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LGB Youth Facing Higher Suicide Rates in This Week’s #LGBTWellness news

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.

Pooling the Data on Suicide Risk

Researchers reviewed the risk of suicide attempts among youth in 35 studies, which together included a total of 2.3 million heterosexual and 113,000 sexual minority youth. They found that gay and lesbian youth faced an average of 3.5 times the risk of suicide attempt compared to heterosexual youth, and that bisexual youth faced 4.87 times the risk of heterosexual peers.

If you or an LGBTQ youth you know is in crisis, contact the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.

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Queer Youth at Risk from Age 10

A major new UK study found that sexual minority youth had higher rates of depressive symptoms than did their heterosexual peers from the age of just 10. They also found that sexual minority adolescents faced 4.53 times the odds of engaging in self-harm than did heterosexual youth by age 21. Researchers pointed to potential solutions such as more role models for LGB youth, deconstructing gender norms in schools, and more culturally-competent healthcare.

Spotlight on Trans Care

The USA Today reported on the challenges that transgender people experience in receiving healthcare related to their gender identity, even when the treatment would otherwise be covered. They describe the years that some patients spend fighting for approval of care or reimbursement, and the work that trans-specific health clinics are doing to provide life-saving care.

Exploring PrEP in Prisons

Researchers examined the knowledge of and interest in PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment) among incarcerated men who are gay, bisexual, or otherwise have sex with men. While the men had low initial knowledge of PrEP, they were very interested when they learned more, including in beginning treatment prior to release (when they expected more barriers, like cost and stigma).

RainbowHospitalBedNondiscrimination in Healthcare

A study examined the perception of nondiscrimination laws among healthcare workers, whose facilities are subject to such laws when they include places of “public accommodation.” Their two main concerns were their lack of preparedness to address incidents of bias and their fear of other patients’ reactions to transgender women being in sex-segregated spaces for women.

Gender-affirming Hormones & Surgery

Researchers reviewed the practice in which transgender individuals are routinely told that they need to stop taking hormones before undergoing various types of surgery due to presumed risks that hormones can pose. The study found that the evidence does not support discontinuing all hormone use before surgery, and that more nuanced consideration (and research) is needed.

Creating More Competent Healthcare Teams

The Fenway Institute and Harvard Medical School announced a three-day course for “care teams” – including providers, nurses, and other healthcare staff – to learn together how to improve their care of LGBT patients. Participants will learn about mental health needs, HIV and STI prevention and treatment, the importance of collecting data on LGBT patients, and more.

Queer Men Lack Knowledge on HPV

A study examined the attitudes of queer men living with HIV in Toronto and found that most had not heard of the HPV vaccine, and were unaware of the cancer-related dangers that HPV entails, especially for people living with HIV. Many expressed the commonly-held belief that HPV is mostly a danger to young women and did not know that queer men are also at high risk.

Destigmatizing Trans GenderDysphoria

The New York Times published an op-ed arguing that gender dysphoria should be removed from the list of mental health disorders by the American Psychiatric Association, just as the APA did with homosexuality decades ago. The World Health Organization has already changed their own classification of gender dysphoria, noting the importance of doing so to help erase stigma.

Provider Comfort with Transgender Patients

A study found that 86% of primary care doctors were willing to care for transgender patients. Slightly less – 79% – said they would screen for cervical cancer in transgender men using a Pap test. One of the study’s authors said that provider comfort with transgender patients needs to be taught in medical education, in addition to just technical knowledge on transgender health.

Good News, Bad News on Gonorrhea

NBC News reported that while gonorrhea appears to be increasingly resistant to antibiotics, a new treatment is 96% effective at targeting these hard-to-defeat strands. They also note that gonorrhea is especially prevalent among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, and also that 50% of all infections occur among youth aged 15-24.

