STD infographic for Orange County residents.

As a primary location for free STD testing in the Irvine LGBTQ+ community, Radiant Health Centers understands the importance of STD education and prevention. The prevalence of STDs is often underestimated, but a CDC report indicates that 1 in 5 Americans have a sexually transmitted infection.

Important Facts About STDs

Keep reading for the important facts about STDs, and consider sharing our infographic across social media.

What Are the Types of STDs?

There are many types of STDs and they each have a range of symptoms. If you believe you have an infection, you can get free testing at our health center along with counseling for the LGBTQ+ community and other services.

Since there are many types of STDs, we are going to discuss the most common ones and their symptoms – bacterial, viral and parasitic.

Bacterial STDs

The most common bacterial STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. While all three could have minimal or no symptoms, chlamydia and gonorrhea often result in discharge and burning. The symptoms of syphilis include sores and fever that worsen if left untreated. For men, gonorrhea can include testicular pain, while for women, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a complication that could result from chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Viral STDs

Viral STDs include HIV, herpes, HPV and hepatitis. HIV affects the immune system, causing fever, headaches and flu-like symptoms, although signs of HIV can take years to appear. Genital herpes symptoms range from no symptoms at all to sores, blisters and itching. HPV may show no visible signs, or could lead to soft tissue growths around the genitals. For hepatitis, look out for dark urine, nausea and abdominal pain.

Parasitic STDs

The common parasitic STDs are trichomoniasis and pubic lice. This type of STD is caused by parasites passing between individuals during sexual contact. Trichomoniasis leads to burning and discharge, while also leading to pregnancy complications for women. Pubic lice spread during sexual activity and lead to constant itching around the genitals.

If you have a blog or social media account, you can share this information with your readers by posting our infographic (using the embed code below).

3 Misconceptions About STDs

  1. You can tell when someone has an STD – In fact, many STDs have no visible symptoms.
  2. You can’t get an STD from oral sex – Any sexual contact can lead to the passing of bacteria and viruses that cause STDs.
  3. You can’t get an STD again after treatment – In reality, you can get the same STD again after treatment.

How Can STDs Be Prevented?

Condoms offer a high degree of protection against many STDs. However, condoms won’t provide 100% protection, and exposed skin-to-skin contact could result in common STDs like HPV. Regular STD testing and open discussions with new sexual partners also reduce the risk of contracting an STD. Radiant Health Centers provides free STD testing along with family planning and birth control services.

STD infographic for Orange County residents

Help Yourself and Others Get Informed About STDs

Radiant Health Centers assists communities in Irvine, Santa Ana and across Orange County with information and testing for STDs. You can help spread awareness of STDs by sharing our infographic across all social media platforms. For free HIV and STD testing, call (949) 809-5700 or request an appointment online.

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The Radiant Health Centers Annual Report, 2020–2021

Radiant Health Centers is focused on providing compassionate healthcare to the LGBTQ+ community of Orange County. As part of that mission, we release our annual report each year to celebrate the achievements of both the organization and those we serve. 2020 was a challenging year, yet we were still able to assist and educate thousands through creative outreach and online services. You can check out the full report here, but here are some of the highlights.

Serving the LGBTQ+ Community With Medical and Mental Healthcare

Throughout the year we were able to assist over 2,700 people with either medical or mental healthcare. Our compassionate medical care includes both testing and treatment for HIV, STDs and other sexual healthcare needs. Radiant’s mental health counseling includes assessment, treatment, both group and individual therapy, family and couples therapy, as well as children’s therapy based on age.

Lifesaving Sexual Health Education

Despite the global pandemic, our volunteers and creative team members were able to educate more than 6,000 people in the past year. This education includes how to know your HIV status, how to avoid HIV transmission, compassionate care, health equity in the LGBTQ+ community and much more.

2020’s Impact on AIDS Walk Orange County and the Annual Gala

This year we had to host our main fundraisers virtually for the first time. The first virtual AIDS Walk OC was a great success. Despite the lack of an in-person walk, we were still able to raise over $95,000!

In a somewhat ironic twist, our annual gala – which was themed “Back to the Future” – used the technology of Zoom and livestreaming this year in place of an in-person event. By the end of the night, the Gala was able to raise over $180,000 earmarked to provide medical and mental healthcare for the Orange County LGBTQ+ community.

