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.
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Low Use of Gynecological Care for Trans Adults
A new study found that transgender and gender diverse adults at a rural health center were less likely than cisgender peers to access gynecological services like Pap smears and contraception – despite high rates of access to care and insurance. They also found that transgender men had the lowest rate of HPV vaccination (20%) comparted to transgender women (60%) and gender diverse individuals (60%).
Disparities Mark HIV Priority Zones
The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examined HIV testing outcomes for Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative priority jurisdictions, and found that Black individuals faced major disparities. Black adults accounted for 40.4% of HIV tests that occurred in the zones, as well as 47.5% of new diagnoses and 58.5% of those who had been diagnosed previously but were not yet in care. Such delays in entering care worsen outcomes, they say.
Looking Back at the Decade
Movement Advancement Project published a report on the past ten years of policy and legal changes facing LGBT people nationwide. They found that their “policy tally” score for the states increased by more than 10 points over the decade, but the average rating of each state remains just “fair.” More promisingly, the number of LGBT people who lived in “negative” states (where protections are very low and harmful policies are on the books) went from 48% of the LGBT population to just 20%.
Risks Remain for Growing Queer Population
Researchers found that the number of youth reporting a non-heterosexual orientation nearly doubled from 2009 (when they were 7.3% of the population) to 2017 (14.3% of the population). They also found that while the number of suicide attempts declined among these students, sexual minority youth were still about three times as likely to attempt suicide as were their heterosexual peers.
HIV Vaccine Trial Ends
UNAIDS reported that an US-run HIV vaccine study happening in South Africa has been halted after initial data showed the vaccine was not successful at preventing HIV transmission. While disappointing, UNAIDS says that much can be learned from the study to move this work forward – and meanwhile, there are two more studies attempting to develop vaccines in Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
Rural Doctor Making a Difference
The Morning Sentinel reported on a doctor working to serve LGBT people in rural Maine – the most rural state in the country, where many live far from inclusive care. Dr. Karren Seely is one of only two providers in central Maine who is part of a GLMA’s network of LGBT-affirming providers, a list which the group’s president says many welcoming providers in rural area are afraid to join. Dr. Seely says the community’s needs are not that complicated, but require providers to get educated and comfortable with LGBT patients.