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Preparing for an Aging Population

Windy City Times reported on an exciting new resource published by experts from Howard Brown Health, an LGBT-centered clinic in Chicago. It’s a comprehensive book on aging among transgender and gender-nonconforming adults, a key topic as the LGBT community ages. The book explores everything from mental health to social services to long-term care.

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Know Your Status – #LGBTWellness News on 30th Annual World AIDS Day

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.

 

In recognition of December 1 as the 30th annual World AIDS Day, we bring you a special edition of the Roundup focused on HIV. You can learn more about Worlds AIDS Day and this year’s campaign, “Rock the Ribbon,” at the event’s official website.

AIDS

What You Can Do

CNN reported on World AIDS Day with five things that individuals can do to help make a difference on ending the HIV epidemic. Their ideas: know your status so you can get treatment if necessary; combat the stigma that persists against people living with HIV; educate yourself about prevention and then help educate others; and be an ally, or even donate to a good cause.

36.9 Million Living with HIV

UNAIDS published a new fact sheet in honor of World AIDS Day with the latest figures on the epidemic. They report that as of 2017, there were 36.9 million people living with HIV, 9.4 million of whom did not know their status. While treatment options for HIV have improved markedly for those who can afford them, there were still a shocking 940,000 AIDS-related deaths last year, highlighting the inequity of the epidemic worldwide.

Substance Use and PrEP

A study found that queer men who use substances were equally likely as men who do not use substances to stay adherent to PrEP, the HIV prevention treatment. The study rebuts the notion that people who use substances might not be able to adhere to PrEP, which needs to be taken daily to have its maximum prevention effect.

 140 Characters to Fight HIV RedTweet

Researchers analyzed tweets posted on Twitter regarding World AIDS Day in 2014 and 2015, and found many key themes around HIV as a human rights issue and the need to end the epidemic, though some decreased from 2014 to 2015. The authors conclude that Twitter is a cost-effective way of spreading knowledge and building hope that the epidemic can really end.

Relationship Between HIV and Race

The Root published an op-ed on the staggering racial disparities that mark the HIV epidemic in America, in which nearly half of new diagnoses are among Black men (47% from 2011-2015). The author argues that the stigma around HIV exacerbates the situation, and calls on readers to help reduce stigma, get tested, and have honest conversations with partners.

MosaicPrEP’s Potential Grows

Mosaic explored the effect that PrEP is having on HIV prevention and control, including weighing the claim that PrEP is actually harming sexual health by enabling riskier sexual behavior. The author contends that the scientific evidence is increasingly supporting PrEP, and points to factors like increased connection to the health system (and the STI testing that comes with getting PrEP prescribed) may be providing benefits beyond just what the pill itself offers.

While studies have found that Black sexual minority men are over four times as likely as White sexual minority men to be well-suited to take PrEP, and that PrEP is a more effective public health intervention among Black sexual minorities than White sexual minorities, Black men comprise a minority of those who are signing up for PrEP and most are not even aware of the option.

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Could Our Healthcare Orgs Do Better? #LGBTWellness News

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.

Competent? Says Who? Researchers explored the cultural competence of healthcare organizations through the lens of 3,500 healthcare employees, instructors, trainees, and students. LGBT personnel were less likely than their non-LGBT colleagues to say that their organization was “above average” on cultural competence, and the same trend was true for Black versus White professionals and for women versus men.

Three in Four Know Status UNAIDS published a report finding that 75% of people living USAIDSwith HIV globally were aware of their status as of 2017, marking an improvement from just two years before, when that number was 67%. While the number of people who are virally suppressed has also risen to 47%, that still leaves 19.4 million people living with HIV who do not have a suppressed viral load.

Bisexual Adults at Risk for Opioids A new study found that bisexual adults faced 1.66 times the risk of misusing prescription opioids within the past month compared with heterosexual adults. The researchers said in a statement that bisexual women were at particularly high risk and recommended that providers, educators, and families consider sexual orientation when assessing risk of misuse and need of support.

