Persad Center

Strengthening the Region’s LGBTQ Communities and Their Allies

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Strengthening the Region’s LGBTQ Communities and Their Allies

About Persad

CLICK ABOVE: Meet members of PERSAD Center's Staff and Board of Directors, along with agency co-founder Dr. Jim Huggins, in this video overview of the agency. 


PERSAD CENTER is a human service organization whose mission is to improve the well-being of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning) communities, and the HIV/AIDS communities. We serve our target populations and their loved ones, cradle to grave, across western Pennsylvania, with service centers in Pittsburgh, Washington and Erie Pennsylvania. 


We fulfill our mission through outreach, prevention, counseling, training and advocacy services. 


There are two prongs to PERSAD’s Outreach efforts: forging powerful relationships with allies, and connecting LGBTQ and HIV+ people with the specialized services they need. In collaboration with allies and friends, PERSAD works to build stronger, safer, healthier communities and steer the public dialogue about LGBTQ people and issues.

Our target populations have experienced stigma and discrimination and because of that they do not enjoy the same access to quality care. PERSAD reaches out to our target populations and welcomes them to receive services they need. 

PERSAD forges relationships with allies of our populations and helps our community to connect to friendly, welcoming and competent care. 


Recognizing that LGBTQ people are at higher risk for suicide, depression, substance abuse, HIV and other STDs, homelessness, and for being the victims of violence, PERSAD has special programs to help the community be aware of their risks and to develop protective behaviors to reduce their risks. 

Training & Advocacy

PERSAD offers an array of Training & Advocacy consultation services that are designed to help organizations work successfully with LGBTQ consumers and employees. We are dedicated to ending discrimination and creating welcoming environments for LGBTQ people. Our Training & Advocacy services are available to health and human service professionals, schools, corporations, HR professionals, law enforcement and public safety officials.


Founded in 1972, PERSAD is the nation’s second oldest licensed counseling center serving the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV. PERSAD was founded at a time when the mental health community response to someone who identified as LGBTQ was to try to change them and correct them as if it were the problem. PERSAD was created as an affirming counseling center to help LGBTQ people cope with the social discrimination they experienced and to receive professional counseling services without prejudice about their identity. In the early 1980’s PERSAD added serving the HIV/AIDS communities to our mission because of the devastating impact that HIV had on the gay population of that time. PERSAD continues to serve the HIV+ individual regardless of their sexual or gender orientation. 



PERSAD is committed to providing non-discriminating services that value the uniqueness of all individuals.


PERSAD is committed to responding efficiently and going the extra mile to assure that individuals receive the help they need.

High Quality Professional Care

PERSAD hires professionals who are educated and trained to provide the specialized services for the LGBTQ community.


PERSAD believes everyone should be treated with respect and kindness and should be a partner in determining the course of their care and services. 


Because our unique services are not available at other agencies, PERSAD seeks to assure that all services are affordable to everyone who needs them.


We value change. We help individuals who seek our care to change their lives, and we change as an organization to improve and become more valuable to our community by responding to their needs.

September 25th, 2015