Get a Detailed Annual Report From Radiant Health Centers

To see the specific numbers and further details, please download the 2020 annual report. If you have any questions or would like any further information, please call (949) 809-5700 or learn more about how to get involved today.

COVID-19 and the HIV community in Irvine.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ HIV Community

Following latest research, the World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending that people living with HIV be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines. In the global fight to stem infections, members of the Irvine LGBTQ+ community undergoing HIV treatment are advised that the benefits of vaccination radically outweigh any slim risks.

As research into COVID-19 is published, there have been clearer signs of the risks for the HIV community. Significant statistics include that 23.1% of people living with HIV who were admitted to the hospital with Covid-19 eventually died. People living with HIV also had a 30% greater chance of developing severe or fatal symptoms.

How the LGBTQ+ Community Can Reduce the Threat of COVID-19

To address the concerns of many people living with HIV, the CDC has published guidance for maintaining good health while undergoing HIV treatment. Among the most important steps is getting fully vaccinated as soon as possible. A weakened immune system could, however, make people with HIV more vulnerable even after vaccination.

Therefore, mask wearing, social distancing and good hygiene should still play a vital role. As always, maintaining good health through diet, sleep and HIV medicine are key to a strong immune system.

Additional Factors Affect Health Risks for the HIV Community

While people living with HIV may feel disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, other factors are at play.Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine and University of Michigan – working with limited data – found that factors like old age, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and other comorbidities were more significant factors in the hospitalization of those living with HIV.

Nonetheless, the pandemic has put serious strain on many within the LGBTQ+ community. Economic uncertainty, mental health struggles and social isolation are familiar issues for many, and the pandemic has only exacerbated these issues. Thankfully, events like the upcoming AIDS Walk Orange County offers the opportunity for individuals and sponsors to support the much-needed services offered at Radiant Health Centers.

How the LGBTQ+ HIV Community Can Make Use of Local Resources

Radiant Health Centers continues to support the LGBTQ+ HIV community, with staff and volunteers dedicated to providing support and care. People living with HIV are encouraged to make use of the many medical and social services available. These services include free HIV testing, counseling, treatment for HIV, STDs, STIs and Hepatitis C, sexual health services and HIV awareness. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many people hard, but the Orange County LGBTQ+ HIV community has continued to show resilience and togetherness throughout.

Health and Social Services Care for the LGBTQ+ Community

At Radiant Health Centers, we serve the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in Irvine, Santa Ana and all of Orange County with care and compassion. Our trained staff provides HIV and STD testing, HIV prevention treatment, family planning, social services and mental health counseling. If you would like to make an appointment, call us at (949) 809-5700.

Our Culture - Radiant Health Centers

Six years ago, Radiant Health Centers’ (then AIDS Services Foundation) received a grant from the CDC to provide HIV testing and education to priority populations in high-risk communities to advance efforts to end the HIV epidemic. The outcome was to create a High-impact HIV prevention program and position it in an area that showed the greatest need.

RADAR Satellite Services Transferred to Irvine Location

A satellite office in the city of Santa Ana was secured and staffed through this grant funding which allowed us to create a strong community presence in Santa Ana-the city with the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses per 100,100 population in 2020.  The satellite office was branded RADAR in an effort to attract individuals who were at high risk of contracting HIV and in need of testing and education who may not have felt comfortable seeking care from an AIDS agency.

In June 2021, the CDC funding for this satellite location ended and we seamlessly transferred the valuable education and outreach efforts to the Radiant Health Centers site in Irvine. We are fortunate to maintain one of the original outreach team members to lead this continued effort and we remain committed to providing outreach, education, testing, treatment, care navigation and overall LGBTQ+ healthcare equity to those most in need in Orange County.

Get LGBTQ+ Medical Services & Support at Irvine Location

Learn more about the medical and support services offered at Radiant Health Centers now or by calling (949) 809-5700.

AIDS Walk Orange County Celebrates 35th Anniversary

MEDIA ALERT

AIDS WALK ORANGE COUNTY CELEBRATES 35TH ANNIVERSARY, SOLIDIFYING ITS NAME AS ONE OF THE OLDEST AIDS WALKS IN THE U.S.

