Positive Health Solutions offering options for transgender youth

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Positive Health Solutions staff at River City Pride Fest 2022 in Peoria. Photo by Tom Wray

Positive solutions have finally arrived for transgender youth of downstate Illinois.

Positive Health Solutions, a leader in HIV/AIDS treatment and LGBTQ medicine in Central Illinois, is adding new staff to address the growing need for youth care in the area.

On Nov. 7, the Peoria clinic welcomed a new physician to provide gender affirming care for patients aged 10 to 21. Dr. Lynessa Alonso, DO became affiliated with Positive Health Solutions in October, and will now be providing care in an area that has been historically underserved. Until now, youth seeking gender affirming care had to travel to Chicago for pediatric specialists. This increase in access to care marks a positive shift for the LGBTQ+ community in Central and Western Illinois.

Positive Health Solutions is a comprehensive LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS medical treatment clinic and case management center. They provide HIV/AIDS services to residents in 15 counties surrounding Peoria, and LGBTQ+ services to all residents of the state of Illinois. Their services include: HIV/AIDS case management, primary care, PrEP, vaccinations, reproductive care, gender affirming care, and support services. They accept many major insurances including Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare.

PHS also provides financial assistance under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program for residents in their 15-county service area.

The clinic, an affiliate of the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine, was originally an HIV/AIDS service clinic. Luckily, in July 2022, Positive Health Solutions expanded their operations to include LGBTQ healthcare.

According to their website, their mission is to provide “unconditional acceptance, advocacy and empowerment, community partnerships, and quality of life improvement”. In a time of unprecedented legal attacks against LGBTQ youth, increased access to transgender healthcare is a win for the entire community.

Clinics like Positive Health Solutions are filling a void of compassionate healthcare for queer people across Downstate Illinois. The positive, holistic care that is being provided and expanded by PHS is crucial to both the LGBTQ community and a society in turmoil. The work being done, and positive changes implemented by the clinic are a source of hope that things are getting better. Even for

Anyone interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Alonso can call 309-671-8484 and can learn more about Positive Health Solutions by visiting https://peoria.medicine.uic.edu/positive-health-solutions/.

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