This Week: News From Orlando, Spain, And Facebook

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


Photos Explore Recovery After Pulse Attack

The Washington Post published an incredible gallery of photos by Cassi Alexandra that explore the queer community’s recovery after the terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub last year. The project chronicles the healing process that survivors, their families, and other in the community have gone through since 49 people were killed a year ago at a Latinx event in Orlando.

Pulse 49


How LGBT People of Color Reacted to Orlando

Researchers surveyed LGBT people of color in the weeks after the Orlando terrorist attack at a queer nightclub and found several themes in their responses, including that violence in their community was not new, that they personally identified with the victims, and that the public reaction to the attack didn’t recognize intersectionalities between queer and other identities.


New Info on Trans Health Disparities

A study looking at state health data shed new light on the disparities transgender folks face, including lower likelihood of having insurance and higher likelihood of having unmet care needs. Transgender individuals were also more likely to report a history of depression, poor or fair overall health, and difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.


RainbowSpainQueer Spaniards Smoking More

A study of queer folks in Spain found that unfortunately, LGB smoking disparities are not just a U.S. phenomenon. Researchers found that when compared to people in different-sex relationships, Spanish women who had a same-sex partner faced 4.54 times the odds of being an active smoker and men with a same-sex partner had 1.86 the odds of being an active smoker.


Victory for Trans Teen

HuffPost reported that a transgender high school student from Wisconsin won a federal appeals case, which found he had a right to use facilities that correspond to his gender identity in school. The court said that the school’s actions – making him use women’s facilities or the bathroom in the nurse’s office – violated his constitutional rights and the Title IX education equality law.


Pressure Mounts on Trans-Inclusive Records

The New York Times reported that while evidence grows on the importance and acceptability of including gender identity in healthcare records, many physicians remain hesitant to ask their patients. Federal agencies have also been pushing healthcare providers to start the practice, and medical records systems will soon be required to include the option for gender identity.


Unmet Need for Care on Campus

A study of college students in California found that sexual minorities had more psychological distress and academic impairment related to their mental health. While the study found that sexual minorities were 1.87 times more likely to access mental health services than were other students, 61% of queer students who needed help were nonetheless not seeking services.


Queer Women and Pregnancy

Researchers found that compared to heterosexual women with only male partners, bisexual-identified women were about twice as likely to report an unwanted pregnancy, and heterosexual-identified women who also had female partners were more likely to report getting pregnant sooner than desired. The results underscore the need for inclusive reproductive health services.


CDC Offers Support for Cancer Survivors

The CDC marked Cancer Survivorship Day with updated resources, including specific tips for providers working with cancer survivors who are active tobacco users. Given that LGBT cancer survivors may need additional support and are more likely to use tobacco, these resources might be especially useful for addressing cancer in the queer community.



Facebook Ads Work for HPV Recruitment 

Researchers tested the effectiveness of Facebook ads to recruit queer men for an HPV vaccine intervention, and found that ads featuring a same-sex couple were more effective at getting clicks and recruits than ads with a sole individual. Additionally, ads mentioning HPV as a sexually-transmitted disease got more folks to click through than ads mentioning cancer.


Study Tests Measures of Gender Identity

A Canadian study tested different methods of collecting sex and gender identity data, including a two-step measure that asked for current gender identity and sex assigned at birth, and a multidimensional measure that asked more detailed questions. They found both measures worked fairly well and did not confuse cisgender respondents, but did raise some concerns and questions for further study.


AMA Foundation Announces Fellowship

The American Medical Association Foundation announced a new fellowship that will provide selected medical schools with grants to support the creation of curricula and programs to train physicians in LGBT health and competency. The AMA Foundation points to recent research that has found training on LGBT health to be significantly lacking, despite the disparities the community faces.


Libraries Expand LGBTQ Health Promotion and Wellness

JC 2017

By Juan Carlos Vega, MLS

Librarian and community blogger,  Citizen’s Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health of Puerto Rico President, My LGBT HealthLink member

Public and research libraries are not always safe spaces for LGBTQ communities, especially individuals who are transgender/transsexual (trans).  Recently, speaking with a trans Latina immigrant in Washington, D.C. she clearly stated that she and her peers do not feel safe going to the public library.  Like everyone else in D.C. who pays taxes, why shouldn’t they use the resources they already paid for?  It is a reality!  When gender non-conforming individuals walk into public, open spaces like the library, staff and patrons can be the first detrimental factors that can create an unsafe and uncomfortable space to learn and to access knowledge by simply staring while reading a book.

