Health Frontiers in Tijuana (HFiT) Free Clinic operates two free clinics that serve vulnerable populations in Tijuana’s most impacted neighborhoods. HFiT provides STD/HIV testing and treatment, primary care, and emergency services. The next closest health services are more than 20 miles away. Due to COVID-19, the clinic has more patients than ever and needs are changing. People living with HIV are at an increased risk, and going in public for transportation and to hospitals is an immense choice.
A mobile unit will allow clinic staff to reach more people and is a safe way to help patients who do not have internet access, cell phones, or transportation, or do not feel safe coming to the clinic. The unit will be run by two doctors and one member of the clinic. This is a Mexican-led project and employs locals who have been working in Tijuana and supporting vulnerable populations for decades.
Mobile Unit (Customized Van)
This mobile unit will offer rapid HIV testing, HIV and COVID-19 viral load testing, and medical and psychological care. A group of psychologists have agreed to video-call patients so that they can provide mental health support remotely. The unit will have basic furniture for in-person medical consultations, electronic equipment for psychological consultations via tele-mental health, and a GeneXpert Omni machine to perform HIV and COVID-19 tests on-site. The clinic is also supported by social workers, volunteers, and community organizers who will not be physically in the mobile unit, but are supporting with outreach, fundraising, organizing, and coordination.
HFiT is not affiliated with a government or large foundations. As a Mexican organization, it is difficult to receive U.S. based grants and donations. We are working to receive a donated van, so the budget is directed towards necessary equipment, updates, and operating costs. All funds are being coordinated by the Friends of Fronteras Saludables, a U.S.-based nonprofit that fundraises for and supports the clinic. The group is directed by UCSD doctors, professors, and medical students.
Funds will be used to purchase:
- Mobile unit
- Air filters for the van
- Viral Load tests for COVID-19, HIV
- Protective equipment, cleaning supplies
- Testing equipment
HFiT was founded in 2011 and serves thousands of patients every year. It is an LGBTQ+ safe space and is committed to providing judgment-free options for sex workers, substance users, and others who have been rejected from public health services elsewhere. Since 2018, the clinic team has doubled its efforts to serve the thousands of migrants traveling through Tijuana from Central America. Through street outreach, community networks, empowerment events for homeless women and families, transgender hormone delivery, and other programs, HFiT continues to dismantle health barriers. Regardless of the funding of the mobile unit, these services will continue!
Learn more about HFiT’s work here: https://globalhealthprogram.ucsd.edu/_files/HFiT Flyer_072014.pdf
1. A clinic doctor meets with a patient
2. A line of HFiT patients, during the Haitian migration- 2016
3. HFiT doctors set up a community-serving station in the street, 2019
If you have connections to discounted medical supplies, potential donations [van, medical equipment, protective gear, cleaning supplies], potential donors, or aid funds we can apply to, please contact us!