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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Grant Will Explore HIV-Tobacco Intersection
Medical University of South Carolina announced that it has received a $2 million grant to study a new “opt-out” intervention that would proactively provide people living with HIV who smoke with cessation assistance. The research team notes that up to 50% of people living with HIV smoke – about triple the rate of the general population – and that it is playing a more notable impact as HIV care itself has improved markedly over the past few decades.
Lack of Affirming Care Costs Health
NBC News reported on a study finding that transgender people who wanted gender-affirming surgery but had not been able to access it were twice as likely to express severe mental health challenges and were also more likely to drink heavily and use tobacco. The study is the latest to show that there are myriad health benefits beyond the immediate aims of surgery, despite moves in states across the US to limit gender-affirming care.
Most Teen Boys are Out
Researchers found that most Gen Z sexual minority teen boys are out to their parents, with about two in three out to female parents and half out to male parents, a big increase from past decades. Teens who identify as gay were more likely to be “out” than those who identify as bisexual; not being religious and being sure of one’s identity were other factors associated with higher likelihood to be out.
Consistency of Parental Views Matters
Relatedly, Healio reported on a small study finding that gay and lesbian adults whose parents had a consistent perspective on their sexual orientation – whether it was good or bad – had lower levels of mental health symtoms than those whose parents had shifted from negative to positive views over time. The surprising results suggest that the journey towards finding support could be as or more challenging than simply not having that support, with authors calling for more study.
Center’s Vaccine Efforts Highlighted
The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported on how the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, PA, is working to improve COVID-19 vaccine distribution to LGBT communities in that area. The center’s director notes that a big issue today in vaccine distribution is trust between prospective patients and vaccine providers, giving LGBT centers a big role to play in reaching and educating LGBT folks (who have been hit hard by the pandemic) about their vaccine options.
Mark Your Calendars
Did you know? May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, an event that aims to address stigma and bias against LGBT populations worldwide. Later in the month, May 24th will mark Pan Day of Visibility, which brings awareness to pansexuality.