Librarians are social justice activists who have been in the forefront of creating LGBTQ friendly spaces, build LGBTQ collections and libraries, and creating national and international networks to maintain LGBTQ voices visible.  Yet, much work is needed, especially where there is no token gay or lesbian librarian but in only one of 25 branches in a city/county wide system.  The reality of lack of safe spaces or competencies amplifies for trans women of color and gender non-conforming individuals.

This lack of safe spaces is why I presented on May 4, 2017 to the Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists (SALIS) Association & the Association of Mental Health Librarians (AMHL) 2017 Joint Annual International Conference in Worcester, Massachusetts.  My mission was to help librarians, health information specialists, program managers, and prevention resource center managers properly expand collections and services to LGBTQ clients and communities.  During the session, LGBTQ heath disparities were discussed and strategies were provided to make welcoming spaces for LGBTQ individuals in hospitals, libraries and resource centers.

JC presentation

For most members of the LGBTQ communities, access to health promotion and prevention is limited to HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease (STDs).  Risk behaviors like tobacco and alcohol consumption are not always on the brochure table when you enter into LGBTQ spaces or participate in LGBTQ related events.

Departments of health, service providers, and health promotion programs and organizations need to aggressively move beyond sexual health and condom distribution.  They need to implement wellness approaches in our communities.  They need to face LGBTQ high incidences of obesity, diabetes, anxiety/stress, and substance use. They need to start providing mammograms, giving-out incentives for pap smears, and distributing lollipops for colonoscopies at Pride events.  They should follow the example of the Quitline Ladies from the North Carolina Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch.  Their nickname comes for their years of distributing tobacco prevention and smoking cessation support opportunities at Pride events.  Now, they are integrating technologies and are reaching out to LGBTQ smokers using smartphones.

According to data from the National Adult Tobacco Survey, LGBT individuals smoke at rates 50% higher than the general population.  As concerning as that is the “research and intervention programs, prevention and health care practices, and resources and policies that specifically address cancer in the LGBT communities are significantly lacking,” according to LGBT HealthLink’s LGBT Best and Promising Practices Throughout the Cancer Continuum Report .  Equally disturbing is the 2011 Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.  It presents dramatic findings on the impact of how transgender bias and discrimination related “events lead to insurmountable challenges and devastating outcomes for study participants”.  Among the findings, 41 percent of the 6,450 respondents reported attempting suicide compared to a rate of 1.6 percent for the general population.  Our communities have made huge strides on working with the HIV epidemic (although not necessarily among LGBTQ people of color).  Yet very much is still needed to decrease the rates of smoking and to increase cancer screening rates in our communities.

While some states health departments, hospitals, and non-profit programs are pushing to change this landscape, LGBTQ community centers are leading the way to promote LGBTQ health promotion and wellness.  For decades, community support groups have been a primary service provided at the centers.  More recently, LGBTQ community centers are creatively implementing wellness promotion programs and other culturally competent means of disseminating health risk information and identifying prevention/treatment services including tobacco cessation and cancer screening programs.  Local LGBTQ leadership continues to educate themselves on data surveillance and program evaluation strategies to be able to implement locally.  Other centers have small libraries or information centers in make-up corners with donated book shelves, while others like Oklahomans for Equality manage a full library as part of the operation of the Equality Center.  Their Nancy & Joe McDonald Rainbow Library, like many others libraries across the country, honors the efforts of local LGBT activists, leaders, and allies.  The community lending library houses over 3,500 LGBT-related titles including biographies, family, history, health, travel, and much more.  I had the opportunity to visit in 2015 and it is incredible to see what a group of dedicated volunteers can do!  I know of several other LGBTQ community centers looking to set up small libraries and information centers as ways to organize and expand the books and resources available in the corner bookshelf.  Contact me at ActivistLibrarian@gmail.com!  Let’s make this happen!

An information specialist from Virginia Commonwealth University discussed during her SALIS/AMHL conference session on her work regarding information literacy competencies for the field of addictions.  She was looking for comments to improve competencies on her efforts and personal responsibilities of libraries and librarians to disseminate information and knowledge to our peers in the field.  I knew exactly I was talking to the right crowd.



LGBTQ Wellness: It’s All About The Data

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.

