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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Theater Plus Better Health for Youth
A new study explored how to use theater programs to support LGBT youth mental health. Researchers examined an after school program in Florida that has mental health providers as participants and as an “on-call” resource for the youth involved. The program focuses on theater skills-building as well as fostering relationships rather than taking an explicit focus on LGBT topics, distinguishing the concept from a traditional LGBT student organization.
Supporting Patients with Health Challenges
Oncology Nursing News shared resources on serving LGBT patients with respect to issues including cancer, COVID-19, and aging. Key to all these, they say, is training of service providers as well as open dialogue so that patients’ needs can be identified. They point to evidence from the CDC that LGBT folks are more likely to have conditions that exacerbate COVID-19, meaning the community may have disparate long-term needs even beyond the pandemic’s height.
What PrEP and COVID-19 Vaccines Have in Common
Meanwhile, MSNBC explored how both PrEP and the COVID-19 vaccine require LGBT patients to have trusted providers where they feel comfortable talking about the risks and benefits of preventive care, without feeling shame. The author points to the low uptake of PrEP despite many in the LGBT community standing to benefit from the HIV prevention treatment, and says that fear of side effects or stigma may prevent more people from seeking it out.
Testing App Has Appeal
Researchers studied how cisgender men and transgender women felt about an app to help them share HIV and syphillis test results with others. Participants liked the idea of a “verified” way of sharing negative test results with partners, feeling it may help normalize testing. They also felt that such an app could help them more easily forward positive test results to providers to more quickly access care.
Center Spotlight: OC’s Anniversary
The Orange County Register reported on the LGBTQ Center OC celebrating its 50 year anniversary. From a help line and social space to a center for HIV activism, and more recently, a place where transgender youth can find support and the Black Lives Matter movement is amplified, the center has engaged in countless issues affecting LGBT health as the community’s needs have changed with the times.
Survey on LGBT Communities
CMI launched its 15th annual survey of LGBT communities, which is used by LGBT service providers and others learn more about what issues and interests are affecting LGBT individuals. The annual study helps to fill gaps in what is known about LGBT issues, given limited data elsewhere. The results will be made available for free on their website in mid-August.