By Mercedes Deutscher, Contributor
This past August, the Health Initiative for Men (HIM), a gay men’s health clinic chain, opened a new location in New Westminster. This clinic is the third to be opened in the Lower Mainland by HIM, and the first to be opened outside of Vancouver.
HIM clinics advertise a focus on four areas of men’s health: physical, sexual, social, and mental. The physical aspect includes the provision of fitness classes, dietary information, and resources to quit smoking. The mental aspect provides information regarding mental instabilities as well as free counselling services. Social is where HIM strives to improve the lives of men through events, building confidence, and providing information to improve the relationships in their lives. However, HIM’s largest focus is on sexual health. HIM provides a large variety of STI testing, including rapid and early HIV testing. Condoms and lubricants are of course provided free of charge.
As a clinic specializing in the health of gay and bisexual men, HIM provides counselling services for cases dealing with homophobia and heterosexism.
The addition of the latest clinic follows a year of increased HIV reports, especially in gay and bisexual men. Fraser Health medical health officer Michelle Murti stated in a press release about the opening, “We are pleased with the support received for this clinic so far, and hope it makes getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections easier and more convenient for gay and bisexual men.”
The New Westminster clinic is open every Monday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Services can be accessed through appointment or walk-in, and more information can be found at checkhimout.ca