Advocates Ask for LGBT Data RainbowData

LGBT Health published an op-ed on the importance of collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data in public health surveys and in clinical settings. The Trump administration has recently rolled back such efforts, which had until this year been making progress. The authors warn that without data, LGBT disparities in things like tobacco use and cancer rates are hidden.

Hawaii Reports on Queer Youth Health

Speaking of data, the state of Hawaii released a report on the health disparities of LGBT youth in the Aloha State. Among other things, the report found that LGB youth smoked at a whopping three times the rate of heterosexual students, that 87 percent of queer students did not meet national guidelines for physical activity, and 80 percent did not eat enough fruits and vegetables.

New Data on the Trans Suicide Crisis

A review of scientific literature on suicidality in the transgender community found that, on average, 29 percent of those studied had attempted suicide during their lifetime and 55 percent had ideated about suicide – including 51 percent who had had such thoughts just within the past year. While ideation was most common among trans women, attempts were more common with trans men.

If you are in crisis, talk to someone who can help, like the Trans Lifeline.

Queer Youth Get E-Cig Head Start

A study of Texas college students found that queer and transgender e-cigarette users started “vaping” 1.34 years earlier than heterosexual young adults, whereas other LGB e-cig users started around the same time as heterosexual students. Additionally, bisexual youth who used smokeless tobacco were found to start 3.66 years earlier than heterosexual youth.

RainbowMedicalFew Doctors Discuss HPV and Orientation

A study of Florida physicians found that only 13.6 percent routinely discussed both the HPV vaccine and sexual orientation with male patients in their early twenties – an age at which queer men are encouraged to get vaccinated, due to their heightened risk. Almost one in four doctors weren’t discussing either topic with patients, thus missing out on advising queer men on the vaccine.

DOJ Signals Abandonment of Trans Protections

The Washington Blade reported that the federal government may be about to end a regulation, resulting from the Affordable Care Act, that bans discrimination against transgender people in healthcare. The regulation was challenged in court by a religious group, and the Department of Justice – tasked with defending the rule – has instead asked the court for time to reconsider it.

Study Explores GSAs and Queer Health

A study explored what made members of high school gay-straight alliances in Massachusetts more likely to discuss health topics with their groups. Among the findings: youth who were more involved in advocacy, and those who sought out more resources and information from the group, were more likely to talk about topics like substance use and mental and sexual health.

Funeral Home Refuses Cremation of Gay Man

CNN reported that a Mississippi funeral home canceled plans to cremate the partner of an 82-year-old man after discovering he was gay, forcing the grieving spouse to cancel a planned memorial service and experience distress. Because there is no national law prohibiting LGBT discrimination, nor a Mississippi state law, the widower’s legal options are limited.

LGBT Centers Under Threat

Mic reported on a wave of violence and vandalism that has been hitting LGBT community centers and advocacy organizations, threatening what in many areas are a uniquely safe space for queer individuals. A center in Oklahoma has received support from local Muslim and Jewish leaders, as well as the chief of police, after being attacked by gunfire earlier this year.


These Queer Women Are More at Risk for HPV

Researchers found that 53 percent of queer women in a national sample had HPV, with 37 percent having a high-risk type more likely to cause cancer. Queer women with more sexual partners, younger women, and un-partnered women were more likely to have high-risk HPV. And another study explored the relative likelihood of sexual minorities to get vaccinated, something recommended to most queer folks through their mid-20s.

What We Know About Trans Folks & Cancer

Researchers published a detailed review of the existing literature on cancer in the transgender community, which – while limited by a lack of comprehensive studies or centralized data collection – nonetheless sheds light on possible disparities and needs for screening.

New Facts Released on HIV

The CDC published new fact sheets on HIV in the transgender community and among youth, showing not only the high rates of HIV in the LGBT community generally, but also disparities within the community. For example, among all transgender people, African Americans have large HIV disparities, and Latino transgender women also have a disparate rate versus non-Latino whites.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from theCrisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.



LGBT HL materials

A year ago, LGBT HealthLink provided free Pride materials to many LGBT non-profit organizations and to CenterLink’s member centers. The rainbow #TobaccoFreeQueers wristbands and #GetScreened sunscreen arrived just as the massacre in Orlando happened and stunned the world. Pride events everywhere continued and brought an already tight community even closer.

