Trans Men Prefer To Do It Themselves

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Trans pap

How Trans Men Prefer Screening for Cancer

Researchers found that transgender men greatly prefer self-sampling to screen themselves for cervical cancer versus having a provider administer a Pap smear screening, with 57.1% voicing this preference compared to just 20.9% who preferred having a Pap smear. Participants who reported discrimination were more than three times more likely to prefer the self-testing method.

Role of Alcohol in Queer Culture

A Scottish study found that LGBT people find drinking heavily to be a major part of the queer scene, and that things like one’s choice of drink were read as an important statement on one’s identity. While focus group participants rejected many of these stereotypes in their discussions, they nonetheless discussed their pervasiveness, suggesting a dangerously powerful relationship between queer culture and drinking.

Prostate Cancer Study Funded

Minnesota Daily reported that a study on prostate cancer survivorship in the queer community has been funded with a $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute. Cancer survivorship in among LGBT folks is a generally under-studied issue, and survivors of prostate cancer often face sexual health challenges that may vary for gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

Queer Men Still Flocking to Apps Apps

A study found that 55.7% of men who have sex with men frequently used dating apps and websites like Grindr (the most popular), Jack’d, and Scruff. Two-thirds of these regular users had had only casual sex partners in the last twelve months, making them a high priority population for HIV prevention messages and services.

Experiencing Bias as a Healthcare Profession

JAMA Internal Medicine published an op-ed on how racial bias impacts healthcare professionals, who often face microaggressions from their colleagues and pressure to stay silent. The author points out that patients also become the target of various forms of bias, and calls for targeted interventions to improve the climate of healthcare settings and better advance equity.

Australian flagAustralian Vote Yields Need for Support

Gay Star News reported that Australia’s newly-announced, non-binding referendum on whether it should enact marriage equality has led to stress and anxiety among LGBT youth, who feel stigmatized and worried about the outcome. Politicians had called for a “postal vote” to see how the public is feeling before they decide whether to support same-sex marriage in the legislature.


Check Out That Butt… Literally!

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Self and Partner Anal Exams Prove Promising ProtectButts

A Texas study looked at whether queer men could successfully self-examine or examine a partner for anal abnormalities, including those that could be cancerous. The patients were largely successful in detecting the same abnormalities that the doctor could. Only a small percentage reported that the testing was painful, and 93% said they would do such a test again.

New Info on Trans Folks and Mammograms

A new study of CDC data found that transgender men and women reported having had a mammography screening within the past year at about the same rate as did cisgender women, with transgender men more likely to have done so than transgender women. Researchers caution that the study may overestimate adherence and note the unclear (and perhaps elevated) risk that transgender individuals face of developing breast cancer.

Low HIV Testing Rates for Trans Women

A CDC study found that only 37.5% of transgender women and 36.6% of transgender men reported having ever been tested for HIV, a rate on par with cisgender heterosexual individuals despite the much higher risk that transgender people face. Black transgender men and women reported being tested at about double the rate of white transgender peers, perhaps reflective of higher HIV risk in communities of color.


Queer Millennials Reflect on Mental Healthcare

Bustle explored problems that LGBT millennials encounter in seeking mental healthcare, including therapists who think that queer identity is “just a phase.” Others said that providers fixated on coming out and internalized homophobia without seeing their LGBT identities as intersecting with other parts of their identity and mental health needs.

What Your Mayor Can Do for You

The Center for American Progress released a report on how municipal executives, such as mayors, can take actions to improve the health, safety, and lives of LGBT individuals. They outline ideas such as banning discriminatory healthcare policies, mandating better collection of data, and ensuring equal access to social services through policies and competency trainings.

New E-Cig Tool Launched

The CDC launched a website aimed at dispelling the myths regarding e-cigarettes and warning consumers about potential dangers, including chemicals that they contain and the fact that they have not been proven to help fight cigarette addiction. The resource could be valuable for LGBT health advocates, since findings show LGBT youth use e-cigarettes at a higher rate than others.


Secrets To Good LGBTQ Health

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

RainbowTIPSThe #1 Way to Improve Queer Health

A Huffington Post op-ed argued that the best way to improve queer health is targeting the community’s disproportionately high smoking rate, which “has barely moved” even as use among other groups has dropped. The author highlights resources published by LGBT HealthLink, such as best practices for reducing LGBT smoking and state tobacco control report cards.

