Molecular Testing Labs (Molecular), the nation’s leading provider of diagnostic testing on patient self-collected samples, announced today that it has partnered with leading LGBTQ healthcare providers in Nashville, Pittsburgh and Austin to allow patients to get tested for HIV and PrEP from the comfort of their own homes.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP, is a medicine people at risk for HIV take to prevent contracting the virus. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective in preventing HIV. Using PrEP requires regular HIV testing as well as testing for side effects in order for a patient to continue use. These screening requirements can be a major impediment to the uptake of and adherence to a medication that is one of our best tools for fighting the HIV epidemic. Self-collection for routine diagnostic needs is an excellent way to eliminate barriers for patient health.
“Expanding access to testing has always been at the core of Molecular’s mission,” said Molecular co-founder James York. “Partnership with these three organizations marks a major step in offering diagnostic testing to underserved populations who face social, financial, and logistical barriers to receiving critical care and preventative medicine.”
“Now, more and more people can start PrEP medication to prevent HIV and maintain those prescriptions no matter where they choose to live,” York added.
In order to bring the testing to patients and offer medical consultations about the results, each clinic has launched their own tele-health service that allows patients to video-conference with a licensed clinician to discuss the testing and results of the patient’s self-collect test kit, as well as discuss their options for follow-up care and necessary prescriptions.
“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,” said Christopher Hamilton, chief executive officer of Texas Health Action. “Our approach to health care is radical in its simplicity: we prioritize kindness and innovation to meet our patients where they are.”
The partnership with Molecular allows each of these clinics to create branded specimen collection kits to be delivered directly to their patients, eliminating the logistical and social stigma that can be barriers to having samples collected at a lab. In turn, these clinics can both reach more marginalized patients and keep their existing patients enrolled in life-saving programs.
- PrEP2Me.com from Central Outreach Wellness is available to patients in Pennsylvania, with plans to expand to eastern Ohio.
- MusicCityPrEP.org from Music City PrEP has services available to patients in Tennessee and southern Kentucky.
- TeleKind.org from Texas Health Action is available to patients in Texas.
Each are the largest PreP providers in their state — Central Outreach currently services over 6,000 Pennsylvania PrEP patients; Music City services approximately 4,600 in Tennessee; and Kind served 3,000 in Texas last year.
Each clinic has been recognized for their excellence reaching and treating marginalized communities, particularly the LGBTQ community. These new programs will allow clinics to accelerate the closing of access gaps and usher in a new era of localized, patient-centered healthcare.
About Molecular Testing Labs
Molecular Testing Labs’ mission is to provide accessible and innovative laboratory solutions through collaborative partnerships with payors, private healthcare institutions, universities, and public health organizations. Molecular Testing Labs has revolutionized access to convenient and affordable testing and has designed a proprietary information system capable of monitoring patient specimens for adherence to medical testing policies. In addition to traditional labs, Molecular Testing Labs has pioneered unique distribution and specimen collection methods that open access to medical testing where geographic, financial, and stigma barriers once created gaps in care. These unique methodologies advocate for improved compliance in required annual testing and access to follow-up care. Molecular Testing Labs takes pride in setting itself apart on the principles of innovation, integrity, and partnership. More information can be found at moleculartestinglabs.com
Created to help patients gain greater access to PrEP and accelerate the prevention of HIV, PrEP2Me is powered by Central Outreach Wellness Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Central Outreach is a federally funded organization through the PA Department of Health, and this grant funding allows PrEP2Me to utilize contracted pharmacy services that help fund its clinic. By using funding this way, PrEP2Me creates an environment where patients can receive the care they need without the obstacle of out-of-pocket costs. Learn more at prep2me.com
Founded in 2017, the Rod Bragg Music City PrEP Clinic is a sexual health and wellness clinic. Its mission is to get to zero new HIV transmissions in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Music City PrEP works toward this by providing free PrEP and PEP prescriptions regardless of income or insurance status. Its services include discreet, no-cost lab testing for HIV and bacterial STDs, plus hepatitis A, B, and C testing. Learn more at musiccityprep.org
TeleKind is a program offered by Texas Health Action (THA), a 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. For more information about TeleKind, please call 1-833-GET-MYTK (1-833-438-6985) or visit www.mytelekind.org