San Francisco Homeless Resource
Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center (API Wellness Center)
Address 730 Polk, 4th Floor
Phone 415.292.4300
Hours Wednesdays 4 pm - 7 pm, Fridays 1 pm - 5 pm, First Saturday of the Month 11 am - 2 pm.
Language(s) English, Mandarin, Spanish, Chamorro, and Tagalog
Summary See article

Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center (API Wellness Center) is the oldest non-profit HIV/AIDS services organization in North America targeting Asian & Pacific Islander (API) communities. To meet the needs of clients who are often immigrants or refugees, API Wellness Center's staff speak many Asian languages including: Cantonese, Hawaiian, Hindi, Ilokano, Japanese, Malay, Mandarin, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Visayan.

API Wellness Center's HIV Care Services provides free and confidential HIV treatment case management, mental health and substance abuse counseling, on-site primary medical and psychiatric care, client and treatment advocacy, and group and individual support to APIs living with HIV/AIDS.

API’s HIV/STD Prevention Services reaches youth (straight, queer and questioning) , gay and bisexual men, transgender persons through community organizing and outreach, workshops and support groups, peer counseling, and prevention case management.

The Community Development & External Affairs (CDEA) builds HIV prevention capacity in API organizations and communities throughout the United States and its Pacific Territories; conducts community-based research; and trains non-medical service providers in HIV treatment throughout California.

General Contact Information

Main Address: 730 Polk, 4th Floor
Phone Number: 415.292.4300
Please see below for program specific contact information

API’s Program

API’s services are split into three categories:


Testing Options for You (TOFU). A program aimed at testing at risk populations for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B/C and Vaccinating people for Hepatitis B.


Positive Options for Individuals with HIV (POI). A program aimed at getting case managers for people with HIV/AIDS to maximize health and education.


R.I.C.E.(Responsibility, Involvement, Community, Empowerment), this program is to train lay advocates to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. This review places all API facilitated peer based groups under the RICE category.

TOFU: Testing

General Testing Information

See specific test description (below) for test eligibility and a description of the test, as well as a results time frame.


Wednesdays 4 pm - 7 pm, Fridays 1 pm - 5 pm, First Saturday of the Month 11 am - 2 pm.


At 730 Polk St (corner of Polk & Ellis) on the Fourth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94109, Area consists of metered street parking. Parking is free after 6pm.


Call (415) 292-3400 or email to make your appointment. Appointments are on the hour, such as 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, etc. Please schedule an appointment at least one day in advance. Same day appointments may be made based on availability. Please be on time for your appointment. Clients are asked to reschedule for the next available time slot if they arrive over 15 minutes late.


When making your appointment, please indicate if testing is needed in a particular language. Currently, available languages are English, Mandarin, Spanish, Chamorro, and Tagalog


All Testing services are free, though donations are accepted.

HIV Testing

HIV is transmitted only from an HIV positive person in five bodily fluids: blood, semen, pre-ejaculate, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. HIV risk behaviors are any behaviors that may transmit any of the five above fluids from an HIV positive person into the blood stream of an HIV negative person, including unprotected sex and blood to blood contact (i.e. sharing needles). Please keep in mind the “Window Period” of the test: it may take 3-6 months for antibodies to show up on a HIV antibody test. This test may not reflect something that happened very recently.


Everyone is eligible to be tested for HIV.


The session includes going over a brief survey, consent, sample collection, a risk assessment session while waiting for the test to run, and result disclosure. The test will be done via the oral swab method of sample collection for rapid tests. Unfortunately, we are no longer offering the finger prick option of sample collection. Most sessions take about 40-60 minutes. Please allot one hour for the appointment.

Hepatitis B Testing

Chronic Hepatitis B usually shows no symptoms and can develop over 20-30 years to liver damage or liver cancer. Hepatitis B is transmitted from someone who has Hepatitis B’s blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and saliva. Risk behaviors are behaviors that put one in contact with the above fluids, with the most common transmission in mother-to-child during birth.


