Trans Folks Especially Needed Trans Services – #LGBTWellness

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Trans Folks Especially Needed COVID Services 

A new study found that among the LGBT population, transgender and nonbinary individuals had been twice as likely to report COVID-19 symptoms than were cisgender LGB folks; they were also more likely than cisgender LGB individuals to be interested in COVID-19 vaccination or at-home testing. Overall, 13.3% of LGBT folks had been tested at that point even though 24% had reported symptoms. 

Passports to be More Inclusive 

The New York Times reported that the State Department has begun to implement new policies that will make it easier for transgender people to change their gender marker on passports, and which will also add a nonbinary “X” marker option for those who identify as nonbinary, intersex, or otherwise do not want an “M” or “F” designation. The move is especially important as more states have moved to permit such markers, which has made discrepancies with passports a concern for safely traveling and accessing services. 

HIV Disclosure Brings Challenges

A study explored the impact of disclosing a positive HIV status among sexual minority Black men in Baton Rouge. The 30 men included in the study reported ramifications to disclosing their HIV status such as being assaulted, problems with family and friends, and socioeconomic problems. The study reports that these challenges are connected to the underlying inequities and intersectional discrimination this population faces.  

Talking to Young Trans Patients about Fertility 

Psychiatric Times reported on the importance of mental health providers speaking to transgender and nonbinary youth patients about fertility issues – a topic that many providers say they do not know enough about. While there is no consensus as to who among providers should take the lead on these conversations, research shows they are important for youth to understand the impacts of treatment options and make informed decisions. 

Discriminatory Blood Bans Weaken
Reuters reported that Germany will follow other countries, such as the UK and Australia, in loosening blood donation restrictions aimed at queer men. They can now donate blood if they are in a monogamous relationship, while those with multiple partners (and heterosexual individuals with “frequently changing partners”) will have to wait four months. Calls to end discriminatory bans, which began during the early years of HIV, have increased as the need for donors has soared during the pandemic.

Cancer Screenings for LGBT Communities

Cancer Network shared research on barriers to cancer screening facing LGBT populations, including research finding that LGBT people of color may face additional challenges in accessing such services. Other studies have shown that communication and knowledge of LGBT issues is key, and that providers who make assumptions about LGBT patients (particularly with regard to sex and gender) miss important screening opportunities. 

#LGBTWellness News – Holiday Weekend Edition

Double the news – Double the podcast!

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Homophobia is Stressful

A new study found that exposure to homophobia among LGB folks was associated with stress-related symptoms such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. The study matched LGB people with partners who were to interview and assess them, with half of the interviewers displaying homophobic attitudes and the other half not. The LGB people with the apparently homophobic interviewers showed symptoms of stress, demonstrating the real-time effect of stigma. 

Athletes Come Out

Gay City News reported on NFL player Carl Nassib becoming the first openly gay, active player in professional football. In addition to marking a milestone in LGBT inclusion in sports, Nassib’s announcement was accompanied with a $100,000 donation in support of LGBT youth mental health. In other sports news, Sports Illustrated reported that New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard would become the first transgender Olympian this summer.

LGBT Folks in STEM

NIH published a report on the experiences of LGBT people in science and related fields (STEM), in which various studies have shown higher levels of harassment and fewer career opportunities for LGBT individuals. A large portion of LGBT scientists are not fully out at work, which compounds the issue by lowering visibility. They recommend steps such as education, inclusive policies, and mentoring initiatives to make STEM fields more inclusive of LGBT employees – which could help make scientific work itself more inclusive of LGBT issues.

VA to Up Trans Care

The New York Times reported that the VA will explore how to offer gender-affirming surgery to transgender veterans, ending an exclusion from such care that is currently part of its policies. There are an estimated 134,000 transgender veterans, according to advocates, although the VA estimates only about 4,000 would seek gender-affirming care if offered. Health experts now view such care as being medically-necessary and offering many benefits to trans individuals who want it.

ACEs and Smoking

Researchers examined the link between adverse childhood events (ACEs) and using cigarettes or e-cigarettes among LGBT youth. They found that students in general were more likely to use these tobacco products the more ACEs they reported, while LGBT youth who had been exposed to ACEs had significantly-higher cigarette use in the past month compared to others. 

Supporting LGBT Refugees

Center for American Progress published a report on how to make the refugee resettlement program more LGBT inclusive. Their recommendations include collecting voluntary data so that the experiences of LGBT refugees can be better understood; allowing unmarried LGBT couples to resettle together; and invest in LGBT resettlement programs, given the unique needs and supports LGBT refugees likely face. 

“X” Marks the Spot in NY

Reuters reported that the New York state legislature has passed a bill allowing a nonbinary “X” marker on state driver’s licenses, joining several other jurisdictions in doing so – and just in time for Pride Month. “X” markers help nonbinary people by not having to pick a male or female marker, and are also sometimes used by transgender and intersex individuals. IDs, in turn, are essential for accessing services and avoid discrimination and violence during ID checks.

Neighborhood Cohesion & Sexual Risk

A study of Black sexual minority men in the South found that those who perceived lower levels of neighborhood social cohesion had higher use of sexual risk factors including alcohol use before or during sex and condomless sex with casual partners. Religious beliefs and practices also made a difference in some of these factors. The authors suggest that neighborhood factors and mobilization be considered in addressing HIV. 

Trans Folks in South Face Challenges

Elsewhere in Southern news, NBC News reported on the issues facing trans people there. Half of the violent deaths of transgender people this year have happened in the South, and advocates believe this is explained by a lack of antidiscrimination protections, anti-LGBT legislation, poverty, and more. Trans people of color have also been coming together throughout the region to support each other including with essentials such as stable housing.

Online Interactions & Youth Health

A study found that among sexual minority young adults, exposure to heterosexism online was linked to health, with heightened expectations of rejection causing health impacts when such exposures occurred. The association between online heterosexism and mental health was stronger among young adults than were in-person encounters with heterosexism, which was not the case for their older sexual minority peers. The results suggest the need for coping and confrontation strageies for young queer adults navigating virtual spaces.

Evaluating LGBT MD Curricula 

A team at Boston University studied what medical students should know about LGBT health and developed a curriculum assessment tool. Medical schools can use the tool to assess what they are getting right about LGBT health education and what they still need to improve. Such education is a recent addition in most medical schools, and curricula (including the amount of time devoted to the topic) vary widely. 

Blinken Urges Inclusion

The AP reported that the U.S. Secretary of State has urged world leaders to guarantee HIV services to the LGBT communities in their countries, as well as to other populations that face a disparate impact of the virus. Secretary Blinken argued that global HIV goals cannot be reached if the most affected populations do not have their human rights recognized and are not legally protected from discrimination. 

40 Years of the HIV Epidemic – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

HIV Epidemic Turns 40

CNN reported on reaching the 40 year mark since the first cases of HIV in the US, which was first reported as five cases of a strange illness among gay men in Los Angeles. The CDC continued to follow up that report as more cases emerged, but little was known about the deaths and it took then-President Reagan four years to acknowledge the outbreak in the ’80s. HIV/AIDS would go on to claim more than 30 milion lives worldwide, including 700,000 in the US alone. 

Stressors and Substance Use

A study found that among gender minority adolescents, there were some important factors that explained the relationship between gender-related stressors and substance use. Resilience and gender-related pride were protective whereas internalized transphobia was a major risk factor. Family functioning and social support were also protective in some cases with respect to alcohol use. The study followed 30 teens for two years. 

Queer HPV Program Studied

Researchers studied an HPV vaccination program for queer men in Canada, and found that initiating vaccination was associated with getting tested for HIV or STIs, or having visited an HIV provider in the last six months. The program was more successful among men aged 26 or younger, who qualified for free vaccination, than among queer men 27 and up, among whom having private insurance made individuals twice as likely to get vaccinated. 

Trans and Nonbinary Pregnancy Experiences

Today reported on what it is like to experience pregnancy as a transgender man or nonbinary person, including the stereotypes, discrimination, and lack of culturally competent and inclusive care that one can encounter. It can be especially challenging given the number of providers an individual may have to see over the course of pregnancy and postpartum care, which often involved educating those providers and the stress that comes with that, advocates said. This situation has caused many trans and nonbinary parents to opt for the privacy of home births. 

Conversion Efforts Have Mental Health Consequences

A study in Korea found that sexual minorities who had experienced efforts to change their sexual orientation were 1.44 times more likely to have contemplated suicide than were sexual minorities who had not experienced such treatment, and were 2.35 times more likely to have actually attempted suicide. The results, which show similar harms from attempts to change one’s sexual orientation as have U.S. studies, demonstrate the need for such practices to be banned, researchers said.

Dr. Levine Defends Youth

NBC News reported on the work being done by Dr. Rachel Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary for health, to raise awareness on the needs of transgender youth. Dr. Levine has called out recent policies seeking to discriminate against transgender youth in sports, healthcare access, and more, and could use her growing portfolio of mental heatlh policy oversight to address the needs of youth whom she says need to be supported rather than targeted. 

Be Proud and Be Counted – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Be Proud and Be Counted

CenterLink marked the start of Pride Month by reaffirming our commitment to supporting LGBTQ centers as they address social, cultural, and health needs in their communities. That commitment is why we are passionate about the All of Us Research Program, which wants health data to reflect the diversity of America by enrolling one million people. Show your pride and make sure the LGBTQ community is included in health research! Learn more and #JoinAllofUs at JoinAllofUs.org/together.

Politics, Pandemic Hurting Mental Health

The Trevor Project published its annual study of LGBT youth mental health, which found that 94% of youth said that the recent political climate has negatively impacted their mental health, and 70% said that their mental health has been poor most or all of the time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Black LGBT youth reported the highest levels of racial discrimination in the past year, with two-thirds having experienced such discrimination.

Internet Holds Opportunity and Risks

Relatedly, Psychiatric Times published a special report on the challenges and opportunities that the internet poses for LGBT youths’ mental health. While there are a growing number of online mental health resources for LGBT youth, online bullying is also a major problem, and the internet is also a source of false information and referrals for so-called “conversion” efforts that have been condemned by major health organizations. The report includes online resources and communication tips for professionals. 

HIV Infections Drop among Young MSM

The CDC published new data on HIV rates, which showed an 8% decline in new HIV infections between 2015 and 2019. Queer men aged 13-24 saw a major 33% drop in new infections, and while such a drop was seen among all racial and ethnic groups, Black and Latinx sexual minority men still faced major disparities. The southern US accounted for half of new infections in 2019. 

Cancer Efforts Leave Some Behind

Forbes reported on how breast cancer awareness efforts have fallen short on reaching transgender and nonbinary people, many of whom are at fairly high risk depending on what type of gender-affirming care they have received. Awareness campaigns typically use the traditionally feminine color of pink and a fairly narrow image of who is at risk and should get screened, leaving many trans people to feel left out, stigmatized, or just unaware of whether or not they should ask a provider about their risk.

Health Centers to Study COVID Experiences

The LA Center announced that it and four other LGBT-focused health centers will conduct a major study on the healthcare experiences of LGBT individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The centers will pool their data, which is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) measures – something that was lacking from virtually all federal and state surveillance systems related to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination. 

Combining HIV Prevention with Gender-affirming Care – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Combining HIV Prevention with Gender-affirming Care

A new study will examine the impact of offering HIV prevention services combined with gender affirming care for transgender women. They note that about 14% of these women are living with HIV, making prevention an important issue; at the same time, accessing gender affirming care is often challenging. By combining services, they hope to make both more accessible. 

Billy Porter Tackles Stigma with Story

CBS News reported that Billy Porter, who has broken racial and sexual orientation barriers in the entertainment industry, disclosed that he is living with HIV. Porter said he hopes his story will help end stigma and educate folks on the HIV epidemic, the height of which he lived through ad a young gay man. 

Queer Women Missing Provider Conversations

A study found that lesbian women were less likely than heterosexual women who had not had same-sex partners to have discussed their sexual and reproductive health with their providers. The study also found that patient-provider communications were associated with higher likelihood of using contraception and having an STI diagnosed, underscoring the importance of improving such communication among queer women. 

Vaccines and Trans Individuals

Discover reported on challenges accessing (and trusting) COVID-19 vaccines for transgender people. Some feel that not enough is known about how the vaccines interact with hormone therapy, and studies and data on COVID-19 have rarely included gender identity questions – meaning transgender people are invisible in the data that exists. They also point to the broad healthcare barriers and negative experiences that trans folks have in general. 

Pregnancy and Inclusivity 

USA Today reported on efforts to make language and policies around pregnancy more inclusive of transgender and nonbinary folks who may become pregnant but who don’t identify as women or “mothers.” Proposed legislation aiming to improve reproductice healthcare has begun to take on language such as “pregnant people” and advocates say it is more scientifically accurate and helps to include more parents and children. 

New Policy on Citizenship

Gay City News reported that the State Department has updated policies to make it easier for children with one American parent and one parent from another country to have U.S. citizenship, even if the U.S. parent is not biologically related. The old policy meant that many binational same-sex couples could not have citizenship recognized for their children. 

Theater Plus Better Health for Youth – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Theater Plus Better Health for Youth

A new study explored how to use theater programs to support LGBT youth mental health. Researchers examined an after school program in Florida that has mental health providers as participants and as an “on-call” resource for the youth involved. The program focuses on theater skills-building as well as fostering relationships rather than taking an explicit focus on LGBT topics, distinguishing the concept from a traditional LGBT student organization.

Supporting Patients with Health Challenges

Oncology Nursing News shared resources on serving LGBT patients with respect to issues including cancer, COVID-19, and aging. Key to all these, they say, is training of service providers as well as open dialogue so that patients’ needs can be identified. They point to evidence from the CDC that LGBT folks are more likely to have conditions that exacerbate COVID-19, meaning the community may have disparate long-term needs even beyond the pandemic’s height.

What PrEP and COVID-19 Vaccines Have in Common

Meanwhile, MSNBC explored how both PrEP and the COVID-19 vaccine require LGBT patients to have trusted providers where they feel comfortable talking about the risks and benefits of preventive care, without feeling shame. The author points to the low uptake of PrEP despite many in the LGBT community standing to benefit from the HIV prevention treatment, and says that fear of side effects or stigma may prevent more people from seeking it out.

Testing App Has Appeal

Researchers studied how cisgender men and transgender women felt about an app to help them share HIV and syphillis test results with others. Participants liked the idea of a “verified” way of sharing negative test results with partners, feeling it may help normalize testing. They also felt that such an app could help them more easily forward positive test results to providers to more quickly access care.

Center Spotlight: OC’s Anniversary

The Orange County Register reported on the LGBTQ Center OC celebrating its 50 year anniversary. From a help line and social space to a center for HIV activism, and more recently, a place where transgender youth can find support and the Black Lives Matter movement is amplified, the center has engaged in countless issues affecting LGBT health as the community’s needs have changed with the times.

Survey on LGBT Communities

CMI launched its 15th annual survey of LGBT communities, which is used by LGBT service providers and others learn more about what issues and interests are affecting LGBT individuals. The annual study helps to fill gaps in what is known about LGBT issues, given limited data elsewhere. The results will be made available for free on their website in mid-August. 

Feds Expand LGBT Healthcare Protections – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Feds Expand LGBT Healthcare Protections 

WebMD reported that the Biden administration will interpret the Affordable Care Act’s ban on sex-based discrimination to include discrimination against LGBT individuals, reversing a policy of the previous administration. The change is based in part on the Supreme Court’s landmark Bostock decision, which found that sex discrimination bans in the context of employment included LGBT individuals. The administration will now consider it illegal to discriminate against LGBT folks in healthcare.

