Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink brings you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.
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Reproductive Health Barrier for Trans Folks A new study found that 36% of transgender and gender expansive people who became pregnant considered terminating the pregnancy without clinical supervision, and 19% actually attempted to do so. Rationale for not using the medical system included privacy and mistreatment concerns, as well as factors such as cost, legality, and availability, underscoring the complexity of the issue of trans and nonbinary people.
Deep Dive into All of Us Research Program
We at CenterLink published a special edition of our weekly podcast in which we sat down with Justin Hentges of the All of Us research program. Along with special guests from LGBT centers across the country, we discussed how the NIH is taking steps to engage the LGBT community in their data collection efforts, so that future health care breakthroughs can truly include everyone. Check out this long-form interview here or by searching for the LGBT Wellness Roundup wherever you listen.
Three in Four Had Mental Health Impact
US News reported on a new study finding that three-fourths of LGBT people say the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health, with about half saying that the impact was major. In contrast, half of non-LGBT folks reported a mental health impact with only one-fourth saying it was major. LGBT people were also more likely to have lost work due to the pandemic, and to see getting vaccinated as a social responsibility.
Gender-affirming Care Has HIV Benefit
POZ reported on new data showing that transgender folks living with HIV who received gender-affirming surgery through New York Medicaid saw their HIV viral loads drop after receiving the surgery. Access to this critical form of care helped to reduce the disparities typically found between trans folks living with HIV and their cisgender counterparts, who tend to fare better, highlighting yet another health benefit of gender-affirming care.
Surgery Delays Harm Community
Relatedly, ABC News reported on delays in accessing gender-affirming surgery that have faced transgender people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many reported having already waited for months or years to schedule gender-affirming surgery, only to see appointments canceled as hospitals marked these procedures as non-essential. Advocates note the psychological impact of having such important procedures delayed months or years more.
Queer Women with Children
The Los Angeles Blade reported on new research finding that about one in four queer women have children, with bisexual women partnered with men being the most likely to be parents. Bisexual women parents also reported higher levels of distress and less connection to the LGBT community than did lesbian women with children.