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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Mental Health Research Lacks Intersectionality
A new study found that research on mental health interventions for sexual minorities often fails to consider intersectionality (or the unique issues facing people of color with other minority identities). While about 70% of available research included identities beyond just sexual orientation in recruitment, only 16.3% of studies adequately considered the effects of intersectionality on queer mental health.
Time to Queer the Census
The Orange County Register reported on local and national efforts to “queer the Census” and make sure that LGBT folks are counted. Local LGBT centers and national groups are working to get LGBT people to complete the census, as trillions of dollars in federal funds (including some for HIV, housing, and other issues important to LGBT folks) are distributed based on the results. While sexual orientation and gender identity are not asked, the Census now inquires about same-sex couples.
Affirmation Matters in Brazil
A study of transgender and nonbinary Brazilian youth found that taking multiple steps towards having their gender affirmed (be those social, legal, and/or medical) was associated with youth having less anxiety, fewer symptoms of depression, more pride in their identity, and greater sense of social acceptance. Researchers say gender affirming processes should thus be made easier to access.
Trans Health Secretary Mocked, Defended
PennLive reported on recent transphobic attacks made against Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, who is in the midst of leading that state’s efforts to combat COVID-19. Secretary Levine was promptly defended by the state’s governor and other officials, and many have credited her with saving lives while raising both trans and public health visibility during the crisis.
HIV Medication Supplies Decline
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported on research finding that one third of the world’s countries have low stocks of HIV medications due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more likely to follow. Delays in production of medications, issues with shipping, and challenges patients face actually accessing services are all making HIV care increasingly hard to come by, particularly in low-income countries.
Understanding & Addressing Internalized Homophobia
Health explored the concept of internalized homophobia, in which social stigma and bias gives sexual minorities a negative perception of themselves. Experts say that may make queer folks outright reject their identity or otherwise impact their mental health. They also advise that those experiencing internalized homophobia should not blame themselves and instead begin to talk through their feelings.