Prospective Parents Lack Protections Center for American Progress published a report finding that many privately operated foster and adoption agencies (particularly faith-based) do not have an LGBTQ nondiscrimination policy for prospective parents. They also note that there is a significant shortage of such parents, as 20,000 youth age out of the foster care system each year having never found a permanent home.

Healthcare Beyond the Binary A study explored the stigma and victimization that nonbinary people can face in getting access to care, and what healthcare professionals can do to help. Through a case study, the article explores how to correctly use nonbinary pronouns (like they / them / theirs), navigate insurance issues when preferred names and gender markers do not match official records, and other issues.

RainbowMAMarriage’s 15th Anniversary NBC News reported on the 15th anniversary of the court case that allowed for marriage equality in Massachusetts, which in 2003 became the first state to do so. The lead couple in that historic case cited being denied hospital visitation rights as one of their motivating factors to get wed. Meanwhile, migrant couples in Mexico celebrated a joint marriage ceremony that they said would have been too dangerous in their home countries due to social stigma and violence.

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Happy Holiday #LGBTWellness News to All!

 

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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.

Providers Not Asking about LGBT Status

A large study of healthcare providers found that many (81.7%) reported themselves as familiar with health needs of gay, lesbian, and bisexual patients, while fewer (68.3%) said the same about transgender patients. Despite self-reporting such knowledge, however, the majority of providers said that they rarely or never spoke to patients about their sexual orientation or gender identity – many because they do not think it is relevant to care.

DeafOnline Activity and Knowledge of PrEP

A new study examined knowledge of PrEP, the HIV prevention treatment, among deaf men who identify as queer, gay, or bisexual. It found that men who discussed LGBT issues online and on social media were 3.12 times more likely to believe that PrEP was effective at preventing HIV, demonstrating the role that online communities can play in HIV prevention for GBQ deaf men.

Conversion Therapy Examined

ABC News reported on the dangers of conversion therapy, sharing the story of a survivor of the discredited practice. The interviewee shared how he sought out a conversion program while in college, and that it taught him to bury his feelings away as unnatural. Today, the man is part of an affirming church that says there is no legitimate basis to conversion therapy.

Exploring Adverse Childhood Experiences

Researchers examined data from 23 states to see how the number of adverse childhood experiences varied among different demographic groups. They found that lesbian and gay adults were more likely than heterosexual adults to have had such adverse experiences during their childhoods – and that bisexual adults were at even higher risk. There were also racial and socioeconomic disparities.

Supporting Youth in Coming Out

US News reported on the stress that “coming out” can entail for LGBT and questioning teens, and how parents and other adults can help them to manage it. Their tips including pushing back when they see anti-LGBT treatment or jokes, helping youth find appropriate mental health care, and finding an affirming community space.

Taking On Lung Cancer Carmival

The CDC marked Lung Cancer Awareness Month with a series of new resources and publicity materials, including tips for providers to help their patients and also guides for communities to help reduce their populations’ lung cancer risk. Lung cancer is especially relevant for LGBT folks, who unfortunately smoke at an approximately 50% higher rate than non-LGBT people.

 

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#LGBTWellness News Special Edition: Healthcare Access

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.

Open for business

In honor of it being Open Enrollment Period for healthcare plans through the national healthcare.gov website (commonly known as Obamacare), as well as many state and private healthcare plans, this week we are bringing you a special edition of the Wellness Roundup focused on healthcare access. Obamacare has helped reduce the huge insurance disparities LGBT people once faced, but challenges remain. Make sure you search for a healthcare plan by December 15 if you are using healthcare.gov, or check with your state, private, or employer plan.

Helping Queer Folks 2Enroll OE6 Nondiscrim (2)

Out2Enroll launched their annual enrollment campaign aimed at getting LGBT people to sign up for healthcare, which includes a 2019 toolkit for organizations looking to help spread the word. They also offered updated FAQs to help LGBT people understand how to get covered, what is covered, and why it should matter to them. CenterLink is proud to serve on Out2Enroll’s advisory committee and to assist LGBT centers nationwide in getting LGBT folks covered.

