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“Queerantine” Brings Struggle for Youth – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Queeranteen“Queerantine” Brings Struggle for Youth

Researchers in the U.K. found that lockdowns related to COVID-19 have had perilous impacts on the mental health of LGBT individuals. Two-thirds of LGBT people showed serious signs of depression during the “Queerantine,” as some call it, and this was particularly true for LGBT youth. Researchers speculated that this may be because they lack the supportive network that comes as one ages into the community.

Trans Teens Take on Ban

NBC News reported on a pair of transgender teenagers who are challenging Arizona’s ban on gender-affirming surgery under the state’s Medicaid plan. The teens are filing a class action lawsuit for all young Arizonans who are seeking chest reconstruction surgery, which the state expressly prohibits even though it is medically necessary. Arizona is one of ten states that outright bans gender-affirming surgery.

Allowing Discrimination Counters Science InFrontofSC

Meanwhile, researchers argued laws that discriminate or allow discrimination on the basis of gender identity run contrary to growing evidence that sex assigned at birth is only part of one’s sense of gender. It also further marginalizes groups – specifically, transgender and nonbinary folks – who already face myriad health disparities and healthcare access issues, making addressing these issues more difficult.

One in Four LGBT Youth Use Nonbinary Pronouns

Teen Vogue reported on new research from the Trevor Project, which found that 25% of LGBT youth aged 13-24 use gender nonbinary pronouns. Most of those youth use a combination of “he” or “she” plus neutral pronouns like “they,” which was the most popular type of nonbinary pronoun. The size of the group shows the growing importance of service providers understanding nonbinary identities and pronouns in general.

Comprehensive Health Ed Works for All

Human Rights Watch reported on why comprehensive sexual health education is so important for the health of all youth. Many states lack any requirement for sexual health education, and several explicitly stigmatize LGBT youth. This leads to all youth lacking key information on their sexual and reproductive health, as well as developing health literacy in general (a problem highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic).

IntersexChildrenChanging Care for Intersex Infants

CNN reported that the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago became the first in the U.S. to apologize for performing medically unnecessary procedures on intersex children to make their genitalia appear more stereotypically “male” or “female.” Intersex advocates argue that these irreversible surgeries should only be done when a youth is old enough to understand and consent. The article explores how discovering that one received such surgery as an infant is often deeply traumatic.

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Media Coverage Boosts Youth Seeking Care – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

VintageTVMedia Coverage Boosts Youth Seeking Care

Researchers found that local media coverage of gender identity issues resulted in a one-to-two week bump in new patients at gender-affirming clinics for youth. They studied two clinics (one in the U.K. and one in Australia) for eight years and found that seeing media coverage seemed to encourage young people to seek care. The results underscore the importance of visibility for transgender youth.

Now That We Have Your Attention…

A new study evaluated the effectiveness of different public health marketing strategies to get queer young men to participate in sexual health research. Using a variety of adds on a popular dating app, they found that one using sexual innuendo got more clicks and more people to ultimately sign up as study participants than did ads with more traditional public health messages.

Homelessness Impacting Youth during Pandemic HomelessYouth

Newsday reported on the surge of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness as many young people struggle with unaccepting families during the pandemic, and either leave for their own safety or get kicked out. Despite many service providers and programs working to help these youth, many still end up sleeping outdoors or on couches as shelters are limited and not always considered LGBT-inclusive.

HIV Treatment Works Resources

The CDC published fresh resources for its Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign under the theme “HIV Treatment Works.” These include infographics discussing how receiving care for HIV can improve the quality of one’s life, as well as videos exploring the challenges and benefits of entering and being retained in care after receiving an HIV diagnosis.

HPV Vaccination among Queer Women

Researchers found that lesbian and bisexual women ages 18-34 were more likely than their heterosexual peers to both initiate the three-part HPV vaccination process and actually complete all three doses. Even so, the 35% of queer women who began the vaccination, and 24% of queer women who completed the process, falls well short of the government’s 80% vaccination goal.

