(ATLANTA, Ga.) One thrift store in Atlanta is working to meet the needs of the LGBTQ community long after Pride Month ends.
Customers who visit Out of the Closet Thrift Store can save money on gently used clothes while also giving back to a good cause for the community.
More than a thrift store, Out of the Closet was founded in 2016 by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to provide HIV testing and operate as a pharmacy. The store is located on Cheshire Bridge Road in northeast Atlanta.
The regional communications director for AHF, Imara Canady says the store is one of the many ways the nonprofit has put a spotlight on AIDS and HIV in metro Atlanta every day of the year.
"Fulton and DeKalb counties rank number one as it relates to new HIV diagnoses," he said. "It's no secret that, particularly across metro Atlanta and particularly across the South, that there is still very much an epidemic around HIV and AIDS and so we proudly partner with the LGBTQIA-plus community,” Canady said in a statement.
Along with great care and attention to issues the community faces, regular shoppers are able to enjoy bargains each time they shop.
"You can likely come in and get a Donna Karan dress for $7, or a Michael Kors shirt for $20, or some great shoes for $2," Canady said.
Even after Pride Month ends, the store offers free rapid HIV tests, and its pharmacy is stocked with the necessary medications and prescriptions often used for AIDS and HIV treatment.
"It's a one-stop-shop and the great news is that whether you are making a donation or whether your shopping, 96 cents of every dollar that's raised goes directly back to the local community to support HIV education, prevention, testing, and awareness," Canady said.
The store is hands-on with its customers and helps connect patients with HIV healthcare providers if they test positive.
"We want people to know HIV is not a death sentence anymore," he said. "HIV is a critical illness and we will get you linked to the care that you need to live a healthy and fruitful life. There's no judgment, no stigma, no shame."
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