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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Trans Youth Face Higher Levels of Abuse
Pediatrics published a study indicating that 73% of transgender adolescents had experienced pyschological abuse, 39% physical abuse, and 19% sexual abuse. They experienced all these forms of mistreatment at higher rates than had heterosexual, cisgender youth, with psychological abuse in particular highest among transgender youth assigned female at birth. The results provide a dire picture of disparities facing transgender youth that likely impact these individuals throughout the lifecourse, indicating a need for more study and intervention.
UK LGBT Data Lacking
BMJ Open published a systemic review of the experiences of LGBT people in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic. They found a concerning lack of data, with mostly small studies that were not peer-reviewed; what data was found indicated potentially worse health and well-being outcomes among LGBT people. The researchers called for routine data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity to fill these gaps in knowledge and enable a better response to LGBT health needs, especially considering disparities known to be facing the community.
State Laws Could Reduce Stigma
Gay City News reported on pending legislation in New York that would make it easier for transgender people to get their name and gender marker changed with utilities companies, many of which currently have high barriers to making such adjustments, such as producing a court order. Advocates say not having their identity affirmed is damaging to trans individuals’ mental health and safety. Meanwhile, in Illinois, a new law repealed laws that make it a crime for not disclosing a positive HIV status to sexual partners, laws which HIV advocates say is counterproductive and increases stigma.
New Zealand Moves to Ban Conversion Therapy
On the other side of the world, Jurist reported on New Zealand’s move to ban so-called conversion therapy on minors and provide penalties from those who are harmed by the damaging process of someone attempting to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite much evidence that such practices are harmful and not based on science, few nations have banned them outright, although movements to do so have picked up steam in recent years.
HPV Vaccine Effective for Young MSM
The Journal of Infectious Disease published a study finding that HPV vaccination was successful in preventing penile HPV infections among young queer men – specifically, when the vaccine had been administered for those 18 years of age and younger. The results underscore the importance of including sexual minority young men in HPV vaccination programs, which until recently were focused exclusively on young women.
Trans Broken Arm Syndrome Explained
USA Today reported on the phenomenon known as “trans broken arm syndrome,” in which those providing care to transgender individuals tend to relate every medical condition – even breaking an arm – to their gender identity. The article details stories on how this can be deeply stigmatizing for trans people, leading some to seek alternative sources of healthcare or just avoid getting care, but also how it prevents access to necessary (and sometimes urgent) care from getting completed at all.