AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) opened its newest ‘Out of the Closet’ thrift store location in South Beach with a grand opening event on-site at 1510 Alton Road last Saturday, January 8. The festive opening offered shoppers the chance to discover the unique finds and hidden treasures for which ‘Out of the Closet’ is famous.

During the day long event, free HIV testing was offered. In fact, free HIV testing hours at Out of the Closet will be every Saturday & Sunday from 12-5PM and Monday - Friday 2-7PM.

With twenty other locations throughout California and Florida, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s popular and award winning ‘Out of the Closet’ thrift store chain is the nation’s largest retail fundraising vehicle for HIV/AIDS medical care and research. The new South Beach location is the third ‘Out of the Closet’ to open in Florida. Other Florida stores are in Wilton Manors and on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami.

Later this spring, the South Beach site will also be home to an ‘AHF Pharmacy,’ a full-service facility staffed with pharmacists who specialize in HIV/AIDS medications as well as the location of an ‘AHF Healthcare Center’ providing a full spectrum of HIV medical care, providing clients with access to the additional specialists, medications and services they need to be as healthy as possible.

“AHF is pleased to be opening its newest ‘Out of the Closet’ thrift store in the heart of Miami’s South Beach,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Ninety-six cents of every dollar raised through our new South Beach store will benefit AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS prevention and education programs in Miami-Dade County and statewide.”

“I am so excited,” said one of the shoppers, Mark Arkine, a UM student seeking to furnish his dorm room, “I got myself a new dresser for my books for $20.” Other consumers waded through an assortment of clothes, appliances, and inexpensive furniture.

“The state of Florida is third highest in the nation as far as cumulative AIDS cases, and there remains an urgent and ongoing need for effective and sustained HIV prevention and education measures,” said James Vellequette Associate Director, Public Health Division for the Southern Bureau for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “AHF is glad to be a contributing partner in the effort to address the region’s epidemic by offering free HIV testing at our new South Beach ‘Out of the Closet’ store in this convenient, community-based setting.”