Only Asian or Pacific Islanders can be tested, vaccinations are also available for free with appointment and testing.


Sessions take about 15 minutes: patient education about Hepatitis B, consent, and blood draw (one tube of blood from the arm). This is a confidential test (name and contact information required), and we contact the client with the results via phone, email, or mail in about 3-4 weeks. If this is done with a HIV test, Hepatitis B screening is done after the HIV test session.

Additional Testing

In addition to the regular testing hours listed above for the San Francisco location, API also tests once a month in Oakland on the first Tuesdays of the month at 350 Frank 350 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Suite 603, Oakland, CA 94612 from 3pm-7pm please call Ming Ming Kwan, Health Education Program Supervisor at (415) 292-3420 ext. 347 for details.

Hepatitis C Testing

The Hepatitis C virus infects a person, and many times people show no symptoms. It may develop over 20-30 years to liver damage or liver cancer. Hepatitis C is only transmitted through blood, so risk behaviors involve blood-to-blood contact such as sharing needles. Hepatitis C is a hundred times more infectious than HIV, so a one time incident may infect someone with Hepatitis C.


Anyone who has had a blood-to-blood exchange with another person.


Sessions are about 15 minutes: risk assessment, consent, and blood draw (one tube of blood from the arm). This is a confidential test (name and contact information required), and we contact the client with the results via phone, email, or mail in about two weeks. If the client has Hepatitis C, we refer the client to appropriate resources for further testing and evaluation. If this is done with a HIV test, Hepatitis C testing is done after the HIV test session.

POI: Living Positively

Case Management

*Provides basic health education and health maintenance information
*Helps you communicate your needs to your doctor and other service providers
*Explains to you the important legal issues related to HIV disease
*Serves as interpreters to help you access services more smoothly
*Provides linkage and referral to comprehensive services: including housing, public benefits, ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program), immigration and financial assistance
*Distributes discount vouchers to eligible clients for food and transportation
*We will work to accommodate clients who speak any Asian or Pacific Islander language

*Case Managers provide Treatment Advocacy for clients, meaning that they may also:

*Provides ongoing treatment education and consultation

*Ensures linkage to and client satisfaction with HIV medical care
*Helps clients understand prescribed and available treatments
*Provides information regarding Western and Eastern traditional therapies
*Assists clients in maintaining adherence through monitoring and support
*Supports client's decision-making process around treatments

*Provides access to clinical trials, expanded drug access programs, treatment research and updates

San Francisco Case Mgmt

Located at 730 Polk St (corner of Polk & Ellis) on the Fourth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94109, Area consists of metered street parking. Parking is free after 6pm.

Case Managers

  • Christina Wang, 415.292.3400 x344, Mandarin/Cantonese
    *Peter Wong, 415.292.3420 x351, Cantonese
    *Malou Valdez, 415.292.3400 x306, Tagalog, Peer Advocate Supervisor
    *Noelle Arceño, 415.292.3420 x336, Tagalog; Also available in San Mateo: 650.669.0482

Eastbay Case Mgmt


350 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Suite 603, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510.625.1578
Fax: 510.625.8970

Case Managers

  • Javy Luu, Vietnamese
    *Khin Thiri Nandar Soe (aka“Nandar”), Burmese
    *Mamie Thant, Burmese

General Inquiries

For all other languages or general inquiries contact Rachel Matillano the Director of Care Services at 415.292.3420 x307

Drop-In Clinic

Primary Medical Care is now available at our office at 730 Polk Street. All clinic services are FREE for HIV+ Asians and Pacific Islanders with priority given to those individuals without insurance or whose insurance does not fully cover the care they need. Primary medical care clinic is staffed by a team consisting of a licensed physician, a registered nurse and a health worker through a partnership with Tom Waddell Health Center (TWHC).
Services performed may include:*INITIAL INTAKE: medical assessment and triage, blood tests including routine blood chemistry, viral load, Hepatitis B and C screening, toxoplasmosis screening, flu and Hepatitis A shots, and immunizations among other services. *EPISODIC / URGENT CARE: drop-in and appointment services for medical illnesses with commonly used prescription medications and over-the-counter medications available on-site.*CONTINUITY CARE: combination antiretroviral therapy and opportunistic infections prophylaxis.


