Co-founders Clifford W. Knights II and Steve Vixamar have launched various ventures in the health space, but now they have something else up their sleeves.
With several IMG Health Clinic storefronts already under their belt, the two expanded their efforts with sexual Telehealth platform HealthyMD.
The digital platform provides free and private care to underserved communities to ensure accessibility and eliminate pre-existing notions and obstacles to getting tested for sexually-transmitted diseases.
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According to the founders, the platform is capable of transforming the way people approach health, particularly in the Black and LGBTAI+ community.
“For Black and Brown folks taking care of their sexual health — getting tested and treated for STDs — isn’t always easy,” Knights II, CEO, told AfroTech in an email interview. “Our communities struggle with barriers like access to services, cost, language barriers, or a sense of shame when visiting a clinic or healthcare professional in person. People are running into challenges — especially people of color and LGBTAI+ populations — because they don’t know what they don’t know. Education and resources need to be created and provided to communities of color in a way that works for them and reduces any shame or stigma they may feel. Otherwise, these obstacles will continue to stop people from getting tested and having healthy sex.”
HealthyMD offers individuals who believe they have contracted sexual diseases such as chlamydia, genital herpes, syphilis, and gonorrhea, as well as HIV and hepatitis C, the option to book a free Telehealth appointment through the digital platform.
“HealthyMD wants to make having healthy sex cool. Sexual health hasn’t kept pace with the sex-positive conversation in our culture. Being informed, testing, and treating should just be part of your sexual health routine — we want to be the leaders that empower that mindset and, ultimately, improve and save lives,” expressed Knights II.
In addition, free test kits can be shipped “discreetly” to individuals’ homes, and if additional appointments are necessary, they will be permitted. Telehealth visits with a medical provider can be scheduled throughout the week, the company’s website states.
Furthermore, HealthyMD also provides medications such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV.
“HealthyMD offers services through Telehealth, reducing challenges around transportation and the stigma that people feel sometimes walking into a clinic or doctor’s office for help with an STD,” Vixamar, COO, explained in an email interview. “Our test kits are free and sent directly to your home in a discreet package. Our healthcare team is trained in culturally competent care, so communities of color can feel good when taking care of their sexual health. We are from the community that we are serving and we know how to create an experience that feels right for people like us.”
Looking onward, the founders are looking to expand their reach bolstered by the support of a mobile app and strategic partnerships.
“One thing we are excited about is expanding HealthyMD’s footprint. We just launched in April and already we are growing. Our goal is to save one million lives with this venture,” explained Vixamar.