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.
Galaxy’s Favorite Princess Passes
Carrie Fisher – a lifelong friend to the queer community and fierce fighter against mental health stigma – passed away at the age of 60. Fisher, best known as portraying Princess Leia in the Star Wars saga, became a hero of mental health advocates when she spoke out about living with bipolar disorder. LGBT folks face huge disparities in mental health conditions (and stigma).
Benefits of Being Out to Your Doctor
Researchers found that queer women were 3.6 times more likely to have had a breast exam in the last two years if their provider knew their sexual orientation. In contrast, gender-nonconforming women were less likely to get screened when they perceived stigma or discomfort from their providers, underscoring the importance of inclusive care in preventing cancer.
New Data on HIV in Trans Communities
The first-ever national analysis of HIV in transgender communities found that most new cases occurred among Black/African Americans, with Hispanic or Latino rates also high. The analysis also showed that 15.4% of new cases among transgender individuals were among trans men rather than trans women – surprising given that HIV prevention efforts for trans individuals focus almost exclusively on women.
Targeted HPV Vaccination Likely Beneficial
Researchers in England determined that targeting HPV vaccination towards queer men in select health clinics would reduce HPV rates and be more cost-effective than the status quo, in which vaccine programs generally focus only on cisgender women and leave others out. Queer men have disproportionate rates of the virus, which can cause cancer.
Catholic Groups Challenge Trans Protections
The Washington Post reported that a group of Catholic-affiliated businesses have sued the Obama administration in federal court, saying that recent regulations banning anti-transgender discrimination in healthcare violate their religious freedom. Transgender equality groups argue the protections are vital to reducing widespread disparities in transgender health.
Aging Needs of Black Lesbian Women Highlighted
An Atlanta study of lesbian African Americans over age 40 found several themes regarding their needs during the aging process, which largely revolved around the connectedness of care, community, economic interventions, and information. Many women expressed a desire for complementary (also known as “alternative”) medicine focused on holistic wellness.