KaramoA (Queer) Eye for Healthcare 

Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown opined on why he grew up thinking of healthcare as a privilege and not a right, and how that (and concepts of masculinity that he learned from others) led him to turn to alcohol and drugs instead of getting the care he needed. If you need help finding mental health services, check out this new resource guide from Teen Vogue.

Lesbian Women and Reproductive Healthcare

A new study found that lesbian women were less likely to receive birth control counseling at pregnancy tests or condom use information at an STI test, even though they may benefit from this information. Researchers said comprehensive and inclusive counseling scripts are needed for providers to ensure that queer women receive all the counseling and care they need.

Conference Takes On Trans Care

The University of North Carolina hosted a transgender health conference in which doctors reported their profession as “ignoring” the transgender population. They also said trans people face challenges in getting insured and in getting insurance to cover their care. However, they also discussed promising developments like increased services for youth and better data collection.

LGBT Brits Not Understood, Avoiding Care Rainbow UK

Personnel Today reported on a new UK study that found that 23% of LGBT people experienced or witnessed healthcare discrimination, and that 14% were deterred from seeking care because of it. LGBT people also reported unique experiences requiring care, such as hate crimes and higher rates of suicidality. Additionally, 62% of transgender people said providers did not understand their needs.

Challenges Beyond Getting Covered

While getting covered with health insurance is key for LGBT people, challenges remain between coverage and care. For example, a California study last month found that facing delays in care may now be a bigger problem there than getting LGBT people to enroll, and a recent study found that LGBT people still avoid care and face worse outcomes post-Obamacare. So once you get covered, remember to check your rights and find a quality provider to get the care you deserve.

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Keep in touch with LGBT HealthLink by joining our FREE membership. Have access to our library of tools and resources, all free. Join our members-only online networking groups, exclusive webinars just for members, and keep up to date with our Weekly #LGBTWellness Roundup. It’s quick and easy to join, and it’s all free!

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Don’t Be Afraid! It’s #LGBTWellness News!

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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.

Queer College Students Seek Mental Health Care

A large study of college students found that gay, lesbian, and bisexual students were more likely than their heteroseuxal peers to receive counseling or other mental health services. However, bisexual men and LBQ women were less likely to go to a parent or family member for help than were their heterosexual peers, highlighting the importance of quality services on campus.

HPV Vaccine Expanded

The New York Times reported that the HPV vaccine has been approved for all adults aged 27 to 45 by the Food and Drug Administration. The cancer-preventing vaccine was previously only available to those under 27. Research has found that lesbian women are less likely to get vaccinated than their heterosexual or bisexual peers, and that queer men are at higher risk for HPV-related cancers. Now they can through age 45.

 

Youth in JailSupporting LGBTQ Youth in Custody

Fenway Institute published a new guide on best practices for LGBT youth in juvenile justice systems. They note that over 45,000 youth are held in facilities nationwide, and that the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 requires them to take action to protect youth, including those who are LGBTQ. They also cover issues relating to nondiscrimination, privacy, and more.

Understanding Suicide Risk

A large study examined suicide-related risks among transgender and gender-nonconforming people aged 14-30, and found that gender-related victimization and depressive symptoms were both predictors of things like past-year suicidal ideation and attempts. The authors recommend that efforts be “aimed at building support and positive self-concept, decreasing victimization, and treating depression.”

How AIDS Activists Made History

NBC News marked LGBT History Month with a fascinating report on the early years of the HIV crisis, and the inspiring actors who pushed a reluctant government to provide help. The first government report of AIDS came in 1981, when five men were reported sick; since then, an estimated 700,000 Americans have died from the disease.

Insurance Not Enough for Equal Care

A California study found that while LGB adults there were at least as likely as heterosexual adults to have health insurance, they were more likely to experience delays in getting care. Bisexual adults in particular were also more likely to need care from the emergency room. Did you know our Healthcare Bill of Rights can help make sure you get the care you deserve with your insurance?

