the Hepatitis C virus. Many people who are infected with Hep C do not experience any symptoms for long periods of time and are unaware of their infection. Over time, Hep C can cause serious health problems like liver disease or liver cancer.

The only way to know your Hep C status is to get tested. With a simple finger stick, you can get your results in as little as 15-20 minutes.

Getting tested for Hep C with Bienestar has many benefits:

  • Fast—results in as little as 15-20 minutes with our rapid finger stick tests
  • Confidential—we make sure your personal information is safe and protected
  • Answers—get all the answers you are looking for about Hep C, treatment, etc.
  • Empowerment—getting tested means you are taking action for your health & well-being
  • Compassionate—if your test is positive, the Hep C counselor will link you to the help you need and provide a non-judgmental space to address your concerns and questions.

We provide free, confidential, rapid Hep C testing at the following center locations:

Call (866) 590-6411 to make an appointment today.

Who should get tested?

Hep C is spread through contact with the blood of a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus. Today, most people become infected through sharing needles, syringes or other equipment often used for injecting drugs. While rare, sexual transmission of Hep C is also possible.

Testing for Hep C is highly recommended for certain individuals, including people who:

  • Have ever injected any drug, even just once
  • Have chronic liver disease, HIV or AIDS
  • Were born between 1945-1965
  • Received donated blood or organs before 1992

If you have been in any risky situations involving blood-to-blood contact with someone that has Hep C or whose Hep C status you are unsure of, it is highly recommended to get tested. When you get tested, our Hep C counselors can also help with any questions or concerns you may have.

For more information about Hepatitis C testing, please contact:

Sandra Medina, Manager of Testing Services
Smedina@bienestar.org
(866) 590-6411 ext. 409

STI TESTING

STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. STIs are common, and many people who have them don’t have any symptoms. STIs can be serious if left untreated.

Getting tested is a simple, easy way to know if you have an STI for sure. If you have had unprotected sex or found out your sexual partner has an STI, it is important to get tested as soon as possible.

Getting tested for STIs with Bienestar has many benefits:

  • Comprehensive—you will get results for many common STIs (Chlamydia, Herpes, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, etc.)
  • Confidential—we make sure your personal information is safe and protected
  • Answers—get all the answers you are looking for about STIs with your counselor
  • Empowerment—getting tested means you are taking action for your health and the health of your sexual partner(s)
  • Compassionate—if your results are positive, your counselor will help connect you to treatment and provide a non-judgmental space to address your concerns and questions.

We provide free, confidential STI screening at the following center location:

Call (866) 590-6411 to schedule an appointment today.

For more information about STI Testing, please contact:
Sandra Medina, Manager of Testing Services
Smedina@bienestar.org
(866) 590-6411 ext. 409

LINKAGE TO CARE

If you are living with HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis C (Hep C) and want to get treated but do not know what to do, who to talk to, or where to go, our Linkage to Care team is here to help you. Our Linkage to Care program is designed to connect people to the type of medical care that is best for them and help guide them through the process of getting treatment.

Our team helps people in all different situations:

  • Those recently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS or Hep C
  • Those who used to receive treatment, but stopped receiving care for any reason
  • Those who have never received treatment for their condition before

When receiving help from our team, you can expect personalized and supportive care throughout your entire time with us. You will be helped along every step of the way in your journey to treatment. Your Bienestar team member will:

  • Help you understand how to easily navigate the medical care system
  • Assist you with transportation and go with you to your appointments
  • Translate and interpret for you in Spanish
  • Set goals with you for your treatment routines
  • Connect you to any other services you may need

Our diverse team is trained to work with all types of people. We are especially skilled at working with LGBTQ+ people. If you identify as LGBTQ+, you can be paired with a Bienestar team member who shares your identity to make your treatment journey comfortable and compassionate.

Through our Linkage to Care program, you will become part of a long-term supportive community. For your optimal health and well-being, you will be able to attend follow-up sessions with your Bienestar team member to address any questions or concerns you have about your treatment. Also, you will be able to attend support groups where you can meet other people with similar health and life experiences as you to learn and support one another.

We work closely with many medical providers across Los Angeles County to make sure you can find medical care that is effective and close to where you live. If you live outside of Los Angeles County, our team can connect you to services closest to your area.

For more information, please contact:

Laura Castillo, MPH, CHES (She/Her/Hers)
Manager, Client Navigation and Linkage to Care
Lcastillo@bienestar.org
(866) 590-6411 ext. 208

MEDICAL TREATMENT

Are you living with HIV and new to medical care? Do you need a new health provider?