Largest LGBTQ+ Healthcare Provider in Orange County to Host Family Friendly Walk in September

WHAT: Radiant Health Centers (RHC), the largest LGBTQ+ healthcare provider in Orange County, will host its 35th annual AIDS Walk Orange County on September 18, 2021 in Irvine, Calif. The annual event, which falls during the 40th year since the first five cases of AIDS were reported, will include a family friendly walk in the Bill Barber park, entertainment, and much more. Key speakers include the Mayor of Irvine Farrah N. Khan, Mr. Gay Pride OC 16/17’ and Phillip Yeager, Radiant Health Centers CEO.

The event will also feature a cutest dog and best themed AIDS Walk t-shirt contests, a fun zone with obstacle course challenges, food trucks and more.

Registration is $25 and includes a free AIDS Walk Orange County t-shirt. Those interested supporting LGBTQ+ medical and support services can also make donations by visiting https://www.radianthealthcenters.org/events/awoc.

Sponsors include: ADP, Shopoff Realty, Gilead Sciences, Avita Pharmacy, Kaiser Permanente, and Room&Board.

WHEN: Saturday, September 18, 2021

Walk starts – 9 a.m.

WHERE: Bill Barber Memorial Park 4 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, Calif. 92606

Media RSVP requested

WHY: Radiant Health Centers (previously the AIDS Services Foundation) is an Irvine-based nonprofit that has been working to bring compassionate care to Orange County’s LGBTQ+ community for nearly three decades. The AIDS Walk Orange County is one of the oldest AIDS Walks in the U.S., making its 35th anniversary celebration a historic event. The funds raised at this annual event make an immediate impact in the lives of LGBTQ+ community members in the county living with HIV/AIDS. The event has raised more than $3 million in the past eight years and hopes to continue its fundraising to raise awareness and provide care for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

The nonprofit cares for and supports those living with HIV and the broader LGBTQ+ community regardless of their HIV status through various medical services and support programs. From case management, mental health services, counseling and medical care, Radiant Health Centers continues to expand its care to ensure Orange County community members have access to services vital to their well-being and health.

INTERVIEWS/VISUALS:

  • Interviews with community members and clients of Radiant Health Centers including, Gay Pride OC 16/17’ and Daniel G. Garza, Radiant Health Centers Board Member and Client
  • Interviews with Radiant Health Centers CEO, Phillip Yaeger
  • Strong visuals of Orange County community members participating in the annual AIDS WALK OC
  • Great visuals of community figures supporting Radiant Health Centers

MEDIA CONTACT:

April Conn
aprilalaneconn@gmail.com
(951) 201-7981

AIDS Walk Orange County Is Back and In-Person for 2021

AIDS Walk Orange County Is Back and In-Person for 2021

After a successful virtual AIDS Walk OC in 2020, we are excited to be able to get together in person once again for this year’s AIDS Walk Orange County. Come join us on September 18, 2021 and walk with a group of fantastic people that will all be raising funds for AIDS awareness and the support of those affected by AIDS.

Come Take a Walk in the Park and Support AIDS Walk Orange County

The 2021 AIDS Walk Orange County will be held at the Bill Barber Memorial Park, located in Irvine, and will begin at 9:00 a.m. This is not a race – and everyone is encouraged to participate. AIDS Walk Orange County provides a perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the work being done to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how you can become involved. You’ll also get to meet the Radiant Health Centers team and learn how we help support the LBGTQ+ community – and those affected by HIV and AIDS.

AIDS Walk Orange County 2021 is Fun for Everyone

AIDS Walk Orange County is an important fundraising event that includes a “fun walk” around Bill Barber Memorial Park, live entertainment, games and much more! So bring your whole family, friends, club members, neighbors and anyone else that wants to celebrate life and help raise funds for AIDS awareness and supportive services in Orange County.

Where Do AIDS Walk Orange County 2021 Donations Go?

Your registration fee and donations go to help Radiant Health Centers and other AIDS Service Organizations here in Orange County. These organizations focus on AIDS awareness, provide specialty care to those that have been impacted by HIV or AIDS, and bring quality medical and mental health services to the LGBTQ+ community in Orange County.

