By Chris Brennaman
For 20 years Pride Medical has been an iconic fixture in Atlanta’s fight against HIV/AIDS. On Dec. 14, though, one of the leading clinics that has been a go-to for HIV-related treatment for many in the area’s LGBT community closed its Howell Mill Road doors and began to transition its practice to join forces for a partnership at Buckhead’s AbsoluteCARE Medical Center and Pharmacy.
While the closing of Pride Medical is the end of an era, AbsoluteCARE isn’t exactly a stranger in serving Atlanta’s HIV/AIDS population. Founded in 2000 by Dr. Joel Rosenstock, AbsoluteCARE not only provides treatment for the illness, but also offers services like nutrition education, mental health counseling and social worker access.
Rosenstock himself has been working with HIV/AIDS patients for 26 years and serves as Medical Director of AbsoluteCARE. He said his practice could prove more comprehensive than potential new patients are used to getting.
“We have a multidimensional model that looks out for all stressors in people’s lives,” said Rosenstock. “We do outreach and we have many partnerships in town with 501(c)3s. I’m extremely proud of the work we do.”
Still, change can be hard, especially for patients in treatment for HIV and its related illnesses. The bond developed between a patient and doctors, nurses, and other staff members at any medical provider is often deep. Fortunately for patients, there will be more than a few familiar faces for former Pride patients at AbsoluteCARE, including two doctors and about six other full-time staff members.
However, Rosenstock said a broader scope of care and familiar faces shouldn’t be the only things for new patients to expect when they arrive at AbsoluteCARE for the first time. They should also expect a lot of diversity.
“Patients coming in from Pride Medical are going to be sitting next to people who are not only gay males, but from all walks of life and backgrounds,” Rosenstock said. “Many of our staff members say one the most exciting things about working here is that you never know who’s going to be behind the door when going in to see a patient.”
Rosenstock said some Pride Medical patients have already made the transition and, so far, are happy with their new provider. But for those Pride Medical patients who’ve yet to set foot inside of AbsoluteCARE’s facility, Rosenstock is confident they’ll be won over as well.
“Pride has had that niche of knowing that, if you’re a gay man in town and had a health problem, you could go there and feel very comfortable,” he said. “Pride has done great work. But we actually served more gay males than Pride in our practice since before they joined us, and I think people are going to be impressed with the opportunities and resources we can provide here at AbsoluteCARE.”
AbsoluteCARE is located at:
2140 Peachtree Road NW, Suite 232
Atlanta, GA 30309
For more details, visit them online at www.absolutecarehealth.com