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Our History

Clinic Timeline


VD Clinic moves to N Farwell is is renamed The Farwell Center. 


BESTD 10-year anniversary!


Dr. Roger Gremminger deeds Brady St building to BESTD. 


BESTD 20-year anniversary!

Rehabilitation of inside and outside of faciltiy. BESTD Clinic live began airing on Cable.  


BESTD 30-year anniversary and renovation of clinic facility! 


BESTD 40-year anniversary! Clinic has served over 20,000 individual clients for STD testing and many thousands more for HIV testing. 


Gay People's Union opens "VD Examination Center." 


Clinic relocated to E Brady St

and it renamed BESTD. 


Deb Reed is elected  BESTD President


Ross Walker is elected  BESTD President and BESTD pays off building's mortgage. Clinic reaches peak of HIV testing.


John George is elected  BESTD President


Kevin Lynch is elected  BESTD President

Clinic History 

In the early 1970s, a group of people responded to the rising incidences of sexually transmitted diseases and lack of accessible resources in Milwaukee. In 1974, through discussion and encouragement from the Milwaukee Health Department and the Wisconsin Division of Health, the BESTD Clinic was formed (then known as the Gay People's Union Venereal Disease Clinic). 


Initially located in rented quarters on East St. Paul, in what is now the Third Ward Cafe, and then on Farwell Avenue, the Brady East STD Clinic, Inc., moved to its present facility in 1981. In 1990, Dr. Roger Gremminger, a physician volunteer, board member, and building owner, gifted his property equity for the current location. 

While traditionally focusing on the diagnosis, testing, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, the BESTD Clinic, because of its entirely volunteer staff, has been flexible and swift to respond to new challenges.  In 1983 through 1984, some of the volunteers began preliminary responses to what we now know as a growing epidemic, and formed the Milwaukee AIDS Project as a committee of the clinic.

With the mission of providing unmet or under-provided services, we became one of the early pioneers in HIV antibody testing. Today, the clinic is one of the most active and accessible anonymous testing sites in the state of Wisconsin. Clinic volunteers also initiated outreach clinics for off-site testing. One of the early outreach clinics was done in concert with the Milwaukee Health Department and offered counseling and testing for those at risk to both HIV infection and tuberculosis. The tests performed at the clinic and at outreach sites identify a large number of newly diagnosed persons who are HIV infected.


Our remodeled facility, in addition to being client-friendly, warm, and clinically up-to-date, has retained some of its nineteenth century architectural charm, both inside and out. In addition, provision has been made for the clinic's large, donated art collection.

Since 1996, BESTD and STD Specialties Clinic at 3251 N. Holton Street, have cooperated in providing an Early Prevention Program to persons newly diagnosed with HIV infection or those not yet connected to the healthcare system. This program provides physical, medical, and diagnostic services in addition to psycho-social assessments and support services, all without cost to patients.

We are grateful to Milwaukee for providing the roots to our birth and for the nurturing and responding people who, without hesitation, offered their help in founding this unique and nationally almost one-of-a-kind healthcare agency. The volunteers, who are the BESTD Clinic, pledge our continuing professional, sensitive, and caring service to all who come to us for help and we do so willingly and without charge.

Milwaukee LGBT History Project: History Boards at Pridefest 2014

The History Display at PrideFest 2014 featured new panels commemorating the Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic's 40th year of operation. The 2014 LGBT History display was again produced by: Don Schwamb, Michael Doylen, and Jerry Johnson. 

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