Get Registered for AIDS Walk Orange County 2021

Get registered now for AIDS Walk Orange County 2021! The registration fee is $25 and includes a 35th AIDS Walk Orange County t-shirt. You can participate as an individual or create a team with friends, family, a company team – or any group of 2 or more people. There is no fundraising minimum to participate in the walk. If you are not available to join us on September 18th you can still make a difference by donating to Radiant Health Centers.

Shop Radiant Health Centers Online Pride Store and Support the Orange County LGBTQ+ Community

Join Us in Celebrating Pride Month by Shopping Our Pride Store Online

To help our supporters celebrate Pride month, Radiant Health Centers is offering Pride items for sale in our online store. Those visiting the store will find t-shirts, totes and stickers with our Pride logo available for purchase and delivery. Show your support along with others in our community by shopping our online Pride store.

The History of Pride Month

Pride Month was created in the United States to commemorate the Stonewall Riots that happened in June 1969. The riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the gay community in response to a police raid that began the morning of June 28, 1969. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes.

The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world, and in 2015 the Stonewall Inn was declared a historic landmark by the City of New York and later named a national monument by President Obama in 2016. During the month of June, Pride events are held to recognize the impact LGBTQ+ people have had in the world.

Fun Fact About the Pride Flag

Fun Fact: Created by artist Gilbert Baker in 1978, the rainbow flag is widely known as the symbol of Pride and provides a bold visual representation of the movement.

Come See Us and Celebrate Pride Social-Distance Style

The COVID pandemic halted most festivals in 2020, and this year we find ourselves cautiously easing back to in-person events aligned with COVID protocols and virtual events to keep the spirit of Pride alive.

In partnership with Orange County Pride, Radiant Health Centers will be participating in two events this year.

  1. Pride Farmers Market in Downtown Anaheim on Thursday, June 24th from 11am–3pm. Visit this Facebook event to learn more.
  2. Sponsoring OC Pride Movie Night, watch Hedwig & The Angry Inch at the Frida Cinema on Friday, June 25th at 8pm. To get your tickets and for more information click here.

Ready to Show Your Pride? You Can Start Shopping Now

Now is the time to head on over to Radiant Health Center’s online store and add your favorite Pride swag to your cart. Even if you’re not ready to buy today, you can browse our Pride merchandise for when you are.

Compassion Council Member Benefits

Radiant Health Centers has an exciting new way for donors to support our mission – the Compassion Council. This giving program offers members both monthly and one-time giving options, and comes with a host of benefits that recognizes their commitment and deepens their engagement with our community.

What Is the Purpose of the Compassion Council?

Compassion Council members are dedicated individuals whose philanthropy helps Radiant Health Centers provide compassionate care for all. They exemplify our mission by underwriting care for our clients living with HIV as well as the expansion of medical, mental health, and social services for the entire LGBTQ+ community in Orange County.

Support from Compassion Council members means Radiant Health Centers can bring our full scope of services to the most vulnerable people in our community. Starting at just $100 a month, members can guarantee the critical, life-sustaining programs we provide to our clients.

What Are the Benefits of Joining the Compassion Council?

Compassion Council is set up with seven levels of support with corresponding benefits. The levels are fittingly named after the colors of the rainbow – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet – and reflect the pride that supporters have in the LGBTQ+ Community.

The funds received through the Compassion Council help the LGBTQ+ community and people living with or affected by HIV in several ways.

Some examples of the impact of their support include the following:

  • Red members with a $1,200 yearly/$100 monthly commitment provide food for one client and their family for a year.
  • Orange members with a $2,500 yearly/$209 monthly commitment cover the cost of a client’s medication for a year.
  • Yellow members with a $5,000 yearly/$417 monthly commitment provide 50 round-trips to client medical appointments.
  • Green members with a $10,000 yearly/$834 monthly commitment provide 400 clients with HIV, STI and Hep C testing.
  • Blue members with a $25,000 yearly/$2,084 monthly commitment provide 33 clients with mental health counseling for a year.
  • Indigo members with a $50,000 yearly/$4,167 monthly commitment provide 40 families with housing assistance for a year.
  • Violet members with a $100,000 yearly/$8,334 monthly commitment help expand mental health services for Spanish speaking clients for a year.