Mixed Results in Queer Women’s Exercise

Researchers found that lesbian and bisexual women conducted more aerobic exercise than their heterosexual female counterparts, according to data on nurses nationwide. However, they also spent more time sedentarily, such as sitting at work or at home. The results mean queer women have both healthier and riskier behaviors when it comes to maintaining good overall health.

Competent Care? There’s an App for That

NBC News reported that a group of med students are launching an app that will help LGBT folks find local healthcare providers who have been recognized as LGBT competent. Long-term plans for the app include rolling it out to geographically cover as much ground as possible, and to let users review their experiences to help provide real examples of care to other would-be patients.

Letters Expose HIV Status of Thousands FYEO

Intersex “Care” Has Gotten a Lot Wrong

A recent statement from three former surgeons general and detailed report from interACT and Human Rights Watch proven groundbreaking support for rejecting unproven genital surgeries on children too young to consent. They say such irreversible surgery injures rather than aids intersex youth, who should have the right to develop without surgical intervention until if and when they so choose.

Upcoming Webinars to Address Cancer & Tobacco 

LGBT HealthLink announced two virtual convenings of public health professionals on oft-overlooked topics in the LGBT community: tobacco cessation programs and colorectal cancer interventions. The online events, to take place in September, aim to provide best practices and foster dialogue on services that research shows are disproportionately needed by the community.


Healthcare News For Our Transgender Veterans

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Flag w trans

Transgender Veterans Are Being Left Behind

A new study found that many transgender veterans have problems accessing basic care that all veterans need. While most who used the VA system were satisfied with it, nearly half of transgender veterans had never gone to the VA. Additionally, 46% of transgender veterans had put off seeking medical care in the past year (at the VA or otherwise), possibly due to stigma.

Another Smoking Disparity Exposed

Meanwhile, another study found that rural-residing transgender veterans were 39% more likely to be addicted to tobacco compared to transgender veterans who live in cities, which is consistent with past studies finding that rural LGBT people may smoke even more than urban LGBT people. The study also found that rural transgender veterans were more likely to have PTSD.

Lesbian HealthcareBetter Care for Lesbians, Explained

Reuters reported on the advice offered by experts at the Mayo Clinic on how physicians can improve care for middle-aged lesbian women, including by creating a more welcoming environment and aiming to reduce healthcare stigma. The authors also discussed risk disparities that lesbian women face, including higher rates of smoking, obesity, and substance use.

More Details on Queer Health Study

Slate reported on the PRIDE study, which aims to track the health of a whopping 100,000 LGBT people over several decades. Lead researchers told Slate that they hope the data will help prove to healthcare professionals – who often cite a lack of LGBT-specific research – the evidence they need to provide quality care. Enrollment is open for LGBT folks who want to participate.

How Effective are HPV Vaccine Programs? HPV

An Australian study tested different options for vaccinating young men for HPV, which can cause cancer and is especially prevalent among queer young men. The best scenario tested would include both a program for young men generally and a program specifically engaging queer young men. They also found that faster roll-outs of such programs would yield better results.

Trans People with Disabilities Speak Out

Buzzfeed published profiles of transgender and gender-nonconforming persons with disabilities, exposing the intersectional discrimination that they can face and how they understand their identities. The article also discusses the potential of laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) to protect trans lives and rights.


Coming Out May Prevent Cancer

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Who Comes Out to their Doctor?

Researchers found that queer men were more likely to come out to their doctor if they were out to friends and family, had seen a provider in the past year, or previously had an STI diagnosis. Coming out to one’s doctor played a bigger role in getting vaccinated for HPV than in getting tested for STIs, suggesting outness could be particularly important in cancer prevention.

A New Type of Vending MachineVending machine

Reuters reported on a vending machine installed at a queer sauna in the U.K. that provides free self-administered HIV tests. A survey at the venue last year found that 93% of patrons were open to the HIV test vending machine, and in its first six weeks, more folks grabbed a test than had been tested by on-site volunteers in the whole six months that preceded.

Trans Youth Health in the Spotlight

Several news outlets shared the AP’s story on how parents of transgender kids, or kids who are questioning their gender identity or expression, can be supportive. Meanwhile, the parent of a transgender child in a military family spoke out in Teen Vogue about the challenges her daughter has faced in accessing healthcare, such as providers not following policies and refusing care.

