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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Care Lags for Black Trans Women
Researchers found that Black transgender women living with HIV were less likely than their Black cisgender peers to reach viral suppression, a key indicator in wellness among people living with HIV. Black transgender women were also less likely than Black cisgender women to be retained in care. The results show the impact of the unique challenges facing Black transgender women living with HIV.
Impact of Gun Violence in Queer Community
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange reported on how the impact of gun violence is not measured with respect to LGBT individuals. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not routinely included in places such as death certificates or police reports, where information on the impact of firearms is typically measured. Experts believe, based on available studies and higher rates of violence facing LGBT people, that guns likely pose a disproportionate public health risk to the community.
Expanding Our Idea of “Family”
Center for American Progress argued in favor of expanding the definition of “family” in federal laws, saying that the definitions used (in addition to being outdated in general) often exclude LGBT families. This means that LGBT families may fail to qualify for health benefits or social services programs, exacerbating existing disparities.
How Data Collection Can Help Patients
Fenway Health published new research proposing that an acne treatment commonly used for transmasculine patients begin collecting gender identity data to improve our knowledge on trans health and improve outcomes for individual patients. The authors say that the drug can have serious side effects for pregnant individuals, and that identifying and serving transmasculine patients who can become pregnant is key to mitigating these risks.
Resources to Help with Mental Health
HRC marked the end of Mental Health Awareness Month by releasing tip sheets and other resources for providers, parents, teachers, and researchers to help meet the heightened mental health needs that LGBT folks are facing during the pandemic. They noted, “Remaining at home does not mean you have to remain isolated, with an abundance of resources and opportunity to build community available online.”
Challenges for Trans Folks During Pandemic
Researchers in China published an analysis of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on physical and mental health for transgender individuals. They note that transgender individuals face complex medical needs that governments should ensure can be provided at home during quarantines. They also discuss the role of stigma and discrimination, and the need to better assess the pandemic’s impact on this population.