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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PRIDE Study Launches Annual Questionnaire
The PRIDE Study launched its annual questionnaire for 2022, aiming to grow is database on all things LGBT health. The mission of the PRIDE Study is to help us better understand LGBT health by recruiting folks to take an annual survey about their well-being and making that data set available (anonymously, of course) to researchers for further study. If you have not already joined the PRIDE Study, you can check your eligibility here to get started. If you are already a member, now is the time to check the 2022 survey off your bucket list.
COVID and Mental Health
Speaking of the PRIDE Study, new research published by JMIR Public Health and Surveillance using PRIDE’s dataset found that between March and August 2020, greater exposure to COVID-19 news was associated with more symptoms of anxiety and greater odds of PTSD among LGBT adults. The study highlights the toll that the pandemic has taken on the mental health of LGBT (and other) populations, which could help inform how we deal with future public health emergencies.
Major Findings from CDC on LGB Health
The CDC published a report using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, which found a number of health differences between LGB and other individuals. For example, sexual minority indiviudals were more likely to report smoking, heavy drinking, marijuana use, and other substance use when compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Additionally, sexual minority women in particular were more likely to have been diagnosed with conditions such as arthritis, cancer, and diabetes compared to heterosexual women. Bisexual women also had particular disparities compared to heterosexual peers that lesbian women did not, including ovulation or menstual problems and pelvic inflammatory disease, highlighting the need for more research that differentiates between subpopulations within the LGBT community.
Texas Order Suspended (For Now)
Reuters reported that a judge in Texas has temporarily suspended an order from the state’s governor that its department of children and families investigate parents who support their children with medically-appropriate gender-affirming care. LGBT and civil rights organizations sued to block the state from enforcing the policy, which they said is counter to science backing such treatment and in violation of the rights of trans children and their parents. The Texas Supreme Court had already ruled against the governor’s order, but had not suspended investigations against all potential parties.
Australian Campaign Targets Smoking
Gay Nation reported on a new anti-smoking campaign in Australia aimed at the LGBT community, which (must like in the US) faces tobacco use disparities when compared to non-LGBT peers. The project is the result of a collaboration that included LGBT people in focus groups speaking to their community and an organization trusted among LGBT folks, both of which they say is important to make sure the messaging resonated and was credible. The campaign points out the health and financial benefits of quitting, and provides folks with options (including apps, medication, and counseling) to succeed.
Resources for Understanding Monkeypox
The Fenway Institute published resources on monkeypox, such as a fact sheet and infographics that explain its impact on LGBT populations; the recent global outbreak has especially impacted gay and bisexual men, though everyone is susceptible to the virus. There is also a webinar aimed at healthcare providers and members of the LGBT community.