DrMarkGhalyCalifornia Begins Inclusive Data Collection

The LA Blade reported that California has begun to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data on COVID-19 cases, as well as all other illnesses on which the state collects case data. The state made the decision through executive action while the state’s legislature still weighs a bill that would enshrine such collection by law. Few states have taken action to ensure LGBT folks are counted as the nation responds to the pandemic.

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Mental Health Research Lacks Intersectionality – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Intersectionality3Mental Health Research Lacks Intersectionality

A new study found that research on mental health interventions for sexual minorities often fails to consider intersectionality (or the unique issues facing people of color with other minority identities). While about 70% of available research included identities beyond just sexual orientation in recruitment, only 16.3% of studies adequately considered the effects of intersectionality on queer mental health.

Time to Queer the Census 2020Census1

The Orange County Register reported on local and national efforts to “queer the Census” and make sure that LGBT folks are counted. Local LGBT centers and national groups are working to get LGBT people to complete the census, as trillions of dollars in federal funds (including some for HIV, housing, and other issues important to LGBT folks) are distributed based on the results. While sexual orientation and gender identity are not asked, the Census now inquires about same-sex couples.

Affirmation Matters in Brazil

A study of transgender and nonbinary Brazilian youth found that taking multiple steps towards having their gender affirmed (be those social, legal, and/or medical) was associated with youth having less anxiety, fewer symptoms of depression, more pride in their identity, and greater sense of social acceptance. Researchers say gender affirming processes should thus be made easier to access.

RachelLevineTrans Health Secretary Mocked, Defended

PennLive reported on recent transphobic attacks made against Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, who is in the midst of leading that state’s efforts to combat COVID-19. Secretary Levine was promptly defended by the state’s governor and other officials, and many have credited her with saving lives while raising both trans and public health visibility during the crisis.

HIV Medication Supplies Decline

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported on research finding that one third of the world’s countries have low stocks of HIV medications due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more likely to follow. Delays in production of medications, issues with shipping, and challenges patients face actually accessing services are all making HIV care increasingly hard to come by, particularly in low-income countries.

Understanding & Addressing Internalized HomophobiaInternalizedHomo

Health explored the concept of internalized homophobia, in which social stigma and bias gives sexual minorities a negative perception of themselves. Experts say that may make queer folks outright reject their identity or otherwise impact their mental health. They also advise that those experiencing internalized homophobia should not blame themselves and instead begin to talk through their feelings.

 

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Pronoun Use Helps Trans Mental Health – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Pronoun Use Helps Trans Mental Health

TrevorMentalHealthThe Trevor Project published their annual report, finding that 40% of LGBTQ youth nationwide had seriously contemplated suicide within the past 12 months, 29% had experienced homelessness or been kicked out, and 10% had experienced so-called “conversion therapy” at some point. Transgender and nonbinary youth who were called the correct pronouns by at least most people were half as likely to have attempted suicide as youth who were regularly misgendered.

If you or a youth you care about is in crisis, the Trevor Project can help.

Queer Men of Color Are Sexually Active Sooner

A new study found that among sexual minority young men in New York, Black and Latinx young men became sexually active at a younger age than did their White peers. The average age of sexual debut among all sexual minority men was 14.5. Researchers say that this shows the importance of inclusive sexual health education, especially to reduce disparities among youth of color with issues such as HIV.

Expanding Inclusive Care Pronouns

Researchers found that at health centers receiving one year of coaching on improving LGBT patient care, use of patient pronouns and designating of LGBT patient liaisons increased dramatically. Documenting sexual orientation and gender identify also increased from 13.5% to 50.8%. The number of LGBT identified patients increased for various services, too, indicating that LGBT patients felt more comfortable coming in for services and/or self-identifying as LGBT as inclusive practices grew.

Canadian Med School Takes on Disparities

Relatedly, University Affairs reported on progress at the University of Toronto’s medical school to ensure all students are trained in LGBT health before graduation. Its proponents note that addressing health disparities requires looking at identities and underlying health inequities, and they point to the COIVD-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact as an example. The majority of medical schools have yet to require LGBT education.

