June 29, 2020 at 8:55 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Casa Ruby postpones opening of PrEP ‘Art’ Boutique
coronavirus outbreak, gay news, Washington Blade
The pharmacy will operate as part of the PrEP Boutique in partnership with Avita Pharmacy, said Casa Ruby founder and executive director Ruby Corado. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

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.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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