Pro-discrimination Laws May Hurt Health RainbowIndiana

A new study found that the Indiana law that legalized some discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals may have led to more unhealthy days per month for queer folks in the state. The lead author said that Indiana was the only state that saw LGB people face such declining health in the year following the law’s passage, and that it therefore might be to blame.

Exploring PrEP and Trans Communities

A study reviewed the available scientific information on PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment) among transgender people. Transgender women of color in particular are known to have higher risk of HIV, but data is limited on the efficacy of PrEP among this community. The article explores known barriers, including poor access to healthcare generally and complications with hormone therapy.

Meta-analysis Confirms Suicide Attempt Risk

Researchers found that, in an analysis of 35 studies, lesbian and gay youth had 3.71 times the odds of suicide attempts compared to heterosexual youth, while bisexual youth had an even higher risk that was 4.87 times that of heterosexual youth. There was also limited data that transgender youth faced a highly elevated risk compared to their cisgender peers.

Protecting and Including LGBT Students

Movement Advancement Project published a fact sheet on the importance of inclusion and protections for LGBT college students, including under Title IX, which is a federal law that was extended to transgender students in 2016. Troublingly, 79 colleges and universities have received waivers from Title IX protections that allow them to discriminate against LGBT students.

NLAADLatinx AIDS Awareness Day

The CDC marked National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day on October 15th, sharing social media tools to spread the word about HIV prevention and treatment with Latinx audiences, as well as on fighting stigma. They also included fact sheets with facts including that 59% of Latinx persons living with HIV had received care and 50% had achieved viral suppression.

Jobs, Insurance, and Trans Health

CNN reported on the status of insurance coverage for transgender individuals, and noted that many companies are beginning to change policies that excluded any gender-identity related care as being “elective” and thus not covered. That can mean transgender employees have to pay out-of-pocket for costly care that otherwise would be paid for by their employer-based plan.

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How To Identify Implicit Bias in This Week’s #LGBTWellness News

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.

Improving Care for LGBT Patients FenwayLGBTHealth

The Fenway Institute published a new guide with case examples to help providers overcome implicit bias towards LGBT patients. They also announced an upcoming webinar on addressing behavioral health needs among sexual minority women, which will explore how “stigma and lack of culturally affirming care impact health outcomes.” Registration is open now.

Bisexual Youth Smoking, Vaping More

A study of Minnesota students found that bisexual youth were twice as likely as heterosexual students to use e-cigarettes, a growing epidemic nationwide. Further, bisexual students were four times likely to smoke traditional cigarettes. The study matches evidence found elsewhere in the country that both traditional and e-cigarettes remain a huge problem for bisexual youth.

What Queer Men Need to Know About Prostate Health

Hornet reported on the risk that queer men face with respect to prostate cancer, and sought to dispel the rumor that having same-sex relations necessarily puts men at risk. Still, they highlight the importance of getting screened and talked to experts about how going with a loved one (such as a boyfriend) can help men who feel uncomfortable or nervous.

EmpoweredWomenPrevention Through Empowerment

A study tested an HIV prevention program for young transgender women that was empowerment-based and conducted in a group setting. When researchers checked in a year later, women who had taken the program had a 39.8% greater reduction in condomless sexual acts than did women who had received standard HIV prevention information.

Center Tackles Isolation among Older Adults

The NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan reported on the innovative efforts from that city’s local LGBT center to support LGBT older adults. They note that many older queer adults were closeted for much of their lives and face increased isolation (and health risks) as they age. CenterLink supports many LGBT centers in providing such services to older adults.

How Words Can Empower

Psychology Today published an article on how early HIV activists launched a self-empowerment movement that helped to (literally) define their community by rejecting disempowering terms like “patient” and “victim.” In addition to their success at organizing a movement, these leaders also “taught us that we can author our own story,” the author argued in the piece.