In addition to supporting vital programs and helping thousands in our community, all Compassion Council members enjoy the following benefits and recognition:

  • Name recognition on our donor wall in the clinic lobby and in the Annual Report
  • Invitations to Radiant Health Centers donor mixers and events
  • Tickets to our annual donor recognition reception

And, depending on their giving level, Compassion Council members receive these additional benefits:

  • VIP registration access to AIDS Walk Orange County
  • An in-person discussion with the Chair of the Client Advisory Committee
  • A personal tour of Radiant Health Centers with a senior staff member
  • Naming opportunities
  • Lunch with the CEO and Board President

The Compassion Council Makes a Difference for the LGBTQ+ Community

Compassion Council members truly make a difference in the lives of so many. They help us bring the comprehensive services to our community that make Radiant Health Centers so unique – and necessary – in Orange County. Together, we can achieve our vision of Zero New Transmissions, Zero Deaths from HIV and AIDS, and Zero Stigma. Plus, we can continue to expand our medical and social services to the entire LGBTQ+ community.

For full details on the Compassion Council and to sign up, learn more here or contact Joe Alfano, Director of Individual Giving, by emailing or calling him directly at (949) 809-5772.

The Voice April 2021 Issue – Radiant Health Centers

We Are Dedicated to Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Orange County

Radiant Health Centers’ April issue of The Voice highlights the strong values we put on diversity, equity, and inclusion. These are more than just words at Radiant Health Centers, they encompass both our history and our vision for the future. You can read it now – just click here to download.

The Voice April 2021 Issue – Radiant Health CentersTap Into Our Trans Awareness Project

In this issue, we share examples of our commitment to celebrate and serve Orange County’s diverse communities. You’ll learn about our Trans Awareness Project (TAP) which serves as a Trans advisory committee for Radiant Health Centers and the WIN Micro-Grant focused on women’s health.

Create+Equity for Individuals With HIV

Radiant Health Centers is also proud to announce its membership in the Create+Equity Collaborative, a national equity improvement initiative to mitigate barriers associated with the social determinants of health that are experienced by people with HIV. This 18-month collaborative focuses on improving the viral suppression of patients experiencing unstable housing, substance use, mental health issues, and barriers associated with their age – areas where Radiant Health Centers has a long history of care.

COVID-19 Impacted the LGBTQ+ Community – And Our Supporters Stepped Up

This issue also highlights the impact that the past year has had on our clients and services. Last spring, we sounded the alarm on an urgent and growing need in clients seeking mental health care. This increased demand was yet another impact of the pandemic on the LGBTQ+ community. Read about how our supporters stepped up to make an impactful contribution to address this unexpected 300% increase in mental health referrals.

Thank You for Standing With Radiant Health Centers & Orange County

As always, we are truly grateful for those who stand with Radiant Health Centers to keep our vital services available to those most in need in Orange County. There are many ways you can support our work, and you can read about one of the easiest and most impactful ways for you to give with your heart and leave a lasting legacy.

Welcome to Our New Board Chair

Last but certainly not least, Radiant Health Centers welcomes a new board chair and extends our gratitude to our exiting chair for his years of service. Read all about it in this month’s issue of The Voice. Enjoy!

Bringing Support to the LGBTQ+ Community – And You Can Help

At Radiant Health Centers we are dedicated to serving the LGBTQ+ community, those impacted by HIV and their families. You can help us too. Please consider donating in the way that works for you – monetarily, volunteering your time, or simply shopping AmazonSmile – each of these supportive actions will help benefit the community. Call (949) 809-5700 or learn more about how to get involved today.

Jeanne and Gideon Bernstein with their award for their work in the LGBTQ+ community

Radiant Health Centers is proud to announce their digital gala last month helped raise over $182,000. Money raised will go to the continuing compassionate care for the LGBTQ+ community within Orange County.

The virtual Back to the Future gala was complete with a band, live and silent auctions, the inaugural presentation of the Radiant Compassion Award to Jeanne and Gideon Bernstein, and a celebrity guest appearance by Lea Thompson.