MAPSouthLGBT Life in the South

Movement Advance Project released a new report on LGBT people in the southern United States, where they found LGBT-related laws are far more likely to be discriminatory rather than protective. There are also widespread socioeconomic disparities, especially for LGBT southerners of color, which are a barrier to good health. They also point to potential solutions, including utilizing the community’s resiliency and building up lacking resources.

Queer Doctors Weigh in on COVID

Towleroad published an open letter from 205 gay doctors hoping to reach other gay men, noting that while people may want to let down their guards and socially reconnect after months of isolation, it is important (even for otherwise healthy men) to remain vigilant. They also weigh in on how to reduce risk in terms of social gatherings, getting exercise, and seeking support when feeling isolated and alone.

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HIV Care Access Down During Pandemic – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Impact of Injustices on Queer Black Men’s Health POCMan

Researchers explored the impact of incarceration, justice system discrimination, and arrests on the health and wellbeing of sexual minority Black men. They found that 43% had experienced police discrimination within the past year – and that that discrimination was associated with high levels of psychological distress, higher risk sexual behaviors, and lower willingness to take PrEP to prevent HIV.

Two Protests Become One in North Carolina

Relatedly, the Winston-Salem Journal reported on how two groups protesting recently in Raleigh – one Representing Black Lives Matter, and the other LGBT rights groups – convened spontaneously to protest police brutality together. LGBT activists noted that this was really a “return to their roots,” given that the LGBT rights movement largely began with the Stonewall riots, a series of protests against police brutality led by queer and trans people of color.

DrBarronGay Doctor Denied Critical Blood Donation

Windy City Times reported that a gay doctor in Illinois, who contracted and survived COVID-19, is being denied as a blood donor because of his sexual orientation. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 develop antibodies, and collecting blood samples from such individuals may be critical to treating the disease. The ban on queer men donating blood still stands, however, unless the person has been celibate for at least three months.

World Fails to Meet HIV Goals

UNAIDS published a new report finding that the world is not on track to meet its 2020 HIV targets. Over the past few years, worldwide new infections of HIV have surpassed UN goals by a whopping 3.5 million. 62% of new infections occur among LGBT people, sex workers, and people who inject drugs, marking a major disproportionate impact in these communities.

Assessing Needs of Gay Prostate Cancer Patients

Researchers examined the importance of inclusive sexual health assessments for gay prostate cancer patients. They found that a majority of gay men surveyed thought that the prostate was a source of sexual pleasure and was important to measure the impact of treatment on sexual satisfaction. Gay men who engage in receptive anal intercourse were even more likely than their peers who did not to believe in the importance of the prostate and assessing sexual health in this way.

Intersectional Disparities Facing Black LGBT Folks HaleyThompson

The Detroit Free Press published an op-ed exploring how Black LGBT folks face intersectional discrimination and compounded disparities in a wide array of areas, but little attention has been paid to the population. The author notes that if society wants to improve Black health (or LGBT health), people who hold both identities – as the subgroup facing the greatest need – cannot be overlooked.

Lockdowns Threatening HIV Care Access

POZ Magazine reported on a new study of 20,000 LGBT people worldwide that found that 21% of people living with HIV were having difficulty accessing ARV treatment because of lockdown restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Twice that number, 42%, had a month or less left of their ARV supply. Among LGBT people not living with HIV, only 56% reported access to HIV prevention services.

Banning LGBT Healthcare Discrimination

The LA Blade reported on how the federal government’s recent decision to end a gender identity nondiscrimination rule is being challenged in court, a move strengthened by the Supreme Court’s recent decision to include LGBT folks in employment nondiscrimination law. The article also explores how state LGBT nondiscrimination laws still stand in many places, including California, which means the federal government’s decision will have a more limited effect.