Gay CoupleSelf- and Partner Testing for Anal Cancer

A study examined queer men’s opinions on testing themselves or their partner for signs of anal cancer, a condition for which queer men are at higher risk. Overall, participants were confident in their ability to perform the test, and supportive of being taught by a physician. However, researchers say a low level of anal cancer knowledge among queer men may be a barrier.


Coming Out in Florida’s Latinx Communities

This one is close to our hearts at LGBT HealthLink’s Fort Lauderdale home. A new study explored the coming out experiences of Hispanic sexual minority youth in South Florida, including when and why the youth chose to come out and how they felt it impacted their lives. Researchers also explored the intersectionality of queer identities with Hispanic culture, families, and values.

Strategies to Reduce Tobacco Use Explored

LGBT HealthLink reported on strategies to reduce tobacco use among LGBT individuals, as presented at a recent national conference. Attendees at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America meeting learned how smoke-free laws and local ordinances can help reduce the massive smoking disparities faced by LGBT people, who often smoke in spaces like queer bars and clubs.


Let’s Keep A Closer Eye On Our Trans and Genderqueer Youth

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Youth Sitting

Transgender and Genderqueer Youth at Risk

A study of Minnesota high schoolers found that transgender and gender-nonconforming students had elevated levels of “all types of risk behaviors” studied, including three times the rate of suicidal ideation compared to other students. They also smoke at a rate of 15.2%, well more than the 5.9% rate of cisgender students, and were twice as likely to experience physical bullying.

RainbowPrepYou Can PrEP as Needed

Reuters reported that PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment) may be effective when used as needed instead of taken every day, as has thus far been recommended. The news is based on a groundbreaking study finding that queer men who took four doses of the medication around the time of sexual encounter saw a 97% reduction in risk of contracting HIV.

Yearly Screenings Could Reduce Anal Cancer

A Swiss study of queer men who are living with HIV found that anal cancer rates could be significantly reduced with yearly screenings, which can be done with methods like anal Pap smears and anoscopies. Moreover, it seemed likely to be about as effective as some other cancer screening recommendations already in effect. The researchers recommended further study.

Trans Women and Prostate Cancer Trans_ition

In other cancer news, Self reported on the relevance of prostate cancer screening for transgender women. Experts say that transgender women who are not on hormone therapy likely have about the same risk of prostate cancer as do cisgender men, which is over an 11% lifetime risk; however, recommending screening for transgender women may not be on a provider’s radar.

First Trans Surgery Fellowship Launched

NY1 reported that the first full-year transgender surgery fellowship is launching at Mount Sinai Hospital, which currently sees about four patients a week for gender-affirming surgery. The program seeks to fill a void in training programs for physicians looking to provide gender-affirming care, which staff say is “a matter of life and death” for many transgender individuals.

FDA to Regulate Nicotine Levels

Stat announced that the FDA has plans to regulate the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, a first-ever move that may greatly reduce the addictiveness of the deadly product. It’s great news for the LGBT community, who research shows smoke about 50% more than other adults.


Engineering Healthy (LGBT) Communities

Jenna 2017By Dr. Jenna Wintemberg, Community Advisory Council member

We were excited to participate in CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute in Atlanta this summer. This year the theme was “Engineering Healthy Communities”, which the public health nerd in me loves.CADCA July 2017

I work in tobacco control with a focus on policy. Through this work we strive to create healthy environments for tobacco-free living through local smokefree, Tobacco 21, and tobacco retailer licensing policies. While these policies protect everyone in our communities, there are added benefits for groups with disproportionately high tobacco use rates, such as LGBT individuals.

For example, Missouri does not have a comprehensive statewide smokefree law and RainbowMosome municipalities have adopted these policies at the local level. We did a study to see how LGBT individuals were faring in Missouri communities with comprehensive smokefree policies compared to communities without these policies. We found that living in an area with smokefree policies is related to greater intention to quit among LGBT current smokers and a lower overall smoking prevalence for LGBT Missourians.

Jenna is presentingWe shared these findings at CADCA and shared LGBT HealthLink resources with attendees, including our Best and Promising Practices for LGBT Tobacco Control and Cancer Control. Not only can we use these tools to engineer healthy communities, we can use them to engineer healthy LGBT communities!


