Uncategorized

SOGI Questions Need some Work – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

SOGI Questions Need some Work

Researchers explored what LGBT people think about sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in medical forms and research. They found that typical questions they see were not as fluid and open as they wanted, limiting the inclusiveness of the data, and that multi-part questions assessing different aspects of identity were often confusing as to which part of identity (e.g. sex versus gender) they were asking.

Another Court Rules on Healthcare Protections

Health Affairs reported that another court has blocked a change in federal law that would remove healthcare discrimination protections for LGBT individuals. This is the third such decision, but this one went farther in also striking an expansion to religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws. The series of decisions follows the recent Supreme Court case that found existing employment nondiscrimination laws protected LGBT people.

Impact of Shelter Discrimination for Trans Folks

On the subject of nondiscrimination rights: the Center for American Progress studied the impact of a proposed federal government rule change that would remove equal access to homeless shelters for transgender individuals. They found that trans folks were more likely than cisgender peers to have a difficult or impossible time finding an alternative place to stay if a shelter turned them away. Trans people are also more likely than cisgender people to experience homelessness generally.

Sexual Minority Mental Health in Mexico

A study in Mexico found that compared to heterosexual university students with no same-sex attraction, sexual minority students (and heterosexual-identified students with some same-sex attraction) faced higher risks with respect to several behavioral health issues. Additionally, asexual students faced disparities for drug dependence. The study is one of few to look at LGB mental health in countries classified as developing.

Making Language Inclusive

USA Today reported on several changes made by Dictionary.com to make terms more inclusive. These include adding the terms “gender-inclusive” and “trans+,” as well as editing terms on sexuality. They also include many changes and additions for words relating to race and ethnicity – for example, capitalizing Black as it applies to race and adding gender-inclusive terms like Afro-Latinx.

Annual Healthcare Index Shows Progress

HRC published its annual Healthcare Equality Index and of the record 765 facilities who participated, 495 were named “leaders” while another 193 were named “top performers.” 92% of facilities met the staff training requirement that HRC sets, while only 53% have policies and procedures for welcoming and interacting with transgender patients, showing some issues are farther along than others.

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PrEP Works While You Vacation – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

PrEP Works While You Vacation

US News reported on a new option for using PrEP to prevent HIV infection: “vacation PrEP,” in which patients take the pill before, during, and after a trip. It might be a good fit for those who generally are lower-risk for HIV infection but who expect to be more sexually active during a vacation. Researchers say that not only is this usage effective, but in a study, it also led to many patients deciding to stick with PrEP long-term after trying it out.

Contraception Use Concerning among Bi Women

A study found that women who had any attraction to women were more likely to have used any contraception method than women attracted only to men. The bad news: bisexual-identified women aged 15-25 and women with both male and female partners aged 26-35 both had higher rates of low-efficacy methods of contraception, suggesting many bisexual women may be more at risk of unintended pregnancy despite having higher use of some type of contraception.

Creating a SOGI Nursing Toolkit

A study examined the creation of a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Nursing Toolkit to help fill knowledge gaps on LGBT patients. The toolkit includes a website, quiz to identify biases, lessons on cultural humility, and learning modules on priority topics. The process used to design the toolkit could be used to develop similar resources for other professionals, many of whom lack basic LGBT education.

Remote HIV Intervention Less Effective

Researchers studied the effectiveness of community health worker interventions for youth living with HIV and found that the service was less effective when conducted remote (at home) compared to when delivered at a clinic. Those who received clinic-based services had better viral load results after one year and also saw a decrease in alcohol use that those receiving home-based services did not.

Challenges for Homeless LGBT Youth

The Advocate reported on efforts to protect LGBT youth experiencing homelessness, as challenges persist despite progress made in many states to ban housing discrimination against LGBT folks. Mistreatment in shelters remains common (and protections from the federal government were recently erased), with many LGBT youth choosing to sleep on the streets rather than make use of the limited resources available.