LGBT HealthLink wanted to be sure to share this blog sent to us by one of our favorite guest bloggers, Lissette Rodriguez, a Health Educator and an active member of the Citizens Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health of Puerto Rico www.saludlgbtta.org.

Lissette Head Shot


by Lissette Rodroguez


We did it again!!…no matter what…very proud …and in honor of the Orlando Pulse family…we celebrate the 26th Marcha y Festival Del Orgullo LGBTTIQ de Puerto Rico. (PR PRIDE) San Juan, Puerto Rico on June 26, 2016.

Escambron Park

This is the 3rd year that Puerto Rico Citizen’s Alliance for LGBTTA Health worked in collaboration with Lambda Legal and the LGBT HealthLink at this Pride. We feel thankful for the contribution and all the materials that we were given to distribute at Pride.

The ACPS-LGBTTA engaged an estimated 150-200 attendees that came to the table. The march attracted thousands of people but not all stayed for the festival at the end. The demographics of attendees included a mix of youth, adults, and seniors from the entire LGBTTIQ spectrum, families and allies.

Lissette & ReneThis year’s task engaged Pride attendees with a survey regarding the November presidential election. The question “do you plan on voting in this year’s presidential and local election?” was asked to those who approached the booth. Most of the responses indicated a high interest in voting during the upcoming local Puerto Rico Governor and Legislature elections.

Puerto Ricans living on the island are not allowed to vote in the US Presidential elections because of the territorial status of the island. However, about half a dozen participants expressed that they will vote as US mainland residents.

We still had some daunting shadow on many marching in the LGBT Pride parade due to the violence and shooting in Orlando, but we need to keep showing our Pride for our brothers and sisters.LGBT Health Link bracelets

The ACPS-LGBTTA recognizes Pride events in Puerto Rico as essential for the local LGBTQ community to learn their rights, receive resources to improve their health, and take direct action. With the commercialization of Pride around the country, the participation of non-profits like Lambda, LGBT HealthLink and the ACPS-LGBTTA are keys to the mission of these events.

Lissette Rodriguez, Member, ACPS-LGBTTA


Lissette Rodriguez, M.A., is a Health Educator and an active member of the Citizens Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health of Puerto Rico. Her efforts integrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual (LGBTT) health realities and perspectives into local coalitions, government systems, and higher education institutions.


Poppers, Therapy, and Birth Certificates – All In This Week’s LGBT Health Roundup