At Bienestar, we provide medical treatment and care for anyone living with HIV. By working together with AHF (AIDS Health Foundation), we are able to have a primary care doctor that works with patients every week, providing them with HIV medical treatment.

As a patient with Bienestar, you will be provided with:

  • Care that is culturally sensitive and affirming
  • Compassion for your own needs and concerns
  • Assistance to overcome barriers for treatment

We work with every new patient to help them reach the goal of lowering the amount of HIV in their body enough so that they are unable to transmit HIV to others. This is known as viral suppression and allows those with HIV to live a longer, healthier life.

HIV Medical Treatment Services are available at the following center location:

HIV Medical Treatment Service Hours:
8:00am – 5:00pm Every Friday
To schedule an appointment, please call: (866) 590-6411

For more information about our HIV Medical Services, please contact:

Oscar Gutierrez, LCSW, MPH
Program Manager
Ogutierrez@bienestar.org
(866) 590-6411 ext. 119

We accept Medi-Cal, Medicare, most major insurance plans, and some HMOs. If you are uninsured, we can help you get insurance through Covered California or determine your eligibility for medical and drug assistance programs.

MENTAL HEALTH

Mental health disorders are often some of the most commonly misunderstood conditions in many communities, especially the Latino/a community. When people do not completely understand mental health and disorders, it makes it harder for them to know how to find help if they need it. Mental disorders are very common and many types of treatment are available.

Mental illnesses are serious disorders which affect how you think, how you feel, and how you act. Mental disorders can come from your family health history, having life experiences with trauma, loss of a loved one, a history of substance use or many other factors. Mental health is important at every stage of life from your early childhood to late adulthood.

As a client of Bienestar’s Mental Health Program, you will benefit from:

  • Individual, partner or family therapy sessions
  • A bilingual mental health therapist or counselor
  • 6-12 months of long-term mental health treatment
  • Connections to other health and social support services you may need
  • Opportunities to join support groups with those who have similar experiences to you
  • (Optional) Mental health services focused on helping those living with HIV/AIDS
  • (Optional) Mental health services focused on helping transgender individuals

If you or someone you care about needs support with their mental health, we have different types of programs and services that can help. We offer counseling and therapy from an excellently trained staff that are compassionate, knowledgeable and professional.

Our Mental Health programs and services are currently offered at the following center locations:

Please call (866) 590-6411 to schedule an appointment today.

For more information about our Mental Health programs and services, please contact:

Jorge Diaz, MSW
Jdiaz@bienestar.org
(866) 590-6411 ext. 301

SUBSTANCE USE

Substance use refers to anytime someone consumes or uses alcohol or drugs. Using alcohol or drugs is not always negative, but for some people, the use of alcohol and drugs can become harmful for them or those around them. This is known as substance abuse. If the behavior of substance abuse is not treated, it can lead to more serious disorders like addiction or dependence on alcohol or drugs. These types of behaviors can have serious consequences on important parts of that person’s life such as their physical or mental health, their work, relationships and family.

As part of Bienestar’s Substance Use Program, you will benefit from services that are:

  • Individualized—your treatment program will be personalized to you and your goals
  • Integrated—combined services for your mental, medical and psychological health
  • Culturally Competent—bilingual counselors and therapists from the community
  • Long-Term—6-12 months of mental health and substance use treatment

Bienestar offers various substance use programs and services to help improve people’s quality of life by working closely with clients to improve behavior and psychological well-being. If you or someone you care about needs support in overcoming addiction or a substance use disorder, we can help.

Our Substance Use programs and services are currently offered at the following center locations:

Please call (866) 590-6411 to schedule an appointment today.

Stages of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is when you start to use alcohol or drugs so much that it leads to harmful consequences for you or others around you. If you ignore these warning signs and continue to abuse substances, you may become dependent on alcohol or drugs.

Dependence is a stage when you feel the need to use alcohol or drugs in order to make it through the day. The consequences of drug use will have increased and you will also be less willing to give it up.

Addiction is when you are now both mentally and physically dependent on the substance. It will take more of the drug/alcohol to experience the effects of it and you may have serious withdrawal symptoms if you were to stop using the substance.

Our clinicians are trained in many aspects of providing evidence-based interventions, related not only to health outcomes, but also factors such as the impact of culture, relationships and other psychological issues. The goals of our mental health and substance abuse services are to educate clients on creating a healthy “well-being,” identify the presenting problem(s) and embark on a personal journey of healing, forgiveness and growth.

