Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.
A Look Inside Queer Women’s Kitchens
A long-running study of nurses nationwide found that lesbian and bisexual women have higher diet quality than heterosexual women, despite previous research showing they are more likely to be overweight. Lesbian women also had lower caloric intake than did heterosexual women. This may mean that factors besides diet (such as exercise level) account for sexual minority women having higher rates of being overweight.
Racial Disparities Highlighted on World AIDS Day
On World AIDS Day, NBC News reported that a national nonprofit launched a training platform for healthcare providers to improve services for black men who have sex with men – half of whom are expected to get a positive HIV diagnosis during their lifetime. Relatedly, a qualitative study of black men who have sex with men found that a majority miss the opportunity to discuss safe sex with new partners, and that many had these talks only after becoming involved.
States Seek to Punish People Living with HIV
Meanwhile, the Movement Advancement Project released a report showing 38 states have laws that criminalize the potential transmission of HIV – or activities thought to pose a risk of transmission but that don’t, like spitting. Another six states do not have a specific law, but have nonetheless prosecuted people living with HIV under other laws for risking transmission.
Trans, Bi Folks Have Unmet Mental Health Needs
Researchers found that trans individuals were 2.4 times more likely, and bi- and pansexual women 1.8 times more likely, to have an unmet need for mental healthcare than were cisgender, heterosexual women. Lesbian and other queer women, in contrast, did not have a significant difference with heterosexual women. Trans people also reported more untreated depression.
Making Paid Leave Policies Queer-Friendly
The Center for American Progress published a guide how to make policies allowing paid leave from work fair for LGBT people. While LGBT people are more likely to need such policies due to health disparities, they are less likely to benefit if policies are narrowly aimed at nuclear families or apply only to those with legal relationships.