* HIV Primary Care Clinic on Monday from 1:00 p.m.– 6:30 p.m. with Dr. Karen Bayle, Timothy Gholston, R.N., and Ed Ysmael, Health worker. For details please call: 415.292.3420 x328.

*Nursing Clinic on Tuesday from 10:00a.m.– 12 p.m. with Timothy Gholston, R.N., and Ed Ysmael, Health worker. For details please call: 415.292.3420 x328.

Counseling/Psychiatric Services

  • Provides support and a safe space for clients to explore their ability to integrate their HIV/AIDS diagnosis into their lives
    *Provides culturally competent long and short-term psychotherapy and psychiatric evaluation and treatment monitoring
    *Psychiatric services are provided on-site through a partnership with Family Service Agency of San Francisco.

Clinic Hours

Mondays: 1:30-5:30 p.m.


  • Dr. Corinna Gamez, Psychiatrist, English & Tagalog, 415.292.3400 x310
    *Dr. Philip Tsui, Clinical Program Manager, English, Cantonese & Mandarin, 415.292.3420 x331

Living Well Network (LWN)

  • Is for HIV+ Asian & Pacific Islanders to come together in friendship and mutual respect. LWN supports the growth of an individual's mind, body & spirit.
    *Publishes a regular newsletter, Living Well Newsletter, for API's living with HIV. To receive the newsletter in a discreet envelope, please write us with your name and mailing address at 730 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109.


  • Joy Luck Club — mahjong social, support and learn from each other while playing mahjong. Meet every last Thursday of each month, 3:00 p.m.– 6:00 p.m.
    *Musubi — Japanese speaking group, more treatment education and fun activities- If interested, contact Rachel Matillano, the Director of Care Services at 415.292.3420 x307.

RICE: Minimizing Risk


AQU25A employs a youth development framework to maximize the strengths and assets of API queer and questioning youth and to address their broad range of emotional, health, social/interactive, and educational/vocational needs. We support them in making positive changes in their lives, developing essential skills related to their personal growth, and provide them with information to enable them to make well-informed decisions about their health and well-being through outreach, groups, individual counseling, and a peer leadership program. AQU25A also serves as a safe space for young people to just hang out. drop-ins, gatherings, picnics, workshops, scholarships, socials, parties, dances, trips, retreats and other fun activities throughout the year. For updated details on what’s happening this month, check out at Questions? Contact 415.292.3420 x315 or

Gay Men

A group of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Hapa men who identify as Gay, Bisexual, Queer or Questioning who are empowered to strengthen communities and impact social change through advocacy and education.

P.H.O (Purely Honest Onwards)

P.H.O is a men’s program that embraces the unique challenges of API men over thirty and above. For more information, please contact Mike Nguyen at 415.292.3420 x314 or

Downe & Out

Downe & Out is a safe and friendly space for gay, bisexual, queer and questioning Asian, Pacific Islander, Hapa/Mixed Heritage, and Transracial Adoptee men. The group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month from 6 to 9 p.m. and offers a variety of workshops, events, and activities. For more information about outreach, or to RSVP for an event, please contact Alex Baty at, or call 415.292.3420 x.323


Individual Risk Reduction Counseling provides comprehensive individual HIV risk-reduction counseling for API men in a safe and confidential environment. Culturally sensitive staff members offer social and emotional support, motivation toward self-actualization, and options to develop and maintain low-risk behaviors, based on a client-centered approach. For additional information or questions, please contact Mike Nguyen at 415.292.3420 x314 or


Contact Tita Aida, Transgender Program Supervisor, at (415) 292-3420 Ext 348 or with any questions.