Each week, LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.
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LGBT Health E-Summit Held May 15-17
LGBT HealthLink completed a new E-Summit on LGBT health, including presentations on tobacco control, cancer, data collection, and more. It was the second time HealthLink has joined individuals interested in LGBT health in an online forum to share research, strategies, and experiences. Webinar recordings, pdf files and additional resources are available here.
A Hidden Risk to Poppers
A study found that heavy use of poppers (inhalant drugs popular among some queer men) was associated with a higher risk for virus-associated cancers among HIV-negative, queer men aged 50-70. This may be because using poppers can lead to riskier sexual behavior, thus increasing the chances that viruses like HPV – which can cause cancer – will be spread during sex.
TherapyBan on Queer “Therapy” Proposed
The Washington Post reported that Democrats in Congress have introduced a bill to ban LGBT “conversion therapy,” a practice repudiated by the vast majority of healthcare professionals. Seven states plus Washington D.C. have already banned the practice, which queer advocates say amounts to abuse. The bill has yet to garner bipartisan support in Congress.
Study Measures Support for Anti-Smoking Campaigns
Researchers found that the general population supported targeted anti-smoking campaigns for teens more than campaigns targeted at racial or sexual minorities. Sexual minorities, however, supported campaigns targeted at their community at a higher rate than did the general public, suggesting the community sees more of a need for queer-specific interventions against tobacco.
Journal Calls for LGBT Data
The American Journal of Public Health published an op-ed calling for collection of LGBT data in every national health survey conducted, arguing that without data, the community cannot effectively advocate to end disparities. An additional op-ed noted that this call comes at a time when questions on LGBT older adults have been cut from a national survey, for unclear reasons.
What Makes Patients More Likely to Disclose
A study explored patients’ willingness to disclose their sexual orientation to doctors, and found that only a small minority of patients (10.3%) would refuse to disclose. Certain factors, like being asked in a private area and being assured of confidentiality, may encourage openness. Bisexual patients were the most likely to refuse disclosure, suggesting they may need additional support and assurances.
Trans Men Prefer Self-Screening BuckPap
Researchers found that half of trans men have not had a Pap smear screening in the past three years, as is recommended. 57% of participants preferred to self-sample for cervical cancer rather than having a provider do so, possibly out of fear of discrimination: those who had experienced discrimination were more than three times as likely to prefer the more private method.
Lobbyists Attack Fertility Care Access
NBC News reported that a Hawaii bill requiring insurance companies to cover fertility care for same-sex couples is under attack by lobbyists. Currently, such coverage is only available to opposite-sex couples, and in a very limited form. Those opposing the bill claim there are too many legal questions around same-sex use of fertility treatment for the bill to be successful.
Patients Okay with Sharing Orientation
Researchers found that while 80% of providers worried they would offend patients by asking their sexual orientation, only 11% of patients would be offended sharing that with their doctor. Queer patients cited more personalized care as the biggest benefit from being out to their provider, while providers thought improving patient interactions was the main benefit.
Idaho Woman Sues for Certificate
BuzzFeed reported that a transgender woman in Idaho is suing her state for its refusal to grant her a new birth certificate that reflects her gender identity. Laws for changing birth certificates vary by state, with many refusing to issue such changes. The woman says that her incorrect certificate has led to discrimination and verbal abuse, including from the Social Security office.
Heteronormativity and Prostate Cancer
A study explored the theme of heteronormativity in treating prostate cancer, finding that one of its biggest influences is the assumption of heterosexuality among prostate cancer patients, which can cause embarrassment and a lack of feeling of support. More acknowledgment and understanding of patient diversity was recommended to improve quality and equity of care.
Texas Compromise Could Hurt Health
The Advocate reported that Texas Republicans attempted to make a compromise on the state budget, in which they dropped an amendment banning trans people from using the bathroom that fits their gender, while keeping an amendment that will block funds to Planned Parenthood. The deal was opposed by both Planned Parenthood and trans advocates, who say the organization is key in providing healthcare to LGBT Texans.
LGBT HealthLink is building community wellness through training, education & policy change. Click here to join us! Membership is FREE!

Registration Now Open! E-Summit Scheduled for May 15-17, 2017

Save the date SSv2

Click Workshop Title to Register 

Each workshop has its own unique registration

Monday May 15th

Tuesday May 16th

Wednesday May 17th

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

UCSF designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Advance Practice Registered Nurses and Registered Nurses: For the purpose of recertification, the American Nurses Credentialing Center accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ issued by organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Physician Assistants: The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) states that the AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ are acceptable for continuing medical education requirements for recertification.

California Pharmacists: The California Board of Pharmacy accepts as continuing professional education those courses that meet the standard of relevance to pharmacy practice and have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ . If you are a pharmacist in another state, you should check with your state board for approval of this credit.

CME credits are sponsored by Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

This UCSF CME activity was planned and developed to uphold academic standards to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor; adhere to requirements to protect health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA); and include a mechanism to inform learners when unapproved or unlabeled uses of therapeutic products or agents are discussed or referenced.

The following faculty speakers, moderators, and planning committee members have disclosed they have no financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any commercial companies who have provided products or services relating to their presentation(s) or commercial support for this continuing medical education activity:

Mollie E. Alleshire, DNP, MSN, Brad Belnap, Keisa L. Bennett, MD, MPH, Richard Burns, Anthony R. Campo, MA, BA, Robert Crane, MD, Kristen Emory, PhD, Amanda Fallin-Bennett, PhD, RN, Naomi Goldberg,  Larry Kairaiuak, Elizabeth Kind, Gil Lorenzo, Amy Lukowski, Psy.D, Ana Maria Machado, MPH, Jamie Magee, Archana Maini, MD, Loui Marven, Michelle A Marzullo, PhD, MA, BA, Jennifer Matekuare, Eliza Muse, Shor Salkas, MPH, AsherLev Santos, PhD, MPIA, Catherine Saucedo, Adrian Shanker, Donna Solomon-Carter, Julia Thorsness, Regina Washington, DrPH, and Jenna Wintemberg

The following faculty speaker has disclosed a financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with a commercial company who has provided products or services relating to their presentation(s) or commercial support for this continuing medical education activity.  All conflicts of interest have been resolved in accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support:

Sheryl Zayas, DO – Gilead


A Very Special Roundup

Each week, LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

This week our top article comes from LGBT HealthLink’s very own Dr. Jenna JennaWintemberg, active member of our Community Advisory Council. Thank you for the work you do!