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Keep in touch with LGBT HealthLink by joining our FREE membership. Have access to our library of tools and resources, all free. Join our members-only online networking groups, exclusive webinars just for members, and keep up to date with our Weekly #LGBTWellness Roundup. It’s quick and easy to join, and it’s all free!

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Because You Need More #LGBTWellness News In Your Life!

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.

NonBinaryRisk High for Trans, Nonbinary Teens

ABC News reported on a new study finding that half of teenage transgender boys have attempted suicide, the highest of any group based on gender identity; the next highest groups were gender nonbinary teens (42%) and transgender girls (30%). The report was made in time for Suicide Prevention Day, to which some LGBT activists drew attention with a bold take on a queer icon.

New Data on LGBT Kids

A new study found that .86% of children aged 9-10 identified as gay or bisexual, with .4% identifying as transgender. The parents of the same children had much higher estimates for how many believed their child might be LGBT. In a press release, researchers said that the number of children who self-identify this way justifies inclusion of LGBT identities in more studies involving youth.

E-cig Epidemic Targeted tobacco-youth-header-only v2

The Food and Drug Administration (or FDA) declared e-cigarette use among minors an “epidemic,” pointing to a massive 75% jump of e-cigarette use by high school students just from 2017 to 2018. They announced that they would be targeting 1,300 retailers and 5 manufacturers as they investigate how teens are so easily accessing the age-restricted product. LGBT youth use e-cigs (and other tobacco products) at even higher rates than do other youth.

What’s It Like for Trans Teens?

Teen Vogue reported on a new campaign from MAP and GLSEN that seeks to educate the public on what high school is like for transgender teens. The effort includes a video ad and highlights that 65% of transgender students are bullied for their identities and 70% have avoided using the bathroom at school because they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

Queer Men Not Meeting Testing Recs

A national study found that about one in four (25.2%) young gay and bisexual men had never been tested for HIV, and that most gay and bisexual men did not fully meet the CDC’s testing recommendations. Only 4.1% were using PrEP, the HIV prevention treatment, despite more than two in three (68.4%) of those who knew about PrEP having a positive opinion on it.

HBOR FrontFinding a Friendly Doctor

Self published a guide to finding LGBT-competent healthcare, which the author says can require research to start (using some search tools they identify), as well as asking questions about their experience and seeing how they act when they make a mistake or do not have an answer. There are also some tips for what happens when something goes wrong (for which our Healthcare Bill of Rights might also come in handy).

4 in 10 Trans Women Face Partner Violence

A new study found that young transgender women in Chicago and Boston faced intimate partner violence (IPV) at a rate of 42%. This included some distinct forms of violence that had to do with their gender identities as transgender women. The results suggest that IPV interventions not only need to be transgender-inclusive, but also contain unique components for this population.

Family-based Support Lacking for Youth

Reuters reported on a new study which found that few programs serving LGBT youth include help on addressing family-based discrimination, in comparison to relatively common topics such as school-based bullying. The failure to address family issues is partially because the topic has been seldom evaluated in studies, with more research on best practices therefore needed.

Call for Trans-inclusive Care, Data

Researchers published a guide to transgender clinical care in JAMA Internal Medicine, and recommended that medical professionals take basic steps like using the patient’s identified name and pronouns and obtaining a medical history inclusive of gender identity-related care. They also address the need for more uniform and inclusive methods of data collection in electronic medical records, and recommend that health facilities take action to address this shortcoming.

UN Praises India Decision UNAIDS

UNAIDS published a report praising the Supreme Court of India for annulling part of its penal code that criminalized relations between LGBT people. UNAIDS notes that such criminalization hinders access to HIV prevention and treatment services, and also increases the prejudice and violence LGBT people face. The UN has found that addressing the HIV crisis requires a human rights response.

