sexual health information

Let’s be blunt – it isn’t easy to always prioritize your sexual health. Money, time, transportation, unstable housing situations, mental health concerns, etc., the list of potential barriers is long. Add a full-blown pandemic to the mix and now it seems downright impossible! Or is it?…

Kind Clinic was founded to provide high quality sexual health care, free of stigma and fear. We also provide guidance to essential resources that address the barriers many experience during their sexual healthcare journey.

Keeping your appointments, what is known in the medical community as “retention in care,” is vital. So, if you’ve missed an appointment or have been MIA (missing in action) for a while, please know that we’re still here for you and will always welcome you back into care.

 

Here are some of the barriers we know our patients face and how we can help. Please reach out to our patient advocate team at 1-833-WE-R-KIND (937-5463) Option 2 to find out how you can tap into these resources and get back into care.

 

1. Money

Your financial situation can impact your ability to keep up with your health. While we understand prioritizing the essentials (housing, bills and groceries, etc.), your sexual health is important, whether you’re able to pay for it or not.

How we can help: 
Your visit at Kind Clinic is always free. We welcome both insured and uninsured patients and can set you up with various assistance programs to help cover costs associated with prescriptions, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and other medications. If you’re uninsured or struggling to pay medical copays, please check out our full list of health care resources in our blog post entitled, “Health Care Insurance and COVID-19.” These resources allow us to provide you with a sexual healthcare experience at little to no cost to you. Book your follow up by calling us at 1-833-WE-R-KIND (937-5463) Option 2.

 

 

2. Fear, Shame and Stigma

Many people find it hard to walk into a sexual health clinic because of the stigma related to sexual expression and sexually transmitted infections. Some people who identify as transgender/non-binary can be afraid to leave their home due to discrimination and fear of violence. Those living with HIV may not want to go to the doctor because they’re afraid someone will find out they have HIV.

How we can help:
We acknowledge everyone has their own story and journey. If you’re experiencing fear, shame or stigma, please consider our virtual telehealth service, “TeleKind.” This service connects you to a Kind Clinic provider through secure two-way video. It’s the same high-quality health care, done virtually from the comfort of your home or anywhere you are with your smartphone. A telehealth visit may also be conducted via phone for patients without access to a smart phone or computer with a web camera.

 

 

3. Time

At Kind Clinic, we know your time is valuable, and that everyone’s schedules are different.

How we can help:
If timing is getting in the way of your sexual health, consider checking out our new clinic hours. All Kind Clinic locations are now accepting appointments until 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays! Keep in mind, you can attend a virtual TeleKind appointment from anywhere with a smartphone/smart device – saving you travel time!

 

 

 

4. Mental Health

You can imagine how difficult it is to set up and attend an appointment when you find it challenging to get out of bed in the morning. When we feel depressed or live with any one of various mental health challenges, it can be hard to focus on our health.

How we can help:
If you’re in immediate danger, please call 911. If you’re having suicidal thoughts or feel that life isn’t worth living, please reach out to Integral Care at 512-472-HELP or call 800-273-8255. If you would like a referral to counseling services, our patient advocate department is here to help at 1-833-WE-R-KIND (937-5463) Option 2. We can provide you with the resources you need to take care of your mental health.

 

 

5. Unstable Housing or Homelessness

It comes as no surprise that if you’re having a hard time keeping a roof over your head, attending a medical appointment can be the least of your worries. However, there may be programs to assist with housing and community resources available to help.

How we can help: 
For help finding a housing program that can suit your needs, please consider programs and resources offered by your local government. If you’re experiencing unstable housing or homelessness and live in the Austin area, please click here. If you live in the greater San Antonio area, please click here.

If you’re experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault/exploitation in your housing situation, please get in touch with our community partners at SAFE Alliance for assistance.

 

 

6. Transportation

Making it into the clinic can be a challenge. Long bus rides, unreliable transportation, and constantly shifting work schedules can create a barrier to staying in care.

How we can help: 
If transportation is an issue, consider a TeleKind appointment. While most of our appointments have now gone virtual, a provider may request for you to come into the clinic for some lab work. In cases like this, we offer transportation assistance through our partnership with Lyft for certain eligible patients. Call your patient advocate at 1-833-WE-R-KIND (937-5463) Option 2 to see if you qualify for transportation assistance.

 

 

7. Drug Use 

Dependent drug use can make it difficult for patients to make it to a medical appointment. Sometimes people may experience a lack of awareness of time or day of the week. One way to help yourself keep appointments is to schedule them for times during the day when you are most alert. For example, if you tend to stay up all night and sleep during the day, scheduling an afternoon or evening appointment may help.

How we can help: 
If your substance use is becoming a dependency, or you sense an inability to control the amount and frequency of your drug use, Kind Clinic can connect you to support services to help. Speak with one of our patient advocates at 1-833-WE-R-KIND (937-5463) Option 2 to explore this further. You may also call Integral Care’s 24-hour support line at 512-472-HELP (4357).

 

 

Healthcare can be complicated. But at Kind Clinic, we’re committed to making it simple for you, in a kind and affirming way. We understand that members of the LGBTQIA+ community have historically been underserved and misunderstood by the medical community. This is one of the main reasons Kind Clinic was founded – to address this gap and help remove barriers to sexual health care.

At first in 2015, our main mission was to help our community access PrEP. We’ve since expanded our sexual health services to include: Access to HIV prevention drugs, PrEP and PEP, STI testing and treatment, HIV testing and care, gender affirming care, and virtual TeleKind appointments. These services are essential and staying in care is important – important for you, important to us.

Please reach out to us if you have any suggestions on how we can help you keep your appointments.  Practice a little self-love and help us help you. Your body will thank you.

 

 

To reach a Patient Advocate, call us at 1-833-WE-R-KIND (937-5463) Option 2.

 

To schedule a virtual TeleKind appointment, call us at 1-833-WE-R-KIND (937-5463).

 

 

 

Photo credits:

Photo by Sasha Gorin on Unsplash
Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash

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