“I don’t know what I would have done without TCHC. I wish I could give back to a place that gave me so much. TCHC inspires me to take care of myself. All the staff motivates me because they are not just providing services; they are inspiring people.”
Luis Flores was a Los Angeles native before he settled in San Francisco as an HIV counselor at Larkin Street Youth Services. After living in San Francisco for four years, Luis and his partner’s lives took an unexpected turn when the couple discovered that Luis’ partner was HIV positive. Uncertain of what steps to take next, the two moved to Fremont for family support.
Luis discovered that he was also HIV positive, but he entered a stage of denial. He had a difficult time coming to terms with his HIV status, so he struggled with taking HIV medications. It was not until Luis saw the impact of HIV on his partner that he decided to take action. Luis and his partner made a pact to take care of each other’s health.
A private health provider in Fremont referred Luis to Tri-City Health Center (TCHC). At the time, Luis’ weakened immune system caused him to experience severe dental pain. Luis anticipated losing all his teeth, but the dental services of TCHC helped Luis improve his teeth and even relieve the fear he had of dentists.
“I used to be scared of dentists. I have anxiety when I go to a dentist, but Dr. Barakzoy was very calm and soothing. He was able to salvage my remaining teeth and now I don’t suffer as much pain in my mouth. My confidence is better and I can smile now.”
TCHC also helped Luis enroll in AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and the Ryan White Program to receive access to HIV medications. He receives assistance with gift cards to help purchase medical supplies, as well as bus and public transportation tickets.
While trying to overcome various health struggles, Luis and his partner entered a stage of depression they referred to as the “black hole.” Through intensive counseling sessions, TCHC’s behavioral health services provided Luis and his partner the support and assurance they needed.
“I don’t think communities can thrive without community clinics like Tri-City Health Center. TCHC met way beyond my expectations. The staff are here to help people; they are not just doing a job. I was always able to connect with at least 99% of the staff.”
Luis has been a patient with TCHC since 2006. From the front desk staff to the providers, Luis has established a lifelong relationship with TCHC. He is thankful to TCHC for taking care of his health and providing him with a warm and supportive environment.