New Season of Song Begins

WKBW reported on how the show has gone on for the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus – with proper public health measures in place. When told that they could only perform together with masks, social distancing, and top-notch ventilation, they took their performances online. Now, they’re holding rehearsals and auditions in parking lots so that they can keep their distance while still showing pride.

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When Gay Men Do (and Don’t) Seek Care – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

When Gay Men Do (and Don’t) Seek Care

Researchers found that young gay men who experience healthcare discrimination or are uncomfortable discussing their identities with providers are less likely than others to seek coordinated care. On the other hand, gay youth who found an affirming environment and trusted their provider got better care. Researchers say that can make a big difference in catching chronic and mental health problems early.

MAPFultonCase Threatens Child Welfare, and Beyond

Movement Advancement Project published a report on the potential implications of a Supreme Court case in which a child welfare service provider wants to be able to discriminate against LGBT parents because of its religious beliefs. The report found that should this argument carry the day, it could impact all types of health and human services that private entities are contracted with governments to provide.

PrEP Users’ Behavioral Health

Researchers in Amsterdam found that those starting PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment) had overall high rates of mental health issues, but that these issues did not increase over the course of PrEP use. Furthermore, drug use disorder and sexual compulsivity decreased significantly in the average of 2.5 years for which study participants were followed. The results show the importance of considering behavioral health integration with PrEP services.

Bisexual Folks Face Higher Risk

A study found that bisexual folks in the U.K. faced more than six times the odds of engaging in self-harm within the past year when compared to heterosexual peers. Bisexual individuals also faced disparities compared to their gay and lesbian peers. Anxiety, depression, and experiences of bullying and assault were factors that were frequently associated with self-harm among the population.

TransFlagsRule Allowing Trans Discrimination Held Off

CNN reported that a court has put on hold a recent federal rule that would have allowed discrimination in healthcare on the basis of gender identity. The judge says that the rule violates the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision from earlier this summer, in which the Court said that gender identity discrimination was included in sex discrimination. The change is now paused as the case moves forward.

Celebrating Humanitarian Workers

UNAIDS recognized World Humanitarian Day and explained how, now more than ever, humanitarian aid is critical for individuals around the world to access HIV care. The UN honored humanitarian workers by sharing their stories and the impact that they have on the lives of vulnerable populations – before, during, and after the current pandemic.

Queer Women Facing Food Insecurity

Researchers found that between 20-27% of lesbian and bisexual women (as well as straight-identified women with histories of same-sex relationships) had experienced food insecurity in the past year, compared to 13.1% of exclusively heterosexual women. Despite having more food insecurity, sexual minority women were troublingly no more likely than their peers to access food assistance benefits.

TXDentistWorking to Train Texas Dentists & Beyond

Texas A&M reported on efforts there to have the school of dentistry (working in conjunction with other health schools) implement LGBT health education. They say that LGBT individuals face barriers in accessing dental and other health care, and that students are not always comfortable treating them. The school’s proposed interdisciplinary LGBT health curriculum would be the first of its kind in Texas.

Drinking among Trans Folks

A new study found that transgender and nonbinary folks with higher levels of proximal stress, such as dealing with facing discrimination or stigma, were more likely to drink as a coping mechanism. People who drank for this purpose, in turn, were more likely to experience negative behavioral outcomes. The results show the importance of supporting transgender folks with healthy coping mechanisms (not to mention ending discrimination).

Health of LGBT Veterinarians

Researchers examined the mental health of LGBT veterinary students and professionals, and found that these individuals had higher rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt than their peers. Interestingly, while veterinary students reported better access to institutional resources and policies, veterinary professionals faced more welcoming climates and better odds of disclosing their gender identity.

Mammography Rates among Queer WomenMammoPOC2

A study found a complex situation when it comes to mammography rates among sexual minority women. Among White women, bisexual women had lower rates of mammography compared to straight women, whereas among Black women, the opposite was true and bisexual women had higher rates. Many other differences were not statistically significant, pointing to the need for more research.

