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.
Bills Could Curb Youth Smoking
Several cities and states – including Massachusetts, Illinois, and the city of Austin – made moves in recent days to raise the age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21. The states of California, Hawaii, New Jersey and Oregon already have such laws, and a new law in Maine will go into effect on June 1. These policies could be a boon to decreasing the high smoking disparities LGBT youth face.
Discrimination Dangerous for Trans Community
A study based on the National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that being denied services increased transgender people’s rates of attempted suicide. Additionally, those who faced more denial of care or discrimination in treatment settings were more likely to forgo services. 25% had been denied services and 28% had faced discrimination, underscoring the urgency of the problem.
Translating Apps Means More Than Language
A study on HIV prevention apps found that Spanish-speaking sexual minority men prioritize being personally interested in apps, while English-speaking men were previously found to be mostly interested in the efficiency of these apps. The results suggest that HIV apps for Spanish speakers may require more customization than just translating existing apps from English.
Higher Diabetes Risk for Queer Women
EurekAlert reported on a new study finding that queer women were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes over time than were heterosexual women. Specifically, over the 24 year study time, lesbian and bisexual women had about 27% higher risk than did their heterosexual peers; lesbian and bisexual women also developed type 2 diabetes earlier in life than did other women.
Impact of Homelessness on LGBT Youth
LGBTQ Nation reported on the epidemic of homelessness affecting the LGBT youth population, citing newly-released data from a national report that LGBT youth are twice as likely as others to experience homelessness. Furthermore, once homeless, they are 15% more likely to experience physical harm and 18% more likely to exchange sex for money, food, or shelter to survive.
Personalities Could Inform Prevention
Researchers examined how personality traits relate to sexual health practices in queer men and found that conscientiousness, openness, and extraversion were all associated with having fewer instances of condomless sex, while conscientiousness and extraversion were both associated with using preventive services. The authors say research on personalities could inform prevention strategies.
Your Smoke-free Moment of the Month
This Free Life published another amazing video as part of its This Free Friday series, which highlights members of the LGBT community who avoid tobacco use. This month’s features Mia, who explains how she rejects negativity and stays tobacco-free to keep her gorgeous look. The campaign is aimed at LGBT youth, who smoke at much higher rates than others.
LGBTQ Teens Face Major Disparities
A new study of 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers nationwide found that these youth face a wide range of challenges, including 77% feeling depressed or down within the past week and 95% having trouble sleeping at night. Some youth faced additional challenges, such as LGBTQ youth of color, of whom only 11% said their race or ethnicity was viewed positively by others, and transgender and gender expansive youth, of whom 50% said then could never use the restroom at school that corresponds with their gender identity. Media outlets such as U.S. News reported on the groundbreaking study, with many noting that these disparities for youth exist despite progress on LGBTQ rights in some respects.
One Secret to Better Trans Health?
Researchers in Colorado found that transgender and gender-nonconforming adults had a variety of better health behaviors when they had a medical provider who was transgender-inclusive. These including being more likely to receive wellness exams, less likely to delay care due to facing discrimination, and less likely to be depressed than those without a transgender-inclusive doctor.
Study Testing New HIV Prevention for Youth
Researchers have launched a Detroit-based study of young queer men and transgender individuals who use substances including alcohol and who are often missed by common HIV prevention services. The effort, known as Project Swerve, has been enrolling patients since April 2017 and is testing how including a substance use intervention in HIV prevention may change things.
Honoring LGBT Older Adults
Chase Brexton Health Care reported on their efforts to recognize National Honor our LGBT Elders Day on May 16th. The occasion, which Chase Brexton founded, is designed to recognize and celebrate LGBT older adults, who often face unique health, social, and other needs due to a lack of support from biological families and because they are more likely to be unmarried than non-LGBT peers.