Keep OUT's free HIV clinic open
- By: Luiz De Barros
- Short URL: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/keep-out-open
My name is Dawie Nel, the founder of OUT LGBT Well-being, a registered NPO, in Pretoria, Gauteng.
After 24 years, our pioneering free HIV and sexual health clinic and safe space for the LGBTQ+ community in Pretoria face imminent closure. I was recently disappointed to be told that funding for the clinic in Colbyn had not been renewed.
We have a proud history of keeping those living with HIV healthy by providing free ARVs while helping others stay HIV negative with free PrEP.
We have also offered counselling and support groups over the years. What makes us different to our often marginalised clients is that our welcoming and caring services are free of stigma and discrimination.
In a letter of support, Juan A Nel, Research Professor at the Department of Psychology, UNISA, cites a long history of collaboration with OUT and says that the closure of the clinic "is too ghastly to contemplate, both for me, but also my institution."
Prof Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, describes OUT as "a stalwart of the LGBT community in South Africa, and specifically, Tshwane" and comments that it would be "unfortunate if OUT's longstanding presence and various efforts to build up a site for sustainable service to serve Tshwane's LGBT community's equality and health would come to an end solely due to the unavailability of funding."
Pierre Brouard, Deputy Director of the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender at the University of Pretoria, also praises "the deep trust OUT has established with the MSM community of Tshwane" and said that it "seems to be counter-intuitive for an existing and successful service to close down."
My team and I feel a profound responsibility to sustain this historical legacy that is now under threat. However, with your support, we can keep our doors open as we seek additional funding. Any donation, no matter how small, will make a difference and help sustain our life-saving services.
The funds we receive will be used to keep our office open and an essential complement of staff, including at least one nurse, employed to provide much-needed health services to our community.
- Oct 04, 2021 - USD $ 67.30
- "The entire team at OUT taught me so much. I hope dearly to see the clinic reopen immediately." - Paul Sindberg