BodyShapes

Disordered Eating Among Lesbian Women

Researchers examined disordered eating among cisgender lesbian women using PRIDE Study data, and found that 9.1% reported in the clinically-significant range for weight concerns and 13.9% reported the same for shape concerns. 13.5% reported past month occurrence of dietary restriction and 8.7% past month binge episodes, while 7.1% had been diagnosed with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. The study is one of the first to look at eating disorder behaviors specifically among lesbian women.

Being a Black Lesbian Woman at an Historic Moment

Ms. Magazine published an op-ed on the intersectional discrimination facing Black lesbian women, who find themselves at the crossroads of LGBT, Black, and feminist movements – all of whom are still fighting for equal rights many years after those battles began. The author says her optimism at some of the progress that has been made, such as the recent Supreme Court decision advancing LGBT rights, is tempered by factors like the marginalization of Black women even within the LGBT community.

Anal Cancer Rates Highest for Queer Men Living with HIV

A new study found that people living with HIV, sexual minority men living had the highest incident rates of anal cancer, with heterosexual men coming next, followed by women. Sexual minority men not living with HIV were at lower risk than all subgroups living with HIV. The article concludes with recommendations for a unifying anal cancer risk scale.

POCLesbianCoupleIssues, Resources for Trans Older Adults

LGBTQ Nation reported on challenges and resources for transgender older adults, who sometimes struggle with respect to social support, health care, and aging services. This group is less likely than others to have strong support networks, which also puts them at increased risk for discrimination, according to research. Resources include provider listings for finding trans-affirming care and know-your-rights guides.

 

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LGBT Anxiety and Depression Rise During Pandemic – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

CovidAnxietyBrainAnxiety, Depression Rise During Pandemic

Researchers found that anxiety and depression have increased in LGBT people during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the increases were among people without prior symptoms. The results suggest that the isolation is taking a toll on the community and that the number of people needing services is growing. The research was conducted using data from the nationwide PRIDE Study initiative.

More on Mental Health

Relatedly, Psychiatry Advisor explored the topic of LGBT health during the pandemic and showed anecdotal evidence of increases requests for mental health medications, as well as calls to crisis lines. They note that the closure of campuses has made it especially hard for youth and young adults, who have lost their support systems and sometimes been forced to move back in with unsupportive relatives.

Get Tested!

The CDC published even more resources to promote National HIV Testing Day, including a series of videos that discuss why testing is important and some of the barriers people have to overcome. The CDC says that self-testing is a good alternative for people who are trying to limit contact with others or travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is sharing new resources on how that can be implemented.

Legal Guide for Trans Youth TransYouthHandbook

Harvard Law School published a new guide for transgender youth on their legal rights in a variety of areas. These include health and many factors that impact it, like access to identity documents and affirming environments. The guide also includes advice on self-advocacy, including keeping record of instances of discrimination, knowing one’s rights, and seeking both emotional and legal support.

More to Be Done Post-SCOTUS Decision

WBUR explored how there is still a lot to be done to make the health field more LGBT inclusive, even after the Supreme Court’s recent decision that made workplace discrimination against the community illegal. They cite studies showing that the vast majority of doctors have at least some implicit bias against LGBT folks, and that prospective patients also often harbor biases against having an LGBT doctor.

UNAIDS_EDCOVID Could Halt HIV Progress

The UNAIDS Coordinating Board discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability of healthcare systems to meet HIV-related goals worldwide. The UNAIDS Executive Director warned that the world was already off-track on meeting many targets before the pandemic hit; she also urged that HIV programs must be fully funded despite worldwide financial challenges or else further progress would be lost.

HIV (Self) Testing Day

The CDC marked June 27th as National HIV Testing Day, publishing lots of resources and social media content for organizations to help spread the word. Among the resources are information on self-testing, an option that has not been widely offered but that has become increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it reduces potential exposure to COVID-19 among those getting tested.

CDCPrideHealthProudly Smoke-free

The CDC also published an article encouraging LGBT people to use Pride Month as an opportunity to quit smoking. They note that 1 in 5 LGBT adults smokes, and that number is likely much higher – perhaps 1 in 3 – for transgender folks. The post includes resources, ways that everyone can get involved in reducing disparities, and tips from a former smoker who got started due to the industry’s targeting of queer communities.

