Ruling Threatens PrEP (and All Preventive Services) – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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.

You can LISTEN to our Weekly Wellness Roundup podcast! Subscribe here: or where ever you podcast.

Ruling Threatens PrEP, All Preventive Health Services

The Conversation explored the implications of a court ruling in Texas, in which a judge ruled that companies do not have to include HIV prevention in their insurance plans if it offends the religious views of the company’s owner. As issue was the requirement that employer-based health plans cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill (now also offered as an injection) that is 99% effective at preventing HIV and that is often recommended to members of the LGBTQ community. The employer argued (without scientific evidence) that this would encourage sexual behaviors they do not favor. The Conversation explores other facets of preventive healthcare that are now under threat should the ruling not be reversed on appeal. 

Examining and Banning Healthcare Discrimination

Center for American Progress published a report on LGBT healthcare discrimination, including a proposed rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act that “would restore and expand nondiscrimination protections” for LGBT individuals seeking care. The rule applies to insurers and providers – for example, not allowing providers or insurers to conduct or cover (respectively) gynecological services for cisgender women but not transgender men. The report also includes new research highlighting the need for action, including that 17% of sexual minority individuals, 49% of transgender people, and 61% of intersex people were afraid they would be denied quality care if they disclosed their respective identities.

California Could Be Sanctuary for Trans Youth

The Hill reported on California’s move to becoming a “sanctuary” for transgender and gender diverse youth to seek care, as many other states move to restrict transgender rights, particularly for minors. A new bill that passed the legislature would prohibit healthcare providers and insurance companies from releasing information about a youth who received care in response to a lawsuit filed from out of state, which could happen as states that are working to ban gender-affirming care for youth also bar youth from leaving the state to get care elsewhere. Medical experts have weighed in against such laws and point to evidence that gender-affirming care improves and saves lives. 

Gender Minority Med Students Face Challenges

The Lancet published an examination of how transgender and gender diverse individuals are often discouraged from entering the medical profession due to a lack of training on how to create supportive environments, as well as negative experiences with patients (such as discriminatory statements or treatment). This is especially troubling given that having more gender minority medical professionals could be a major step in addressing the widespread inequities that transgender and gender diverse people face; while the number of gender minority medical students has more than doubled since 2016 according to enrollment data, they still represent only 1.2% of students. The authors point to the need for more training, including to ensure that fellow medical students and professionals utilize the correct name and pronouns for gender minority colleagues. 

Senators Push to Reinforce Marriage Equality

The Washington Post published an op-ed by Senators Tammy Baldwin and Susan Collins, who are cosponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act. The law would require the federal government to recognize all marriages that are legal in the state in which they were performed, including same-sex and interracial marriages. While such marriages are legal because of past Supreme Court cases, same-sex marriages would not be recognized by the federal government should the Court ever overturn its previous decision. The senators say that even though the law would not change the status quo, it is important to give security to same-sex couples and/or those in interracial marriages, as well as to preserve benefits (like access to health insurance). 

Victimization and Alcohol Use Among Youth

LGBT Health published a study looking at the experiences of sexual minority youth, which found support for the idea (under the Minority Stress Theory) that experiences of victimization could have an association with alcohol use. The authors also explored nuances with respect to differences between Black, Latinx, and White youth, as well as the concept of resiliency and how that might impact outcomes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: