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.
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LGBT Folks Back Vaccines, Mandates
Kaiser Family Foundation published research finding that LGBT people are more supportive of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates compared to the general population. Eight in 10 LGBT adults are fully vaccinated, far above the population total, and about two-thirds (65%) support a vaccine mandate compared to half (50%) of non-LGBT adults. Researchers say politics are associated with these differences, as political views have been associated with sharply divided view on COVID-19 in general and the vaccines in particular.
HIV Misinformation, Stigma High
Georgia Voice reported on a new study regarding HIV knowledge and stigma, which found that less than half (48%) of Americans said they feel knowledgeable about HIV and even less (42%) knew that someone cannot transmit the virus if they are undetectable. Not surprisingly given this limited level of knowledge, the survey also found high levels of stigma, with 53% of non-LGBT respondents saying that they would be uncomfortable having a doctor who was living with HIV. Stigma was higher in the South and Midwest regions than in the Northeast and West.
Poor Trans Mental Health in Russia
LGBT Health published a study finding high levels of anxiety and depression among transgender adults throughout Russia. About one in four had depression while even more, 45H%, were suffering from anxiety. LGBT identities and information are criminalized in Russia, likely contributing to minority stress.
Healthcare Needs of Lesbian Women
Medical News Update reported on a study of lesbian women’s health, which found that most lesbian women were comfortable being out with their providers, despite experiences of discrimination. Women who were not comfortable being out to their providers were less likely to seek care at all. For lesbian women of color, having a provider who was also a person of color was key.
Case Tackles Care Access During Incarceration
Washington Post reported on a transgender man who is incarcerated in a women’s facility in Virgina and for whom doctors have recommended gender-affirming surgery – which the prison is denying. Advocates are suing the prison, saying that this care is medically necessary and would address issues the man is having with respect to mental health. The prison says it provides access to all “medically-necessary treatment” but declined to comment on the case.
SOGI Questions Limited for Medical Programs
Journal of Osteopathic Medicine published a study finding that less than 15% of included medical programs asked prospective students to self-identity their sexual orientation, which researchers say means that the schools cannot measure and pursue diversity of students with respect to orientation. More positively, 73% of programs allowed students to report a gender identity other than male or female, boosting visibility and inclusion of nonbinary students and others who eschew male or female labels.