Lack of Data Now Impacting Vaccination

The New York Times reported on lingering concerns that LGBT individuals are not being counted with respect to COVID-19 data, which rarely includes questions about sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). Few jurisdictions attempted to collect SOGI data on COVID-19 cases, and now the same is happening with respect to vaccinations. Not only will this make it impossible to track vaccination among LGBT folks, it is also a missed opportunity to signal inclusiveness and thus increase vaccine uptake, advocates say.

HIV Seems to Worsen COVID-19 Outcomes

Penn State News reported on a new study finding that people living with HIV were 24% more likely to be infected by COVID-19 and 78% more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to people who were not living with HIV. Research to date has been inconclusive on the relationship between COVID-19 and HIV – which disproportionately affects LGBT individuals and people of color – but the results suggest people living with HIV should be a priority in COVID-19 responses.

Flavored Tobacco Bans a Step against Disparities

The Sun Journal published an op-ed exploring why banning the sale of flavored tobacco products is an important steps towards ending disparities facing groups such as people of color and LGBT folks. The author explains how marketing tactics and exploitation of the LGBT community by “Big Tobacco” helps explain the widespread disparities they are now facing in terms of tobacco use. The author also notes that smoking also impacts COVID-19 outcomes, where these same populations face dispariteis. 

Clinical Guidance for Trans Patients Lacking

A study found that better and more expansive clinical guidance is needed regarding care for transgender people worldwide. It found that most of the limited guidance that does exist focused on HIV or on transition-related care; other areas, including primary care and mental health care, were largely ignored in the literature. The study also found that more patient-facing materials were needed.

Center Spotlight: Long Beach Expands Services

Long Beach Business Journal interviewed the new director of the LGBTQ Center Long Beach, Carlos Torres, as his team reinstates some in-person programming as the COVID-19 situation improves. In-person therapy has resumed, as has outdoor wellness programming for seniors, which Torres says is sorely needed to address the isolation they’ve felt during the pandemic. They are also working to offer a new PrEP clinic to improve outreach and access to the HIV prevention treatment. 

Find out what your local LGBT center is doing to improve health using CenterLink’s interactive center directory

Grant to Explore Tobacco-HIV Intersection – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Grant Will Explore HIV-Tobacco Intersection

Medical University of South Carolina announced that it has received a $2 million grant to study a new “opt-out” intervention that would proactively provide people living with HIV who smoke with cessation assistance. The research team notes that up to 50% of people living with HIV smoke – about triple the rate of the general population – and that it is playing a more notable impact as HIV care itself has improved markedly over the past few decades. 

Lack of Affirming Care Costs Health

NBC News reported on a study finding that transgender people who wanted gender-affirming surgery but had not been able to access it were twice as likely to express severe mental health challenges and were also more likely to drink heavily and use tobacco. The study is the latest to show that there are myriad health benefits beyond the immediate aims of surgery, despite moves in states across the US to limit gender-affirming care. 

Most Teen Boys are Out

Researchers found that most Gen Z sexual minority teen boys are out to their parents, with about two in three out to female parents and half out to male parents, a big increase from past decades. Teens who identify as gay were more likely to be “out” than those who identify as bisexual; not being religious and being sure of one’s identity were other factors associated with higher likelihood to be out. 

Consistency of Parental Views Matters

Relatedly, Healio reported on a small study finding that gay and lesbian adults whose parents had a consistent perspective on their sexual orientation – whether it was good or bad – had lower levels of mental health symtoms than those whose parents had shifted from negative to positive views over time. The surprising results suggest that the journey towards finding support could be as or more challenging than simply not having that support, with authors calling for more study.

Center’s Vaccine Efforts Highlighted

The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported on how the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, PA, is working to improve COVID-19 vaccine distribution to LGBT communities in that area. The center’s director notes that a big issue today in vaccine distribution is trust between prospective patients and vaccine providers, giving LGBT centers a big role to play in reaching and educating LGBT folks (who have been hit hard by the pandemic) about their vaccine options. 

Mark Your Calendars

Did you know? May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, an event that aims to address stigma and bias against LGBT populations worldwide. Later in the month, May 24th will mark Pan Day of Visibility, which brings awareness to pansexuality. 

