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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PrEP Prevents Hepatitis B
AIDS Map shared new research finding that using PrEP to prevent HIV infection also reduces one’s risk of Hepatitis B infection by 87.7%. This seems to be an even higher risk reduction than that of the Hepatitis B vaccine, offering a significant side benefit for people at risk for both HIV and Hep B (although researchers stress that the Hep B vaccine is still an important treatment for those at risk).
Centers Push for Funding
NewNowNext reported on a letter issued by LGBT centers across the nation (and HealthLink’s parent, CenterLink) on the urgent need for funding during the COVID-19 crisis. LGBT centers serve almost two million people a year, and their services have proven more needed than ever (not to mention harder to deliver) as LGBT people have found themselves isolated from each other and needed services.
Medicare Coverage of Hormones Varies
Researchers found that coverage of drugs most commonly recommended for hormone therapy varied greatly among Medicare prescription plans, presenting challenges for transgender people on Medicare. Moreover, neither the number of covered drugs nor the range of out-of-pocket expenses showed improvement between 2010 and 2018, with respect to treatment for transgender men or women.
Trans Folks and Eating Disorders
A new study found that both transgender men and women reported concerning rates of eating disorder attitudes, with what are known as “shape concerns” registering particularly high and likely relating to connections between body image and gender norms. The study also found that transgender women reported higher rates of restrained eating than their cisgender peers using an age-matched prior study.
Pandemic Shines Light on Abuse
NBC News reported on the increased risk of partner violence in light of the stay home orders imposed throughout much of the U.S. and world – and specifically, how the issue is impacting LGBT folks. Advocates say that LGBT-competent resources are limited, that first responders are often not prepared to navigate these issues, and that seeking help can be impossible for those who are not “out.”
Marking Transgender Testing Day
The CDC recognized April 18th as National Transgender HIV Testing Day. They provided updated social media tools for sharing the day and encouraging testing, as well as referred folks to the Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign, which has a growing library of resources. They also re-shared an issue brief finding that 9.2% of transgender people are living with HIV, compared to just 0.5% for the overall population.