Impact of COVID-19 on Trans Health

Researchers explored the potential health impacts, including mental health, of COVID-19 on transgender individuals. Not only are trans folks likely at higher risk for severe COVID-19 infections, but all trans folks – particularly those who become sick – are facing difficulties accessing gender-affirming care. That can put a strain on mental health, compounded by the fact that mental health services are also hard to access during this time.

Exploring Data Collection Gaps, Importance

Movement Advance Project explored the current limitations in sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data collection. Key sources of data on public health often fail to include SOGI indicators; for example, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) allows states to not include SOGI questions, and 18 states and two territories currently do not do so.

DisclosureExploring Trans Portrayals in Film

CNN reported on a new documentary, entitled “Disclosure,” that looks at how transgender people are portrayed on film – and how that can enforce or break down stereotypes about the community. The filmmaker also discusses how a 1990s film was both powerful as one of the first depictions he saw of a trans body, while also damaging in the over-the-top rejection the character faced.

Get Caught Up on HIV in the U.S.

The Body published a helpful review of everything one might need to know about HIV in LGBT communities. They review statistics on the inequities in HIV rates facing the community, including that of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. today, 700,000 (almost two in three) became positive from same-sex relations between men. They also explore the hugely disparate rates facing LGBT people of color.

 

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2 For 1 Special – 2 #LGBTWellness Roundups/1 Post

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Podcast2

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

What LGBT Folks Think about Our Health

A national study found that LGBT people view HIV as being the community’s most significant health issue, with about one in four making that selection. Very few people identified areas with significant documented disparities such as smoking, cancer, or hate crimes as being the community’s top health priority.  Meanwhile, 4.2% of LGBT folks believed the community did not have any health differences compared to non-LGBT people.

LGBT Rights in Flux

The New York Times reported on the Supreme Court’s ruling that existing civil rights laws banning sex-based discrimination at work also bans discrimination based on LGBT identities. The news comes just days after the Department of Health and Human Services eliminated an extension of similar rights in healthcare, a decision that could eventually be undone by the Supreme Court’s new interpretation.

HIV Experts Call Out Racism BLMProtest

A group of HIV organizations published an op-ed explaining how racism underlies the HIV epidemic in America, noting that nearly half of new HIV diagnoses are among Black individuals. They say that for the HIV epidemic to be successfully addressed, reforms are needed to address forms of systemic racism that are embedded in the justice system and that impede on the wellness of people of color.

Substance Use Disparities Persist

Poz Magazine reported on new research finding that sexual minorities aged 50-plus are more likely than their heterosexual peers to use various forms of drugs for non-medical reasons. LGB adults were more than twice as likely as their peers to use opioids or marijuana, and were more than three times as likely to use prescription tranquilizers, suggesting that LGB drug use disparities continue throughout the lifespan.

HCWOutAtWorkBeing Out Matters for Healthcare Workers

The Advocate published an op-ed on why it’s important for healthcare workers to feel safe coming out at work, especially during stressful times such as the present pandemic. The author says that it is critical workers be there to support one another, check in on them and their families, and share their hopes and concerns. That care of self and community is impossible when LGBT employees feel the need to shield a major part of themselves.

Guidelines for Studying Puberty Suppression

Children’s National Hospital published best practices on how researchers can study the impact of puberty suppression on transgender youths’ brain development. Puberty suppression – in which transgender youth can delay the impacts of puberty, which may be contrary to their gender identity – is a relatively new treatment that researchers say requires careful and coordinated study

Black Lives Matter in Our Communities

Movement Advancement Project published a report on why ending violence against Black individuals should be a top priority for LGBT advocates. They note that police brutality is an issue for both Black and LGBT communities, and that Black LGBT folks – especially Black transgender women – are particularly at risk of suffering this injustice. They also share a list of ways for LGBT people to get involved in this critical issue.

