the whole you

obviously there’s more to you than your sex life.  we care about the whole package!

feeling good about yourself

When you’re not feeling good about your life, taking care of your health may not feel like a big priority. In fact when you’re down on yourself, it’s more common to take risks — or even do things to actively harm yourself.

Some of us struggle to come to terms with who we’re attracted to, or who we want to have sex with. It can be a lifelong process to truly accept your sexuality as normal. For people who are attracted to more than one gender, dealing with society’s hang-ups about bisexuality can also be a challenge. Others of us are grappling with gender identity, knowing that the sex we were assigned at birth doesn’t describe our true selves. Some of us are adjusting to the knowledge that we’re living with HIV.

“There were plenty of times when I really didn’t give a f**k what happened to me. I reached out for help and now I feel so much better about myself.”

Racism is a huge reality in our society, with serious effects on health. From limiting access to information and resources to excluding people from community and social opportunities, racist oppression is part of what drives worse health outcomes — including higher rates of HIV infection — in communities of color.

Even when we’re ready to embrace and accept ourselves, we may find the labels people want to stick on us don’t feel right. We may feel the sting of stigma on a daily basis. Many of us have fears that family, friends, lovers, classmates or colleagues will reject us — or even try to hurt us — if they know everything about us. Unfortunately sometimes those fears come true. We may even face poor treatment or even hostility from doctors or counselors who we turn to for help.

alcohol & drugs

Drugs and Alcohol can play a big role in our communities. Maybe they’ve been a way to deal with stress, or build up the courage to go out and meet people. Maybe bars and clubs have been a major place to connect. Maybe drugs feel like an essential part of your sex life.

You may find that when you are drunk or high you do things you wouldn’t do if you were sober — including taking risks with sex. If you find yourself wondering whether drugs or alcohol are playing too big a role in your life, call us or come in to talk it out. 617-267-0159. If you’re injecting drugs, that also brings its own set of serious risks, from overdose to hepatitis and HIV.  Call us at 617-599-0246 we can connect you to a safe place to exchange needles, and hook you up with naloxone to stop an overdose and save a life!

“When I’m partying I don’t care what kind of sex I’m having as long as I keep it going. Later I start to worry.”

depression, anxiety, mental health

A lot of us also deal with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues — including thinking about suicide. These feelings can all be compounded by discrimination, social isolation, rejection by loved ones, violence or abuse. Left untreated, these feelings get in the way of taking care of your health, and may make you less concerned about taking risks with sex and drugs. If you think you might be depressed or dealing with another mental health concern, give one of our counselors a call at 617-267-0159. If you’re reluctant to seek professional help, confide in a trusted friend or loved one. Sharing your feelings might be the first step toward breaking out of a downward spiral.

self-esteem / body image

Our culture puts a huge value on looks, and we’re bombarded from all sides with mainstream ideals of masculinity and female beauty. No wonder it’s sometimes hard to feel like you measure up. When you’re stuck thinking of yourself as not being thin enough, muscular enough, big enough, young enough or pretty enough, it can be hard to let your light shine. If self-esteem or body image concerns are keeping you from enjoying life or leading to unhealthy behavior, reach out to a counselor to start talking about it. Call us at 617-267-0159 to get connected.

find your people

Finding like-minded people can make a big difference in our lives. Humans are social beings. Getting support from people who can relate to our authentic lives can be powerful. Check out our Get Connected page to find some options for connecting with people like you.

find counseling & health care providers you can trust

Talking about your sex life, gender identify or drug use with a doctor can feel awkward, intimidating, or even downright embarrassing — especially if you’ve had negative experiences in the past. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You deserve a doctor who has comfort and expertise in the areas that matter most to you, whether that’s PrEP, HIV treatment, gender transition, IV drug use, or any other health concern.

get real

Remember, your health care providers work for you. And they can help you best if you share everything that’s going on. So be open, be honest, and be real! If you’re worried about privacy, remember that it’s against the law for your health care providers to share your medical or personal information with anyone – including your partners, your parents, your school or your employer.

“When I asked about getting on PrEP, my doctor was clearly not comfortable talking about it. I decided to find someone who was.”

get what you need

You deserve answers you can understand. If you don’t get what your health care provider is asking or telling you, ask them to explain it. And if you feel like they don’t know what you’re talking about, explain it to them. Not all doctors are equally informed about HIV treatment or prevention options like PrEP.

it’s not me, it’s you

So maybe it’s just not working. Your doctor is judging you – they don’t understand anything you’re saying – they won’t give you a PrEP prescription – they’re downright homophobic or transphobic. It’s time to find a new doctor who is knowledgeable and willing to support you.

make a change

If you don’t have a doctor — or need to find a new one you can trust to deal with the whole you — we can get you connected. Fenway Health specializes in care for the LGBTQ and HIV+ community in Massachusetts. You can make an appointment to become a patient by calling Fenway at (617) 927-6000. The Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) is a nationwide organization that has a searchable online database of LGBTQ-friendly doctors and mental health care providers, including hundreds in all parts of New England. Visit