For over four decades, City Clinic has contributed to critical advances in the scientific and public health knowledge of STI and HIV epidemiology, testing and treatment.  In fact, along with patient care and clinical teaching, research is one of the three core activities of the clinic.  Study investigators, staff and patients have been essential partners in these important efforts which have focused on evaluating improved treatments, diagnostic tests, and prevention tools for STIs and HIV.  The resulting discoveries inform and improve sexual health not only in San Francisco, but across the United States and beyond.

  • In 1985, a retrospective analysis of blood specimens collected from City Clinic patients, originally as part of a hepatitis study, helped describe the initial epidemiology of HIV in San Francisco[1].
  • City Clinic was also one of three sites in the U.S. in 2012 to participate in the first NIH-funded demonstration project to show that HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), now a mainstay of HIV prevention efforts, could be offered in an STI clinic setting, reducing barriers for patients[2].
  • City Clinic participants comprised half of the study subjects in a gonorrhea treatment trial[3] that resulted in new alternative treatments for gonorrhea in the 2015 CDC STI Treatment Guidelines.
  • City Clinic was one of the sites involved in the doxyPEP Study, a randomized trial evaluating the effectiveness of doxycycline post-exposure prophylaxis (doxy-PEP) to prevent bacterial STIs. Participants who took doxy-PEP had a two thirds reduction in new bacterial STIs compared to those not taking doxy-PEP.  Doxy-PEP is now offered as a sexual health tool at many clinics, including SFCC.[4] doxyPEP Study

As a patient at City Clinic, you may be approached by our research staff, or by your clinician to consider participating in a research study.  Study staff will take the time to explain the details of the study, and answer any questions you may have.  Often, patients who become study participants are reimbursed for their time and trouble, and have the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping advance our understanding of the best ways to treat, diagnose or prevent STIs and HIV.

Your care at City Clinic will not be changed by a decision to participate, or not, in research.  This is purely optional for patients, and you are able to change your mind at any point in the process.  City Clinic research studies are reviewed and approved by the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the UCSF Human Research Protection Program, to ensure they safeguard the confidentiality and safety of study participants.

We are indebted to the thousands of patients who have participated in research at City Clinic, and to those who will participate in the future – your efforts shape and improve the quality and scope of the services we will eventually be able to provide patients at City Clinic, and to countless more people worldwide.

Get in touch

If you recently tested positive for HIV or syphilis and have questions, or need help finding HIV care, please contact LINCS. Call 628-217-6608 and leave a confidential message so we can help you get medication and answer any questions.