Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Health

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.

On this page:


Helpful Hints for a Successful Experience: 

  1. 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, you can notify staff and your electronic health record will be updated for purposes of future communication and visits.
  2. Choosing a Caregiver: Carefully review the biographical sketches of our professional caregivers, talk to our scheduling staff, and talk with others on campus. McKinley has a large number of caregivers with whom you will likely find to be a good fit for your needs. All students are pre-assigned a physician to serve as your designated primary care provider, but you can change your provider if you prefer to do so.
  3. Restrooms: McKinley Health Center has several gender neutural and lockable restrooms located throughout the building on each floor. Gender-specific multi-stall restrooms also are available.
  4. Give us your feedback: Feedback provides us 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 https://mckinley.illinois.edu/contact/contact-us.


Suggestions for students seeking PrEP

  1. 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, the Illini Union, and other locations on campus.
  2. For men at very high risk who have multiple sex partners with other men, pre-exposure prophylaxis (e.g. PrEP) has been shown to further reduce (in addition to condoms) the likelihood of contracting HIV, one of the more serious STIs.  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:

  1. While an individual may have made changes to their physical appearance and name in order to better align their gender identity with their biological sex, there are still needed preventive services to ensure overall wellness (e.g., STI screens, mammograms, Pap tests, prostate and testicular exams). Our regular 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.
  2. Hormones for hormone therapy may be procured through the McKinley pharmacy and routine injectable hormones will ultimatly be self-administered. Education on administration can be prearranged at McKinley with an approved McKinley physician order. McKinley is unable to inject medication brought by the student from a pharmacy other than our own because we cannot be sure it was stored correctly for safe use.
  3. 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 counseling services.
  4. After the first year of transition with hormone therapy, most associated medical services can be obtained at McKinley. McKinley caregivers have varying levels of training for supporting the medical and hormonal needs of transgender students, so be sure to talk with your caregiver and seek their advice and recommendation. You may seek more information about providers’ training backgrounds through staff biographies online.


Mental Health Services

  1. 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.
  2. 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. For more information on Counseling Center services and to schedule an appointment, go to https://counselingcenter.illinois.edu/.
  3. For long-term individual counseling services and/or those who may benefit from more intensive mental health care, there are a number of 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 www.psychologytoday.com also provides information on a number of community providers in our area. You may tailor your search to those providers that have specialized experience with LGBTQ concerns as well as by search criteria such as insurance plan, issue, type of therapy, etc..


LGBTQ Campus Resources


LGBTQ Community Resources


LGBTQ Health and Wellness Resources