Smokefree Policies Help Queer Folks Quit

Researchers found that LGBT smokers in Missouri were significantly more likely than those who had quit smoking to live in communities that allow smoking in places like restaurants and bars, where the LGBT community has traditionally gathered and been exposed to tobacco. Moreover, 94% of queer smokers in communities with a smoking ban wanted to quit compared to just 76% of those in places without bans.


Colorado Study Schools Youth Disparities

A survey by the state of Colorado revealed staggering disparities among the state’s LGBT high school students, including triple the use of tobacco, quadruple the rate of suicide attempts, and more abuse of substances. Denver’s ABC 7 dug into the details and shared that trans students who felt safe in their schools were 2.3 times less likely to have attempted suicide.


Syphilis Scares this STD Awareness Month

The CDC announced, as part of its April STD Awareness Month program, more data suggesting syphilis is a growing problem in the U.S. – especially among queer individuals. The just-announced 2015 numbers were the highest in 20 years, and 82% of the cases were among queer men. Moreover, half of the queer men reporting syphilis infection were also living with HIV.


GrowSomeGay Prostate Cancer Survivors Face Isolation, Vulnerability

A UK study examined the experiences of prostate cancer survivors who were under 65 and either gay or unpartnered, and found that both face problems like isolation from having a disease that greatly effects sexuality, especially at a younger age than most men who develop the cancer. The researchers added that gay prostate cancer survivors have unique needs, and require better access to targeted information and support.


Doc Defends Trans Community’s Right to Care

A gynecologist opined in Rewire that doctors treating transgender patients should remember the oath they take to not let a patient’s identity stand in the way of quality care, and to remember the doctor’s code to “do no harm.” The good doctor warns that policies allowing anti-trans discrimination in the name of a doctor’s constitutional freedoms ignore the basic principles of medical care.


UNAIDS Launches Antidiscrimination Finder

UNAIDS launched a new website that allows you to search for tools from all around the world on combatting HIV-related stigma and discrimination. The search engine even allows you to zero in on tools specific to different populations, such as the LGBT community, women, or racial minorities.

LGBT HealthLink is building community wellness through training, education & policy change. Click here to join us! Membership is FREE!


Weekly Wellness Roundup For Your Monday

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.



Study Shines Light on Anal Cancer Screening

Researchers in Australia found that for queer men seeking anal cytology (that is, Pap tests that screen for anal cancer) were more likely to have a satisfactory test if they had no history of chlamydia or gonorrhea, had fewer receptive anal sex partners and other factors possibly related to having anal sex less frequently. It suggests that queer men may need interventions such as instructions on douching and multiple tests in order to avoid unsatisfactory results.


Queer Girls May Have Smoking Disparity Over Boys

Researchers found that lesbian high school students were 2.9 times more likely than heterosexual girls to smoke cigarettes and bisexual students were 3.7 times more likely. Queer girls were also more likely than heterosexual girls to smoke cigars and e-cigarettes. Queer male youth, on the other hand, were about on par with heterosexual boys, in contrast to other studies that have shown disparities for them, as well.


Data Changes Could Save Lives

The Deseret News reported that efforts to curb the teen suicide rate in Utah – which doubled between 2009 and 2016 – are hindered because data is missing on a key group: LGBT teens. Utah, along with half the nation’s states, does not ask about sexual orientation in its Youth Risk Behavior Survey. That makes it hard to effectively tackle the youth suicide spike, given that LGBT youth tend to have disproportionate mental health needs.


NC Pulls a Fast One on HB2

LGBT organizations condemned North Carolina’s effort at repealing HB2, the “bathroom bill” that ordered transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding with their legal sex and banned LGBT protections statewide. Advocates argued that the so-called repeal does nothing to protect LGBT individuals and called on companies and organizations like the NCAA to continue their protests.



Queer Men See Bigger Jump in Mental Health Services

A study found that while both sexual minority men and women use mental health services more than heterosexual men and women, respectively, the queer-heterosexual gap is bigger for men than for women. Women in general use mental health services more than men do, but among LGB individuals, men and women are about equal in usage of mental health care.


