Plans for a July 1 grand opening of a Casa Ruby PrEP Art Boutique in a first-floor store front office at 2002 R St., N.W. in the Dupont Circle neighborhood have been temporarily postponed as efforts to get the space ready continue, according to Casa Ruby founder and executive director Ruby Corado.
Corado said the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration earlier this year certified Casa Ruby to open a pharmacy for underserved populations known as a “340B program” pharmacy. She noted the certification will enable Casa Ruby to begin providing PrEP prescriptions for its clients on July 1 at Casa Ruby’s main location at 7530 Georgia Ave, N.W.
The Casa Ruby pharmacy will operate as part of the PrEP Boutique in partnership with Avita Pharmacy, a national pharmacy chain based in Dallas, Corado told the Blade. She said it will specialize in sexually transmitted disease prevention medication, including the two HIV prevention medications known as PrEP.
Corado said plans for opening the Dupont Circle facility were postponed in part because of the social distancing requirements still in place related to coronavirus prevention restrictions. She said the soon to be opened facility at 2002 R St., N.W., located next to the popular Dupont Circle restaurant Sette Osteria, is being referred to as a PrEP Art Boutique because it will include exhibits from local LGBTQ artists.
Casa Ruby received a favorable lease for the new space in what’s known as a high-rent district, from local businesswoman and beauty salon owner Vivian Nugent, according to Corado, who has been a longtime supporter of Casa Ruby.
“She supports the LGBTQ community,” said Corado.