The AIDS Healthcare Foundation thrift store division, Out of the Closet, presents a fun, stigma-free opportunity to link people to care. Every Out of the Closet thrift store benefits AHF’s life-saving programs around the world because 96 cents of every dollar spent at an OTC goes back to HIV care and services. Those services include HIV and STI testing, treatment, and securing medications for AHF Pharmacy clients.
OTC aims to serve a person’s life, not just a diagnosis. With Out of the Closet’s all-in-one model, people can donate old belongings, thrift for new clothes and furniture at an affordable price, grab free condoms to practice safer sex, receive HIV testing, get a referral for treatment if a reactive result occurs, and get linked to care in fewer than 72 hours.
No other shopping experience allows people to provide for their livelihood and receive care all under one roof. In most OTCs, there is also an AHF Pharmacy attached, which makes getting linked to care a seamless process for clients. There are also AHF Healthcare Centers in select Out of the Closet stores making a friendly atmosphere like a thrift store a great model to offer people direct access to specialty care.
Because AHF Wellness Centers, which perform the free HIV and STI testing at OTCs, welcome walk-ins, having to make an appointment is not a deterrent for shoppers to receive care. People simply walk to the Wellness Center section of the thrift store, register, and wait briefly to be seen by AHF’s expertly trained medical staff.
And while everyone has to run those necessary errands, people love a two-birds-with-one-stone trip. Being able to shop for home goods and clothes at the same time someone picks up their medication is a convenience for OTC shoppers and AHF Pharmacy clients.
A thrift store creates a stigma-free environment for people living with HIV or those who are at risk of acquiring HIV. Even if they visit an Out of the Closet to utilize its testing services or to visit the pharmacy, discretion is maintained when they come and go.
Asha Doucet is Content Marketing Specialist at AHF. For questions, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.