“Inside Knowledge” Campaign Targets Cancer

The CDC launched a new campaign on the importance of getting screened for gynecological cancers, including videos, radio spots, and print advertisements available for use. It’s an important message for those in the LGBT community who are susceptible to these cancers, as research has shown that they are less likely to get screened, especially when uncomfortable with their doctor.

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Vaping, Laverne, and Success All in This Week’s #LGBTWellness

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.

NoVaping10 Million Are Vaping

Reuters reported on a disturbing trend in which an estimated 10.8 million Americans now use e-cigarettes, with disproportionate numbers being youth and LGBT people. The report is based on a large study of almost half a million people, and is the latest to confirm an LGBT disparity.

Study Tests LGBT Health Curriculum

A study tested an LGBT health curriculum for internal medicine students and found that it improved students’ scores on LGBT knowledge from 42% to 66%. It also found that while students said LGBT health knowledge was important before taking the class, they also expressed implicit bias against LGBT patients, highlighting the important role such curricula could play.

Understanding Gender-affirming Care for Youth

Researchers published a study exploring why some pediatric patients may begin gender-affirming medical care and later stop treatment – for example, if their healthcare goals or understanding of their gender identity change. They also explain how external factors – such as discrimination and its impacts, financial barriers, and insurance coverage – can also play a role.

Partnering for Better Trans Health FenwayArticle

The Fenway Institute published a new guide on how medical-legal partnerships can help meet the needs of transgender individuals by pairing these often related services. For example, accessing and getting covered by health insurance often requires additional navigation and expertise for transgender individuals, who also face potential healthcare discrimination requiring legal help.

New Resources from CDC on HIV

The CDC released new HIV-related resources, including a comprehensive HIV treatment toolkit entitled STEPS to Care and an infographic that shows data on new HIV cases in 2016. Two-thirds of cases resulted from male-to-male sexual contact, and young Black gay and bisexual men in particular made up fully 9% of all cases, a disproportionately high number.

Disturbing News on STIs

In other CDC news, NBC reported on the agency’s finding that the most recently yearly estimate of new chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases rose by 200,000 to a whopping 2.3 million. Researchers surmise that a rise in dating apps and a decrease in fear of HIV (and thus lowered use of condoms) may help account for the change. LGBT folks have tended to be disproportionately impacted, though rates were rising among others, as well.

Discrimination Hurting Our Youth

A new study found that adolescents who were more concerned with rising societal discrimination used more illicit substances, used them more frequently, and were more likely to have attention-deficit and hyperactivity symptoms. Researchers warn that rising violence and intolerance towards minorities might therefore be having a significant effect on the health of youth.

Queer Men Prepped for PrEP?

A study of young men who have sex with men in California found that 85% of those who were not willing to take PrEP orally on a daily basis were willing to try it in an on-demand or injectible format, suggesting that expanding options for the HIV prevention treatment might increase uptake. Young men who had at least some college education were more willing to try.

LaverneCox

Laverne Cox Speaks Out

Instinct Magazine reported on a powerful statement issued by Laverne Cox on discrimination and violence facing transgender women of color, and the mental health challenges that some – including her in prior years – face as a result. Cox was driven to speak out after a string of hate crimes that advocates feel are not being adequately addressed.

Care Too Costly for Many

LGBTQ Nation reported on a new study that found many LGB people still routinely put off healthcare services due to costs, despite progress at increasing insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. 16.4% of sexual minority adults reported delaying care due to affordability compared to 14.2% of heterosexual adults.

Remembering Kofi Annan

UNAIDS reflected on the legacy of Kofi Annan, the one-time UN Secretary General who passed away this summer, with respect to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. They highlighted his role at building more international cooperation and open conversation on the topic in the 1990s, and his work on exponentially growing the funding to treat and prevent HIV.

Success Story Eblast v2Share Your Story!

LGBT HealthLink issued a call for stories of progress towards LGBT health equity, and how our resources are useful in you reaching your organization’s goals and success. Still working on finding success with an LGBT health initiative? Become a member and have access to great tools and networks.