Trans Men Want More Inclusive Language

Researchers found that transgender men and trans-masculine nonbinary folks want providers to engage more on respectful language, with 77.7% saying they want providers to directly ask what language to use regarding their genitalia. A majority of 65% wanted providers to use medical terminology rather than informal language. Yet, only 26.9% reported that a provider had ever asked for their preferences, despite many more saying their provider was otherwise knowledgeable on trans-affirming care.

Pride Plans Continue NationwideGMAPride

Good Morning America published an extensive list of upcoming virtual Pride Month events happening all over the country, with in-person events mostly canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many sessions are simply celebrations, some cover specific topics like mental health, veteran’s issues, and gender diversity. GMA says that it is key the community still have space “to celebrate its resilience, diversity and history,” even if that means going online.

PrEP Expansion Delayed in UK

Forbes reported that a long-awaited change in which PrEP would finally be available in the UK’s health system – which was scheduled for April – has been indefinitely delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocates for PrEP access say that the stay home order actually presented the perfect opportunity to work on HIV prevention; however, others cite reduced health system capacity as a barrier to launching this new service.

HealioQuick Reads on Mental Health

Healio compiled a list of quick hits on LGBT mental health in recognition of Pride Month. Among their picks: concerns about fertility impacting the future outlook of transgender adolescents; unique concerns facing LGBT older adults with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers; and mental health issues remaining high among sexual minority youth despite growing significantly in numbers over the past decades.

CDC Promises More Data

ABC News reported that the CDC will start collecting race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 tests, which until now has not been done at the federal level, potentially masking disparities. The CDC also said that it is “dedicated to leading to America to healthier lives, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sex, geography, or sexual orientation,” though no plans have yet been made to collect gender and sexual orientation data.

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Care Lags for Black Trans Women – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

TransWOC2Care Lags for Black Trans Women

Researchers found that Black transgender women living with HIV were less likely than their Black cisgender peers to reach viral suppression, a key indicator in wellness among people living with HIV. Black transgender women were also less likely than Black cisgender women to be retained in care. The results show the impact of the unique challenges facing Black transgender women living with HIV.

Impact of Gun Violence in Queer Community

Juvenile Justice Information Exchange reported on how the impact of gun violence is not measured with respect to LGBT individuals. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not routinely included in places such as death certificates or police reports, where information on the impact of firearms is typically measured. Experts believe, based on available studies and higher rates of violence facing LGBT people, that guns likely pose a disproportionate public health risk to the community.

Expanding Our Idea of “Family”

Center for American Progress argued in favor of expanding the definition of “family” in federal laws, saying that the definitions used (in addition to being outdated in general) often exclude LGBT families. This means that LGBT families may fail to qualify for health benefits or social services programs, exacerbating existing disparities.

How Data Collection Can Help Patients TransMasc

Fenway Health published new research proposing that an acne treatment commonly used for transmasculine patients begin collecting gender identity data to improve our knowledge on trans health and improve outcomes for individual patients. The authors say that the drug can have serious side effects for pregnant individuals, and that identifying and serving transmasculine patients who can become pregnant is key to mitigating these risks.

Resources to Help with Mental Health

HRC marked the end of Mental Health Awareness Month by releasing tip sheets and other resources for providers, parents, teachers, and researchers to help meet the heightened mental health needs that LGBT folks are facing during the pandemic. They noted, “Remaining at home does not mean you have to remain isolated, with an abundance of resources and opportunity to build community available online.”

TransFlagCovidChallenges for Trans Folks During Pandemic

Researchers in China published an analysis of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on physical and mental health for transgender individuals. They note that transgender individuals face complex medical needs that governments should ensure can be provided at home during quarantines. They also discuss the role of stigma and discrimination, and the need to better assess the pandemic’s impact on this population.