HRC Releases Equality Index

LGBT Weekly reported on HRC’s tenth edition of its Healthcare Equality Index, which rates healthcare facilities on their policies to deliver quality care to LGBT patients. 590 healthcare centers voluntarily completed HRC’s survey, and 303 received the designation of “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.” Way to go!

LGBT HealthLink is building community wellness through training, education & policy change. Click here to join us! Membership is FREE!


This Week’s LGBT Wellness Roundup: Good News and Bad

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.


Good News and Bad News on HPV Vaccine

Researchers found some good news for queer women regarding HPV: lesbian women seem to be getting vaccinated at about the same rate as heterosexual women, and bisexual women are getting vaccinated most of all. The bad news? The numbers are still below targets among all women, with about 27% of bisexual women and only 17% of other women having been vaccinated.


Youth Face Barriers Coming Out

US News and World Report explored the challenges for LGBT youth in coming out to their providers, noting that parents generally have access to medical records until children turn 18. The American Academy of Pediatrics nonetheless recommends that doctors avoid informing parents of a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity to ensure the patient can safely access care.


Relationship Between Victimization and Smoking

Researchers found that lesbian and bisexual women were 3.5 and 2.4 times more likely, respectively, to experience childhood victimization than were heterosexual women. Moreover, they found that women victimized as children were more likely to be victimized as adults, and that adult victimization was associated with a higher likelihood of being a smoker, suggesting an indirect link between victimization of sexual minority youth and lifetime smoking habits.


ChangesPolicy Changes Could Hurt Community

The Center for American Progress reported that repealing the Affordable Care Act could hurt LGBT Americans, many of whom have gained insurance since the law began to take effect (despite still having double the uninsured rate of non-LGBT people). CAP also reported that the government is rolling back data collection on LGBT health, which could eliminate evidence of disparities and needs.


Health Risks for Sexual Minority Transwomen

A study found that sexual minority transwomen were 2.3 times as likely to have had a heavy drinking episode in the past six months than were heterosexual transwomen, and were also 3.6 times as likely to have illicitly used prescription drugs. The results suggest that this understudied subgroup of trans individuals faces unique risks that warrant further research.


New Initiative Launching at HBCUs

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced a partnership with the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions to promote best practices and programming for LGBT students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The initiative will include disseminating information on LGBT health and wellness to HBCUs around the country and in developing programs to foster inclusion and empowerment.

LGBT HealthLink is building community wellness through training, education & policy change. Click here to join us! Membership is FREE!


Youth, Women, And Stress In This Week’s Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Research Lacking on Queer Youth Cessation

A review of research found a lack of data on tobacco cessation for LGBTQ youth, even though LGBTQ youth smoke at a much higher rate than others. Of the 21 relevant studies that had been published since 2000, only one specifically targeted young adults, meaning there are many more studies counting how many LGBTQ youth smoke than figuring out how to help them quit.

Major National Study Explores LGBTQ Aging slide_369760_4254986_free

US News and World Report covered an undergoing study on LGBTQ aging, in which government-funded researchers are tracking 2,400 queer adults. Among the findings: more than two-thirds of LGBTQ older adults have experienced victimization at some point in their lives, with transgender and bisexual individuals – as well as racial and ethnic minorities – especially at risk.

Kids “Get” Marriage Equality with Age

A study of Toronto children found that the majority supported same-sex marriage, and that older children (such as those in their early teens) thought more favorably of marriage equality and same-sex relationships generally than did younger children (those aged 5-8). Older kids were also more likely to justify their opinion with arguments of personal freedom and nondiscrimination.

IWDWomen’s Day Means Trans Women, Too

Mic reported on the inclusion of transgender individuals on International Women’s Day, which was recognized on March 8. The organizer of the Women’s March in New York, Carmen Perez, stressed that the fight for gender equality must include eliminating discrimination based on gender identity, a sentiment that was echoed by countless activists on social media.

Study Explores Minority Stress and Mental Health

Researchers found that among sexual minority young adults, the relationship between mental health symptoms and the timing of reaching sexual minority milestones is complicated. For example, among young lesbian women, researching these milestones later in life was associated with more symptoms of depression, whereas for gay men, doing so was associated with fewer depressive and anxious symptoms.

TogetherAloneQueer Loneliness Explored in Essay

The Huffington Post published an excellent essay on loneliness in the queer community, and how it relates to the mental health disparities the community faces – disparities that persist despite the legal advancements the community has made in recent years.



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