Ate(ah-tey), is a Tagalog word that references an“older sister” or “a close female friend,” and commonly used to refer to someone who is knowledgeable, experienced and matured. Not restricted to Tagalog, this reference is found in many Asian & Pacific Islander communities, like phee-sao in Thai, achi in Fookien or Indonesian, didi in Hindi or Nepali, hermana grande o mayor in Spanish, jie jie in Mandarin, onesan in Japanese, che’lu in Chamorro or mua in Hawaiian. ATE is API Wellness Center’s trangender program, and its goals are to foster the development of a vibrant, empowered and supportive Asian & Pacific Islander transgender community to reduce HIV infection in San Francisco. ATE’s strategies are: <blocktext>
*to foster empowerment
*to develop and share leadership
*to affirm transgender identities with an underlying focus on supporting individual change within the context of community.
*to be above all, client-centered </blocktext>


ATE Support Group
1st & 3rd Wednesdays of the month, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. As transgenders, we deal with many particular issues and obstacles in our daily lives. We often find ourselves lost for answers with an issue or two and seem to be stuck with unsorted feelings. ATE Support Group is a transgender social/support group. It provides a safe and nurturing space for making new friends, companionship & uninhibited discussions. Partake in discussions and talks about topics that interest you as an individual and issues affecting our community. Learn from each others’ experiences and acquire more knowledge about how our community is moving forward with different aspects of life, like legal issues, transition issues, referrals to TG resources, relationships and healthy living.

ATE Drop- In
First Saturday of the Month, 11:00am – 3:00 pm We launched a Drop-In group once a month, to provide another venue for API transgender individuals to relax and unwind and socialize! Aside from a relaxed space, we also provide different group activities that everyone can participate in! We will also provide Rapid Oral HIV Testing to attendees!

ATE Socials
4th Tuesday of every other month, 5:00p.m. - 8:00p.m. Our ATE Socials encourage healthy lifestyles and a happy fulfilling existence. ATE Socials meet once every other month in different settings, in which participants can share their recent success stories and challenges in life. We also engage participants in fun and skills building activities that everyone can participate and learn from. Venues varies. Please visit our website for upcoming dates and venues for ATE Socials!

Employment Workshops
The Asian & Pacific Islander Empowerment (A.T.E.) Program hosts its’ third wave of employment workshops! “Inspire and Achieve!” Transgender Employment Workshops 3.0 aims to encourage and nurture transgender community members in their employment goals. Discover the different career worlds of Computers, Health Care, Hospitality, and Administration with Employment Workshops 3.0!

Needle Exchange
Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Venue: API Wellness Center This service provides API transgenders in high risk situations, especially MTFs, with culturally and linguistically competent needle exchange services. We provide clean needles to injection hormone users in San Francisco. The program incorporates needle exchange as a tool to assess community needs and discover and share role model success stories, as well as reinforce consistent clean needle use for hormone injection users.

TG health workers, peer leaders and volunteers go to venues where API TG’s congregate. These are places like DIVAS Club, Power Exchange, and different events and gatherings. We distribute condoms and lubes and other safer sex materials at these venues. Our schedule is as follows: DIVAS Club, 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, and Power Exchange, 1st and 3rd Thursdays. We also do street outreach to sex workers in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco.


TRANS: THRIVE, which stands for Transgender Resource and Neighborhood Space (TRANS), and Transgender Health & Resource Initiative for Vital Empowerment (THRIVE) is the new incarnation of the transgender drop-in started by UCSF and transferred to Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center. TRANS: THRIVE was initially made possible by the continuation of a grant from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). We are now funded by the San Francisco Department of Public Health AIDS Office. The T-LISH youth program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by way of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.


815 Hyde St., 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94109 , ph. 415-409-4101, f. 415-409-4105

Drop-In Center

Transthrive has a drop-in center open Monday through Friday, 1PM-6PM. They have a shower facility, clothing closet, groceries and more. Transthrive also has educational workshops covering a different topic each week, including self-esteem and coping skills, HIV education, harm reduction, sex and dating. They provide a range of support groups for FTMs, MTFs, gender variant folks, case management, and free HIV and Hep C testing and counseling. min