Advancing Equity in the South

Movement Advancement Project published a series of blog posts highlighting organizations advancing LGBT equality in the South. For example, the Nationz Foundation in Central Virginia was founded by Black transgender women to improve sexual and general health among LGBT people in that region. The STAY Project for Appalachian youth and Gender Benders, a grassroots org with a storied camp.

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“Queerantine” Brings Struggle for Youth – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Queeranteen“Queerantine” Brings Struggle for Youth

Researchers in the U.K. found that lockdowns related to COVID-19 have had perilous impacts on the mental health of LGBT individuals. Two-thirds of LGBT people showed serious signs of depression during the “Queerantine,” as some call it, and this was particularly true for LGBT youth. Researchers speculated that this may be because they lack the supportive network that comes as one ages into the community.

Trans Teens Take on Ban

NBC News reported on a pair of transgender teenagers who are challenging Arizona’s ban on gender-affirming surgery under the state’s Medicaid plan. The teens are filing a class action lawsuit for all young Arizonans who are seeking chest reconstruction surgery, which the state expressly prohibits even though it is medically necessary. Arizona is one of ten states that outright bans gender-affirming surgery.

Allowing Discrimination Counters Science InFrontofSC

Meanwhile, researchers argued laws that discriminate or allow discrimination on the basis of gender identity run contrary to growing evidence that sex assigned at birth is only part of one’s sense of gender. It also further marginalizes groups – specifically, transgender and nonbinary folks – who already face myriad health disparities and healthcare access issues, making addressing these issues more difficult.

One in Four LGBT Youth Use Nonbinary Pronouns

Teen Vogue reported on new research from the Trevor Project, which found that 25% of LGBT youth aged 13-24 use gender nonbinary pronouns. Most of those youth use a combination of “he” or “she” plus neutral pronouns like “they,” which was the most popular type of nonbinary pronoun. The size of the group shows the growing importance of service providers understanding nonbinary identities and pronouns in general.

Comprehensive Health Ed Works for All

Human Rights Watch reported on why comprehensive sexual health education is so important for the health of all youth. Many states lack any requirement for sexual health education, and several explicitly stigmatize LGBT youth. This leads to all youth lacking key information on their sexual and reproductive health, as well as developing health literacy in general (a problem highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic).

IntersexChildrenChanging Care for Intersex Infants

CNN reported that the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago became the first in the U.S. to apologize for performing medically unnecessary procedures on intersex children to make their genitalia appear more stereotypically “male” or “female.” Intersex advocates argue that these irreversible surgeries should only be done when a youth is old enough to understand and consent. The article explores how discovering that one received such surgery as an infant is often deeply traumatic.

Uncategorized

Media Coverage Boosts Youth Seeking Care – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

VintageTVMedia Coverage Boosts Youth Seeking Care

Researchers found that local media coverage of gender identity issues resulted in a one-to-two week bump in new patients at gender-affirming clinics for youth. They studied two clinics (one in the U.K. and one in Australia) for eight years and found that seeing media coverage seemed to encourage young people to seek care. The results underscore the importance of visibility for transgender youth.

Now That We Have Your Attention…

A new study evaluated the effectiveness of different public health marketing strategies to get queer young men to participate in sexual health research. Using a variety of adds on a popular dating app, they found that one using sexual innuendo got more clicks and more people to ultimately sign up as study participants than did ads with more traditional public health messages.

Homelessness Impacting Youth during Pandemic HomelessYouth

Newsday reported on the surge of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness as many young people struggle with unaccepting families during the pandemic, and either leave for their own safety or get kicked out. Despite many service providers and programs working to help these youth, many still end up sleeping outdoors or on couches as shelters are limited and not always considered LGBT-inclusive.

