AUSTIN, Texas, April 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Texas Health Action (THA) is the first non-profit organization in the country to launch a statewide telehealth service that provides access to HIV prevention & care and gender affirming care at little to no cost to the patient. TeleKind, the organization’s new program, allows any Texas resident 18 years and older to access comprehensive sexual health services regardless of gender identity, gender expression, race, creed, sexual orientation, immigration status, or ability to pay.
Virtual appointments are made possible through secure, two-way video with a health care provider specializing in each of the services offered through TeleKind. Patients are also assigned a personal care navigator to help guide them through the appointment process, care plans and options for at-home testing kits and direct-to-patient prescription delivery. All clinical services are free and personal care navigators ensure all prescriptions are secured at little to no cost to the patient.
According to a 2017 study in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, persons in rural communities were found to have a higher risk of health complications and limited access to health services; moreover, these individuals were unable to see a physician in the past 12 months because of cost.
“Some Texans are being left behind from critical sexual health care like HIV/STI prevention and treatment, especially those in areas without clinics that specialize in judgement-free sexual health services,” Christopher Hamilton, chief executive officer of Texas Health Action, said. “Our approach to health care is radical in its simplicity: we prioritize kindness and innovation to meet our patients where they are.”
A recent study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases suggests that immediate action is needed to limit the impact of HIV/STI service interruptions and address the indirect effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the HIV/STI epidemic.
“Many nonprofit organizations and public entities have been unable to meet the growing demand for the testing and treatment of HIV and STIs because already limited resources have been diverted to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Megan Brunson, chief operating officer of Texas Health Action, said. “However, we have prioritized investment in our innovative and accessible approach to providing sexual health services to close the gap for those who need it most, including those in rural areas of our state as well as underserved communities such as Black, Latinx, Transgender and gender non-conforming Texans.”
All TeleKind providers and care navigators have expertise in serving the LGBTQIA+ community and people living with HIV. Patients can access appointments, testing and medication, all from the comfort of their home. To sign up for TeleKind visit, https://www.mytelekind.org/sign-up/.
About Texas Health Action
Texas Health Action (THA) is a community informed 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to culturally affirming, quality health services in a safe and supportive environment with an expertise in serving LGBTQIA+ people and people impacted by HIV. Since 2015, Texas Health Action has provided health services without stigma or judgment and has empowered the community through outreach and education. Texas Health Action operates Kind Clinic, which provides sexual health services through locations across Central Texas; TeleKind, which provides sexual health services via virtual visits and at-home testing; and Waterloo Counseling Center, which provides behavioral health services in Austin. Texas Health Action is led by CEO Christopher Hamilton. For more information about Texas Health Action and its programs, please visit www.TexasHealthAction.org.
TeleKind is a telemedicine sexual health service with at-home testing focused on delivering equitable and affirming sexual health and gender affirming care across the state of Texas. TeleKind’s licensed medical providers conduct virtual appointments that offer patients access to HIV prevention medication known as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), HIV testing and care, and gender affirming care—all paired with regular STI testing. Each service is free and includes the support of a care navigation team to ensure all medications are secured for low to no cost to the patient. TeleKind is a program of Texas Health Action, a 501(c)(3) community informed non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to culturally affirming, quality health services in a safe and supportive environment with an expertise in serving LGBTQIA+ people and people impacted by HIV. For more information about TeleKind, please call 1-833-GET-MYTK (1-833-438-6985) or visit www.mytelekind.org.
SOURCE Texas Health Action