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Through HealthyMD, These Two Men Created a Digital Health Space For Private At-Home STD Testing

Co-founders Clifford W. Knights II and Steve Vixamar aren’t new to the digital health space.

HealthyMD co-founders Clifford W. Knights II and Steve Vixamar

With something new up their sleeve, including IMG health storefronts, their latest venture is expanding into sexually transmitted diseases: the dynamic duo have embarked on the sexual Telehealth platform HealthyMD.

According to AfroTech.com, the new venture provides free and private care to underserved communities to ensure accessibility while eliminating "pre-existing notions and obstacles to getting tested for sexually-transmitted diseases.”

The platform can potentially change the way folks approach health in the Black and LGBTAI+ community, according to the founders.

“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.”

For those who believe they have contracted sexual diseases such as chlamydia, genital herpes, syphilis and gonorrhea, as well as HIV and hepatitis C, HealthyMD offers individuals the choice 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,” Knights II said.

Additionally, free test kits can be shipped discreetly to the homes of those who have ordered the kit. And, if additional appointments are needed, they will be granted as well. According to the website, Telehealth visits with a provider can be scheduled throughout the week.

Adding to the list of positives for the digital platform, HealthyMD administers 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.”

And that’s not all. The founders are pursuing the ability to reach even more folks through 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,” Vixamar said.

For more information, go to healthymd.com.

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