Centers Play Major Mental Health Role, #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Centers Play Major Mental Health Role

Researchers interviewed 60 LGBT center leaders and found that 98% provided support groups and 85% provided individual psychotherapy, underscoring the importance of mental health work by LGBT centers. They also found that most leaders had limited staff to provide these services and were interested in having more training on providing LGBT-specific, evidence-based care.

Resources Strained as Needs Soar

Relatedly, Fox 5 reported on the challenges facing LGBT health centers in New York, where a lack of patient visits and in-person fundraisers has meant for huge drops in revenues. At the same time, they are struggling to provide telehealth and other modified services to provide for health as well as social connection, as well as play a role in vaccine distribution – a further stretch of resources.

Learn more about what LGBT centers are doing in your area, and how to get involved or receive services, here.

PrEP is Widely Known, But Underused

A new study found that while 98% of sexual minority men and transgender women were aware of PrEP as an HIV prevention method, less than 25% were actually taking it. People of color included in the study were more likely to take PrEP if they had received information about it from a healthcare provider, underscoring the need for providers to educate patients (and themselves) on this topic).

After Incarceration, Challenges Continue

Center for American Progress published a report on the barriers facing LGBT folks who reenter the community following incarceration. For example, parole restrictions often limit housing and healthcare options for trans folks in particular, and some states permanently ban name changes for people with criminal convictions, making it impossible for people to access affirming IDs.

Mother-Son Duo Tackle Inequity

Commercial Appeal reported on how a mother-son duo in Memphis addressed the lack of Black-led LGBT organizations by forming one themselves. Relationships Unleashed is working to advance socioeconomic equity, sexual health, and – during the pandemic – COVID-19 relief to Black LGBT folks in the Memphis area.

Pandemic’s HIV Comparisons Have Limits

The Ithacan explored the limitations in comparisons between HIV and COVID-19. While COVID-19 has affected everyone (albeit inequitably) and therefore drawn widespread attention and resources, HIV was largely seen as a “gay cancer” that went ignored by many politicians and the general public for years, while LGBT communities were decimated. 

Anti-Trans Bills Also Anti-Science, #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Anti-trans Bills Also Anti-science 

Scientific American reported on how bills in Arkansas and nineteen other states seeking to block transgender youth from receiving care run counter to science. They cite research finding that trans-affirming care is not only safe for youth, but also positively affects their mental health. 

HIV Vaccine Could Be Closer

Insider reported on how advancements on vaccines for COVID-19 could mean that an HIV vaccine is closer than ever. Scientists have used the new mRNA technique to develop the COVID-19 vaccines after decades of study, and that same method could be used to vaccinate for HIV, a disease that has disproportionately impacted LGBT communities. 

College Athletics Lack Inclusive Policies

Gay City News reported on new findings that college athletic policies fall short on LGBT inclusion. Only three percent of NCAA Division 1 schools had “robust” protections, while nine in ten (92%) lacked trans-inclusive policies. Resources for athletes and policies for fans were also found among a minority of programs. 

LGBT Training in ER Residencies 

Researchers found that 75% of emergency medicine residency programs offered some LGBT health training, with an average of two hours of instruction. They also found that most survey respondents would have preferred more instruction on this topic. Lack of time in the curriculum was the biggest barrier cited for not offering more LGBT health education. 

New Safe Space – in Spanish

CenterLink launched a new LGBT youth chat platform in Spanish. Q CHAT SPACE,  a collaboration with Planned Parenthood and PLFLAG, has helped fill gaps (especially during the pandemic) for youth who need a safe, virtual place to connect. The platform’s Spanish-language launch aims to expand the reach and impact of the program. 

HPV Convos Lacking

A study explored how sexual minority men discuss HPV vaccination with their partners, and found that most did not engage in much conversation on the topic – despite higher rates of HPV among queer men than others. They found that the value placed on safer sex conversations and the type of relationship that men were in were important factors for this type of discussion. 

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