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And Now, Back With More #LGBTWellness News

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.

CDC Finds Disparities among LBT Women WomenQuit

The CDC released a new study that examined five healthy behaviors: not smoking, drinking in moderation, maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and sleeping well. They found that lesbian (5.4%) and bisexual (6.9%) women were less likely than heterosexual women (10.6%) to engage in these healthy behaviors. The results for transgender women suggested that they may be more likely to fall to one extreme or the other with healthy behaviors.

Understanding Gender Dysphoria and Youth

Researchers found that adolescents who experience gender dysphoria during or shortly after puberty often first expressed a non-heterosexual orientation (41%) and frequently had been diagnosed with a mental health or neurodevelopmental issue (62%) before gender dysphoria. The vast majority (83%) had been assigned female rather than male at birth.

Some Doubt Importance of Orientation

Johns Hopkins University reported on a new study finding only 52% of providers in a sexual health professional group asked for patients’ sexual orientation, and 42% said sexual orientation was not relevant to their care. One of the study’s authors said that this demonstrates that even providers who focus on sexual health may not understand the importance of LGBT identities.

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Celebrating Health Centers

Fenway Health celebrated National Health Center Week and the role that centers play in providing healthcare to millions of people, including those who otherwise might go without care. NJ Spotlight also reported on a kick-off event in conjunction with this special week of a new health program especially for LGBT individuals, which was championed by state officials.

An Avatar to Help Treat HIV?

A Chicago-based study of Black men who have sex with men explored using an avatar-like personality in an app to help with HIV treatment. The focus groups generally liked the idea of the avatar keeping them informed and adherent, so long as concerns were addressed around topics like privacy and stigma, as well as some of the qualities of the avatar.

Turning Your Facility Tobacco-free

The National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco & Cancer Control released new resources on how facilities of various types can transition to being tobacco-free campuses. The resources may be of interest to LGBT community centers and healthcare centers that focus on LGBT populations, given the high tobacco use disparities facing the community.

WellnessGraphicCenters Play Big Role in LGBT Health

LGBT CenterLink and Movement Advancement Project released their biennial report on LGBT centers nationwide. The 128 centers that participated in the report represented 40 states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, and served an impressive 40,550 people per week. Additionally, the vast majority – 68% – offered health services, marking centers as a critical facet of LGBT health.

Additional Barriers as First Offenders

ABC News reported on a study finding that LGBT youth who are first offenders in the criminal justice system face health disparities compared to their non-LGBT peers. These included internalization of problems, self-harm, and substance use. Additionally, the study found that about one-third of the first offenders studied were sexual minorities, suggesting disproportionate involvement in the system.

Youth Really Want HIV-related Care

A new study found that 62% of teenage young men who have sex with men were willing to participate in clinical trials for PrEP (HIV prevention treatment), but some had concerns about confidentiality. Researchers cautioned against undue influence because many said they would participate just to receive free care, which should be concerning to researchers – and to advocates of better access to HIV-related care.

Family Acceptance Campaign Launched JoeBiden

CBS News reported on a new initiative from former Vice President Joe Biden designed to increase family and community acceptance of LGBT youth. The campaign is currently collecting stories on personal experiences as well as investigating best practices to reduce rejection and increase acceptance, which could be critical in improving LGBT health outcomes.

New Clinical Strategies for Trans Care

Researchers evaluated the creation of the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Boston Medical Center, an innovative clinical approach that sought to provide more holistic care to transgender patients. The study explains how the creation of the center uncovered prior gaps in care, which included adolescent care, care coordination, and certain types of surgery.

E-cig Company Investigated

Reuters reported that Massachusetts is investigating a leading manufacturer of e-cigarettes, specifically on whether the company has done enough to prevent online sales to minors. The article notes that the product is especially popular with teenagers – and research shows that LGBT teens are significantly more likely to “vape” than their non-LGBT peers.