HIV Treatment Works Resources

The CDC published fresh resources for its Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign under the theme “HIV Treatment Works.” These include infographics discussing how receiving care for HIV can improve the quality of one’s life, as well as videos exploring the challenges and benefits of entering and being retained in care after receiving an HIV diagnosis.

HPV Vaccination among Queer Women

Researchers found that lesbian and bisexual women ages 18-34 were more likely than their heterosexual peers to both initiate the three-part HPV vaccination process and actually complete all three doses. Even so, the 35% of queer women who began the vaccination, and 24% of queer women who completed the process, falls well short of the government’s 80% vaccination goal.

DrMarkGhalyCalifornia Begins Inclusive Data Collection

The LA Blade reported that California has begun to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data on COVID-19 cases, as well as all other illnesses on which the state collects case data. The state made the decision through executive action while the state’s legislature still weighs a bill that would enshrine such collection by law. Few states have taken action to ensure LGBT folks are counted as the nation responds to the pandemic.

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Mental Health Research Lacks Intersectionality – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Intersectionality3Mental Health Research Lacks Intersectionality

A new study found that research on mental health interventions for sexual minorities often fails to consider intersectionality (or the unique issues facing people of color with other minority identities). While about 70% of available research included identities beyond just sexual orientation in recruitment, only 16.3% of studies adequately considered the effects of intersectionality on queer mental health.

Time to Queer the Census 2020Census1

The Orange County Register reported on local and national efforts to “queer the Census” and make sure that LGBT folks are counted. Local LGBT centers and national groups are working to get LGBT people to complete the census, as trillions of dollars in federal funds (including some for HIV, housing, and other issues important to LGBT folks) are distributed based on the results. While sexual orientation and gender identity are not asked, the Census now inquires about same-sex couples.

Affirmation Matters in Brazil

A study of transgender and nonbinary Brazilian youth found that taking multiple steps towards having their gender affirmed (be those social, legal, and/or medical) was associated with youth having less anxiety, fewer symptoms of depression, more pride in their identity, and greater sense of social acceptance. Researchers say gender affirming processes should thus be made easier to access.

RachelLevineTrans Health Secretary Mocked, Defended

PennLive reported on recent transphobic attacks made against Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, who is in the midst of leading that state’s efforts to combat COVID-19. Secretary Levine was promptly defended by the state’s governor and other officials, and many have credited her with saving lives while raising both trans and public health visibility during the crisis.

HIV Medication Supplies Decline

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported on research finding that one third of the world’s countries have low stocks of HIV medications due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more likely to follow. Delays in production of medications, issues with shipping, and challenges patients face actually accessing services are all making HIV care increasingly hard to come by, particularly in low-income countries.

Understanding & Addressing Internalized HomophobiaInternalizedHomo

Health explored the concept of internalized homophobia, in which social stigma and bias gives sexual minorities a negative perception of themselves. Experts say that may make queer folks outright reject their identity or otherwise impact their mental health. They also advise that those experiencing internalized homophobia should not blame themselves and instead begin to talk through their feelings.

 

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Pronoun Use Helps Trans Mental Health – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Pronoun Use Helps Trans Mental Health

TrevorMentalHealthThe Trevor Project published their annual report, finding that 40% of LGBTQ youth nationwide had seriously contemplated suicide within the past 12 months, 29% had experienced homelessness or been kicked out, and 10% had experienced so-called “conversion therapy” at some point. Transgender and nonbinary youth who were called the correct pronouns by at least most people were half as likely to have attempted suicide as youth who were regularly misgendered.

If you or a youth you care about is in crisis, the Trevor Project can help.

Queer Men of Color Are Sexually Active Sooner

A new study found that among sexual minority young men in New York, Black and Latinx young men became sexually active at a younger age than did their White peers. The average age of sexual debut among all sexual minority men was 14.5. Researchers say that this shows the importance of inclusive sexual health education, especially to reduce disparities among youth of color with issues such as HIV.

