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Talking Sex Together (TxT) Launches a Clinic Locator to Help Iowa Teens Find Local Sexual Health Resources

Sexual health can be a confusing subject for teenagers. Young people have big questions, but the Internet is filled with misinformation, and often there isn’t anybody in their lives they feel comfortable asking.

For years, Iowa’s TxT program has been offering reliable help. They provide free, anonymous counseling to young people desperately in need of advice through a biweekly SMS hotline, named TxTina. On the first and third Friday of every month, young people (or really, anybody) can text in their sexual health questions and receive personal, instant, and anonymous answers back from health educators.

Now TxT is helping young people find real-world care, as well. They’ve launched a clinic locator. Teens can text in “doctor” to 877877 and learn the closest friendly clinic to them – whether that’s Planned Parenthood, public health, or anywhere else they can go for confidential care.

Here’s how it works:

The clinic locator was launched in the summer, but TxT has already seen an uptick in use, tied to students’ return to school. “Our staff and the educators we work with in the field have found the clinic locator to be very beneficial for young people, especially those that live in rural areas of the state and are uncertain about where to go for these types of services,” said Kristin Fairholm, the Executive Director of EyesOpenIowa. “It also provides them with assistance in a neighboring town if they are uncomfortable using their local clinic, due to knowing the staff or even being related to them, which is often a barrier for teens in small towns to access services confidentially.”

To learn more, visit the TxT website, or check out the video below.

TxT and AskTxTina are programs of EyesOpenIowa, which are funded through a grant from the Iowa Department of Human Services.

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