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Improving Access to Care Has Positive Mental Health Impact – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

HealthCareDescriminationMeasuring Impact of Inclusive Policies

A new study examined the impact of states banning gender identity-related discrimination in health coverage. It found that in states issuing such nondiscrimination policies between 2014 and 2016, there was an associated decrease in suicidality among gender minorities within the first year. The results suggest that improving access to care and decreasing stigma could have a positive mental health impact.

Few States Collecting SOGI Data during Crisis

amNewYork reported on a legislative effort in the Empire State to have the public health system begin collecting sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few states, including California and Pennsylvania, have taken such action – meaning that the impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ community cannot be measured and disparities cannot be effectively addressed.

Long-lasting PrEP Shows Promise ViiVHealthcare

Dallas Voice reported on a new form of PrEP that is injected once every two months instead of taken orally each day. In a trial, the new injectable version was found to be 69% more effective at preventing HIV infection than the current daily pill. A long-acting injectable is seen as an attractive alternative to a pill for which the efficacy is largely dependent on patients remembering to take it every day.

Gender Minority Youth Face Mental Health Disparities

Trevor Project published new research finding that transgender and nonbinary youth were at least twice as likely than their cisgender LGBQ peers to have experienced depressive symptoms or attempted suicide. Transgender males were, among all gender identity groups, those most likely to have faced these challenges. Trevor Project offers emergency services for all LGBT youth in crisis.

SOMapStatus of Sexual Orientation Rights

Forbes explored the status of LGBT rights around the world, and noted that in 70 countries, it is still illegal to be in same-sex relationships, including 12 countries in which the penalty is death. Meanwhile, in 65% of the world’s countries, same-sex relationships are legal, but only 6% of countries ban sexual orientation-based discrimination in their national constitutions.

LGBT Personnel Work and Wait

USA Today reported on how LGBT healthcare workers are combatting COVID-19 even as the Supreme Court considers whether to protect or diminish their employment rights. About half of LGBT healthcare personnel (totaling an estimated 386,000 people) live in states without their own law banning anti-LGBT employment discrimination, meaning they can be fired for being LGBT unless the Court recognizes their rights federally.

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Queer and Trans Men Feel Unsafe During Pandemic – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

HuffPostLogoQueer and Trans Men Feel Unsafe During Pandemic

Huffington Post reported on a new study finding that 30% of queer and transgender men feel unsafe in their own homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, while 72% had experienced anxiety and 24% felt extreme loneliness. The study explored both physical and emotional safety and found concerns related to unsupportive families, abusive partners, and lack of connection to community and services.

Standing against Discrimination UNAIDSflag

UNAIDS marked May 17th as International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, and called on governments to enact laws to protect LGBT rights. They also called for an immediate stop to arbitrary arrests of LGBT individuals, which they say has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as some governments are using LGBT populations as scapegoats and targeting them for harassment.

Rule Could Invisiblize Foster Youth

Human Rights Campaign reported on a proposed federal rule that would eliminate sexual orientation data collection by state foster care systems. The current rule instructs states to collect sexual orientation information on both youth in the system and prospective parents, as a way of bringing visibility to a population that is disproportionately involved in the foster care system and that has unique needs.

Providing PrEP During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The CDC issued guidance on how providers of PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment) can continue to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that containing HIV is still a public health priority. They provided options for at-home and self-test kits to ensure those on PrEP can continue to regularly test for HIV, and recommended that providers issue 90 day refills to reduce the frequency of pharmacy visits.

Trans Patients More Likely to Have HIV Diagnosis

Researchers examined electronic medical records and found that transgender patients were much more likely to have had an HIV diagnosis (at 3.9%) than were non-transgender patients (at 0.32%). Transgender individuals living with HIV also had a higher burden of most opportunistic infections compared to their non-transgender peers living with HIV, highlighting another level of disparities.

SeniorMenwTechUsing Tech to Link LGBT Elders

Washington Blade reported on how technology can reduce isolation among LGBT older adults. They say that these adults are particularly in need of accessing social support and medical services virtually, since they may lack social support or affirming care where they are physically based. LGBT older adults are also more likely than others to live in poverty and thus may lack the means to access these services.