History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Organizations - Health




"20 Giving 20" was part of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin's commemoration of its 20th anniversary combating the AIDS epidemic. View all 20 of those honored on the ARCW "20 giving 20" page.

Brady East STD Clinic

It was the selfless commitment of the volunteers of the BESTD Clinic that organized and launched Milwaukee’s first response to the AIDS epidemic.

Clinic President Kevin Lynch has high praise for the hundreds of volunteers who have sustained this commitment ever since.

"Our volunteers have always had a passion for the fight against AIDS. We were the first to do outreach testing and education in the gay bars. We brought centrifuges right into the bar. The testing got done."

As the oldest all-volunteer gay and lesbian clinic in America, the BESTD Clinic has always been one of the leading clinics for HIV testing in Wisconsin. It has long played a unique role in making HIV testing accessible and convenient for gay men.

As the AIDS epidemic evolved, it was the vision of BESTD Clinic volunteers to expand the community response to AIDS by creating the Milwaukee AIDS Project, which would become the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin.

"Our work in the fight against AIDS is a proud demonstration of the dedication of gay men and lesbians to the LGBT community."

Lynch believes the challenges of HIV prevention are as important as ever.

"Today, you talk to teenagers and you assume they know about HIV and condoms. But they don’t. That’s a call to action for the volunteers of the BESTD Clinic."

Photos and Text courtesy AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, copyright 2005.
Last updated: 15-May-2005.