LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness

McKinley understands seeking medical attention can provoke anxiety, especially for people who feel misunderstood or who fear discrimination. We are committed to providing quality professional and confidential healthcare services to our campus community. We feel it is essential for every university student – inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities – to feel cared for and welcome at McKinley Health Center. 

Helpful Hints for a Successful Healthcare Experience:

Communication: Prepare in advance to ask and answer questions that are relevant to your visit. The healthcare provider may ask about such topics as alcohol, tobacco, drug use, sexual behavior, and domestic violence. Part of establishing a professional working relationship with patients/students involves the healthcare provider requesting sensitive information as this is a standard part of clinical practice for all providers, regardless of patient sexual orientation or gender identity. We invite you to be open and honest so we can best meet your healthcare needs. All McKinley healthcare services are confidential. If you would like us to use a preferred name or pronoun, you can notify staff and your electronic health record will be updated for purposes of future communication and visits. 

Choosing a Caregiver: Carefully review the biographies of our professional caregivers, talk to our scheduling staff, and others on campus. McKinley has many caregivers with whom you will likely find to be a good fit for your needs. All students are assigned a physician to serve as your designated primary care provider, but you can change your provider if you prefer to do so. 

Restrooms: McKinley Health Center has several gender-neutral restrooms located throughout the building on each floor. Gender-specific multi-stall restrooms are also available. 

Give us your feedback: Feedback provides us with an important learning opportunity and helps us determine ways to improve services, provide additional training, and educate students. You may contact us by exploring the ‘Contact’ tab on our McKinley website 

Suggestions for students seeking PrEP:

Condom use is essential for protecting yourself from HIV exposure as well as many other serious sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as syphilis, hepatitis, human papilloma virus (HPV), gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Condoms may be obtained from one of several Health Education Outreach locations including McKinley, Illini Union, and other locations on campus. 

For gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, with multiple sex partners are at higher risk of contracting HIV from an infected sex partner. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (e.g. PrEP) has been shown to be highly effective for preventing (in addition to condoms) contraction of HIV from sex or injection drug use. McKinley Health Center providers are happy to screen you for an underlying STI, provide treatment, and offer advice during scheduled appointment hours. Generic PrEP (Emtricitabine and Tenofivir DF) is available at the McKinley Pharmacy and at community pharmacies with a valid prescription. McKinley’s current copay for the medication, and available strengths, can be found in the Formulary under Antivirals. Under the Affordable Care Act, PrEP must be free under almost all health insurance plans. It is recommended that you contact your health insurance provider to familiarize yourself with your policy's coverage for accurate copay information. 

Suggestions for transgender and gender non-conforming students:

While an individual may have made changes to their physical appearance and name to better align with their gender identity, there are still needed preventive services to ensure overall wellness (e.g., STI screens, mammograms, Pap tests, prostate, and testicular exams). Our medical clinics, West 1 and West 2 (e.g. general medical clinics), are the best locations to seek this care. Our medical record must represent your biological sex, but your preferred name, pronouns, and gender identity can be indicated in the record for use with providers during your visits. 

Hormone medications for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be procured through the McKinley pharmacy- routine injectable hormones will be self-administered. Education on administration can be prearranged at McKinley with an approved order from a McKinley provider. McKinley is unable to inject medication provided by the student from a pharmacy other than our own because we cannot be sure it was stored correctly for safe use. 

Hormone administration is not available at McKinley during the first year of transition, as this is most safely done at a specialty facility. McKinley can support the student during this time with laboratory testing, hormone procurement, and mental health services. 

After the first year of transition with hormone therapy, most associated medical services can be obtained at McKinley. McKinley providers have varying levels of training for supporting the medical and hormonal needs of transgender students, so be sure to talk with your provider and seek their advice and recommendation. You may seek more information about providers’ training backgrounds through staff biographies online. 

Mental Health Services

Our Mental Health Unit provides short-term individual counseling services. Psychiatrists in our Mental Health Unit provide mental health medication evaluation and management, and some students may have their medication managed by their primary care doctor in the medical clinics. For more information on scheduling with a mental health provider, go to our mental health unit page. 

The Counseling Center on campus also provides mental health counseling services, both short-term individual counseling and group counseling. Because they do not have medical providers, medication management would need to be sought at McKinley Health Center or in the community. Information on Counseling Center services and to schedule an appointment. 

For long-term individual counseling services and/or those who may benefit from more intensive mental health care, there are several qualified mental health counselors in the community who accept the university health insurance plan, as well as other health insurance plans. You may search for in-network mental health providers by accessing your health insurance provider’s website or by calling their customer service number located on your health insurance plan. The website also provides information on several community providers in our area. You may tailor your search to those providers that have specialized experience with LGBTQIA+ concerns as well as by search criteria such as insurance plan, issue, type of therapy, etc.. 

LGBTQIA+ Campus Resources

Gender & Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) 

UIUC Gender Inclusive Restroom Map 

Resonance and Voice Training for the Transgender Community 

Gender Inclusive Housing 

LGBT Ally Network 

LGBTRC Support Groups 

LGBTQIA+ Student Groups 

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (Campus Belonging Resources)

LGBTQIA+ Community Resources

The Uniting Pride Center of Champaign County 

Champaign Urbana Public Health District 

Greater Community Aids Project (GCAP) 

Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) 

Center on Halsted 

LGBTQ Health and Wellness Resources

New Study Finds 47% of LGBTQ People Experience Medical Gaslighting 

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) LGBTQIA+ Health Services 

Affirming Healthcare Practitioner Network 

LGBTQIA+ Resources for Adults 

LGBTQIA+ Resources for Parents & Caretakers 

LGBTQIA+ Safer Sex Guide  

5 Reasons To Use Birth Control When You’re LGBTQIA+ 

How Birth Control Can Be Part Of Gender-Affirming Care For Transmasc and Gender-Nonbinary Folks 

LGBTQIA+ Healthcare: How to Self-Advocate At The Doctor’s Office 

Tips for Finding A Healthcare Professional Who’s An LGBTQIA+ Ally