SF’s Magnet Celebrates Their 11th Anniversary

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Jul 9, 2014

Later this evening, July 9, the San Francisco AIDS service organization Magnet celebrates their 11th Anniversary. They will offer delicious food, fantastic drinks, amazing company and a photo booth to capture the moment, from 7-9 p.m. at their location at 4122 18th Street.

"It has been such a tremendous journey for us. We have had eleven terrific years of success thanks to a great community," they write on their website. "Thank you for all of your support! Magnet has a bright and exciting future ahead and we look forward to many years of continued service. Please come out and help us celebrate our big day!"

On June 27, newly-appointed White House Office of National AIDS Policy Director Douglas M. Brooks visited the sexual health clinic operated by San Francisco AIDS Foundation in the Castro neighborhood to underscore the importance of knowing one's HIV status in conjunction with National HIV Testing Day.

"We were recently visited by some important guests and received some great news about expansion of our services," said Magnet, speaking about the Pride visit by Brooks and San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Neil Giuliano. "Giuliano also announced the purchase of a new mobile HIV testing unit for San Francisco. The new testing unit will dramatically expand HIV testing efforts citywide. The mobile unit, which is estimated to come online later this year, was made possible with support from Gilead Sciences and Chevron. Follow @testmeSF on Twitter to see when the mobile testing van is coming to a neighborhood near you."

There is roughly one new HIV infection in San Francisco every day, and more than 7,000 infections annually in California. Currently 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV. Gay and bisexual men and African-Americans continue to bear the brunt of new HIV infections. The foundation's Castro clinic, Magnet, provides more than 15,000 HIV tests and STI screenings every year to gay and bisexual men, who represent 85 percent of new HIV infections in San Francisco.

"While it is true that HIV testing alone will not lead us to an AIDS-free Generation, it is also true that implementation of routine -- and where appropriate, targeted -- testing efforts are the immutable keystone to achieving our task of finding, and bringing into care, the 16 percent of Americans who are HIV-positive but unaware of their status," said Brooks. "A day devoted to HIV testing also provides us with an opportunity to normalize the practice and diminish the stigmatization related to testing activities."

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, whose district includes the Castro neighborhood, got a rapid HIV test at Magnet along with Giuliano, as a way to encourage all people in San Francisco to get tested for HIV and know their status so they can take care of their health.

San Francisco Department of Public Health recommends sexually active people get tested for HIV and STIs at least every six months, or more frequently depending on sexual activity. Magnet offers services for gay & bisexual men Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Follow @testmeSF on Twitter to see when the mobile testing van is coming to a neighborhood near you or visit

On July 22, Magnet invites San Fran’s leather and kink gay men to Magnekink, a social event. On this night, Magnet will "turn our space into the best leather bar in town for a few hours," with men on hand to answer questions about leather and kink organizations, as well as BDSM and kink play.

On July 26, they will host their swing night, with lessons for beginners, and on July 29, the Magnet Book Club cracks the spine on "The Back Passage," by James Lear.

Magnet will host a booth at Up Your Alley 2014, the street fair on Dore Alley between Howard and Folsom and surrounding streets.

They have also issued a call for entries for their art gallery, saying, "It’s that time of year again when we start scouting for new artists for 2015. Magnet will be moving into our new space at 474 Castro next year and the size of our gallery will be double what it currently is. We are excited for the additional gallery space and are looking forward to receiving your entries."

Entry deadline is August 31, 2014. For more details about submitting your work please visit, or drop by Magnet at 4122 18th Street in San Francisco.

For more information, visit or

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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