LGBT HealthLink resources are available to download FREE through our member website. Join now for access to recorded webinars, tobacco and cancer networking groups, and more.



LGBTQ Youth: It’s Time For Birds And Birds, AND Bees And Bees

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.


Sex Ed Advances to Include Queer Youth

The Atlantic reported on the trend in some states on making sex education more inclusive of LGBT youth, which has long been a deficit credited with contributing to disparities. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts senate passed a bill requiring school districts that have sex ed to be more inclusive of LGBT content, for example. Still, most states do not have such laws.

TWOCConcerning New Data on Trans Women of Color

A new study examined homicide rates among transgender individuals. While exact figures are hard to calculate due to potential underreporting and the unknown total number of transgender people, transfeminine Black and Latina individuals seemed to have significantly higher rates than did cisgender folks, suggesting a strong intersection between gender identity and race.

Bill Introduced to Improve Queer Data

The Wisconsin Gazette reported that Senator Tammy Baldwin is leading the charge in the Senate on a bill that would require federal data collection to include questions on sexual orientation and gender identity, which may unmask and explain health disparities. Baldwin, the first openly gay member of the Senate, was joined by colleagues who introduced the bill in the House.

Only 27% Protected from Conversion Therapy

Movement Advancement Project updated a report on “conversion therapy” to reflect that Rhode Island just banned the practice that proports to convert LGBT people to heterosexuality or a cisgender identity. While the Ocean State is just one of several that has recently taken the step, only 27% of the LGBT population nationwide lives in a state with such protections.

Teen Smoking Declines – With a Catch Young Lez

The Washington Post reported on promising data that shows teen smoking on the decline over the past few decades, thanks largely to better regulation, they said. However, they cautioned that groups such as LGBT youth are still disproportionately using tobacco, and that the FDA has recently delayed enforcement of important regulations on e-cigarettes and cigars.

Rethinking How We Talk About Disparities

Researchers published an article suggesting that public health campaigns may want to think twice before emphasizing LGBT disparities. Such emphasis can backfire by making the unsafe or unhealthy behavior seem normal among members of the community, and increase stigma against the community by others. Research also showed such messages may not be believable.


#LGBTWellness Reports On Alcohol Use Higher In Bi Youth

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Bisexual Youth and Drinking BiYouth

A study found that high school students who identified as bisexual or had partners of multiple sexes were up to twice as likely as heterosexual students to engage in alcohol use according to a number of behavioral markers. These disparities exceeded those of gay and lesbian students, and results also varied by gender, suggesting heterogeneity among queer youth and alcohol use.

New Info on LGB Adults 50-Plus

A new study examined data on LGB adults ages 50-plus and found many health disparities. Sexual minority women were more likely than other women to have arthritis, health attacks, strokes, and more, while sexual minority men were more likely than heterosexual men to have cancer. The study suggests that targeted interventions are needed to address such disparities.

Smoking Infographic 07262017

Reducing the LGBT Smoking Rate

Researchers published an article on how to reduce the disparate smoking rate among LGBT individuals, who smoke at more than a 50 percent higher rate than do others. They suggested better inclusion of LGBT data in public health surveys, more targeted anti-tobacco campaigns, and better regulation of menthol-flavored tobacco products as among the strategies that may help.

Updates from the Hill

ThinkProgress reported that Congress rejected a law that would have banned funding for gender-affirming care for America’s service members and their dependents. Meanwhile, the Center for American Progress weighed in on potential healthcare legislation in the Senate and how it might impact LGBT people, warning that queer folks are underinsured and have higher health needs.

Promiscuity Perceptions and Support for Gay Rights

Researchers tested different versions of an article on gay men – one that reaffirmed stereotypes on promiscuity and one that refuted them – and found that heterosexual individuals’ perception of gay promiscuity related to their support for gay rights in some cases. This may mean that support for LGBT rights can be increased as stereotypes are challenged, the research team said.

Wave of “Conversion Therapy” Bans Continues ConversionTherapy

The Atlantic reported that there is continued momentum among states in banning “conversion therapy,” a practice overwhelmingly rejected by experts that purports to make queer individuals become heterosexual. Rhode Island recently became the fourth state this year to ban the practice, and in states where bans have not been implemented, some towns and cities are taking action.

Update: Allentown Council passes ban on gay conversion therapy for minors