For more information on our Substance Use programs or services, please contact:

Jorge Diaz, MSW
Jdiaz@bienestar.org
(866) 590-6411 ext. 301

SYRINGE EXCHANGE

Injection drug use and its associated harms are part of one of the worst drug epidemics in our society today. There is a lot of stigma and lack of understanding for people who inject drugs, who are homeless and/or who are people of color. Our Syringe Exchange Program is designed to provide harm reduction services to these communities across Los Angeles County to help improve the quality of life and address the stigma of these communities.

By providing clean syringes and supplies, conducting overdose prevention trainings and interacting with injection drug users, we are helping to:

  • Reduce the number of HIV and Hep C infections in Los Angeles County
  • Decrease the number of people who inject drugs who die from an overdose
  • Get rid of the stigma surrounding people who inject drugs
  • Give these communities the tools they need to take control of their own health

We offer syringe exchange services at both center-based and street-based sites. Our Syringe Exchange staff are trained in the principles of harm reduction and provide a compassionate and open space for individuals to feel welcome and free of judgment.

Our confidential and comprehensive syringe exchange services are currently available at the following center location:

EAST LOS ANGELES

Syringe Exchange Program Hours:

10:00am – 2:00pm
4:00pm - 7:00pm
Monday through Friday
Walk in or call for more info today: (866) 590-6411 ext. 139.

Our Syringe Exchange Program offers these services to you:

  • HIV & Hepatitis C testing and linkage to medical treatment
  • Mental Health and Substance Use Counseling
  • Abscess and Wound Care services
  • Naloxone Kits and Overdose Prevention Training
  • Fentanyl information & test strips
  • Other services and information that you may need

Street-Based Outreach Sites

Our Syringe Exchange services are currently available two days of the week across three different sites (see schedule below). A mobile van allows the Bienestar Syringe Exchange team to travel to street locations and clinics to meet clients and deliver these important services.

Schedule of Street-Based Syringe Exchange Sites:

Monday 10:00am – 12:00pm
Coastal Recovery Center
117 E Harry Bridges Blvd
Wilmington, CA 90744

Monday 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Highland Park
6740 N. Marmion Way
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Wednesday 4:00pm – 6:00pm
El Pueblo de Los Angeles
527 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Thursday 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Lincoln Heights
2762 Alhambra Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90031

For more information about this schedule, please call us at: (866) 590-6411

Harm Reduction and Syringe Exchange Programs

Harm reduction is a set of ideas and strategies that are aimed at decreasing the negative consequences from drug use. Harm Reduction is about helping improve the health and well-being of all people without judging their behavior to use drugs or engage in other harmful actions. It is also realizing that everyone has different circumstances and experiences in life, and for some people, their individual life journey has led them to a path that involves drugs. We help people by giving them control of their life and moving them toward any positive change, no matter how small.

Syringe Exchange Programs (SEPs) are one of the most common Harm Reduction tools used today. These programs were created by public health experts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and other drug-related issues.

At SEPs, injection drug users can receive new, clean syringes and safely get rid of dirty, used syringes. They are also able to find education and materials that promote safer ways of using drugs. In addition, SEPs are able to connect participants to important health services such as:

  • HIV and Hep C testing and treatment
  • STI screening and treatment
  • Substance abuse counseling and therapy
  • Drug detoxification and treatment services
  • Various other medical and health services

According to a United States Surgeon General study, SEPs are a highly effective public health intervention that reduces the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis. Findings also show that SEPs do not increase the use of drugs, drug-related crimes or increase the number of dirty syringes in communities.

As with any harm reduction program, the primary goal of SEPs is to meet people where they are and support them as they make positive changes in their lives.

For more information about our Syringe Exchange Program, please contact:

Hugo Aguilar, Syringe Exchange Program Coordinator
haguilar@bienestar.org
(866) 590-6411 ext. 139

To Access Any of our locations, call us at (866) 590-6411 or email info@bienestar.org

East Los Angeles

5326 E. Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90022

El Monte/AHF Clinic

3131 Santa Anita Ave., Ste. 109
El Monte, CA 91733

Hollywood

4955 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Long Beach

1464 Cherry Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90813

Pomona

180 E. Mission Blvd.
Pomona, CA 91766

San Fernando Valley

8134 Van Nuys Blvd., Ste. 200
Panorama City, CA 91402

South Los Angeles

130 W. Manchester Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90003