Expanding Inclusive Care Pronouns

Researchers found that at health centers receiving one year of coaching on improving LGBT patient care, use of patient pronouns and designating of LGBT patient liaisons increased dramatically. Documenting sexual orientation and gender identify also increased from 13.5% to 50.8%. The number of LGBT identified patients increased for various services, too, indicating that LGBT patients felt more comfortable coming in for services and/or self-identifying as LGBT as inclusive practices grew.

Canadian Med School Takes on Disparities

Relatedly, University Affairs reported on progress at the University of Toronto’s medical school to ensure all students are trained in LGBT health before graduation. Its proponents note that addressing health disparities requires looking at identities and underlying health inequities, and they point to the COIVD-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact as an example. The majority of medical schools have yet to require LGBT education.

MAPSouthLGBT Life in the South

Movement Advance Project released a new report on LGBT people in the southern United States, where they found LGBT-related laws are far more likely to be discriminatory rather than protective. There are also widespread socioeconomic disparities, especially for LGBT southerners of color, which are a barrier to good health. They also point to potential solutions, including utilizing the community’s resiliency and building up lacking resources.

Queer Doctors Weigh in on COVID

Towleroad published an open letter from 205 gay doctors hoping to reach other gay men, noting that while people may want to let down their guards and socially reconnect after months of isolation, it is important (even for otherwise healthy men) to remain vigilant. They also weigh in on how to reduce risk in terms of social gatherings, getting exercise, and seeking support when feeling isolated and alone.

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HIV Care Access Down During Pandemic – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

Impact of Injustices on Queer Black Men’s Health POCMan

Researchers explored the impact of incarceration, justice system discrimination, and arrests on the health and wellbeing of sexual minority Black men. They found that 43% had experienced police discrimination within the past year – and that that discrimination was associated with high levels of psychological distress, higher risk sexual behaviors, and lower willingness to take PrEP to prevent HIV.

Two Protests Become One in North Carolina

Relatedly, the Winston-Salem Journal reported on how two groups protesting recently in Raleigh – one Representing Black Lives Matter, and the other LGBT rights groups – convened spontaneously to protest police brutality together. LGBT activists noted that this was really a “return to their roots,” given that the LGBT rights movement largely began with the Stonewall riots, a series of protests against police brutality led by queer and trans people of color.

DrBarronGay Doctor Denied Critical Blood Donation

Windy City Times reported that a gay doctor in Illinois, who contracted and survived COVID-19, is being denied as a blood donor because of his sexual orientation. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 develop antibodies, and collecting blood samples from such individuals may be critical to treating the disease. The ban on queer men donating blood still stands, however, unless the person has been celibate for at least three months.

World Fails to Meet HIV Goals

UNAIDS published a new report finding that the world is not on track to meet its 2020 HIV targets. Over the past few years, worldwide new infections of HIV have surpassed UN goals by a whopping 3.5 million. 62% of new infections occur among LGBT people, sex workers, and people who inject drugs, marking a major disproportionate impact in these communities.

Assessing Needs of Gay Prostate Cancer Patients

Researchers examined the importance of inclusive sexual health assessments for gay prostate cancer patients. They found that a majority of gay men surveyed thought that the prostate was a source of sexual pleasure and was important to measure the impact of treatment on sexual satisfaction. Gay men who engage in receptive anal intercourse were even more likely than their peers who did not to believe in the importance of the prostate and assessing sexual health in this way.

Intersectional Disparities Facing Black LGBT Folks HaleyThompson

The Detroit Free Press published an op-ed exploring how Black LGBT folks face intersectional discrimination and compounded disparities in a wide array of areas, but little attention has been paid to the population. The author notes that if society wants to improve Black health (or LGBT health), people who hold both identities – as the subgroup facing the greatest need – cannot be overlooked.

Lockdowns Threatening HIV Care Access

POZ Magazine reported on a new study of 20,000 LGBT people worldwide that found that 21% of people living with HIV were having difficulty accessing ARV treatment because of lockdown restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Twice that number, 42%, had a month or less left of their ARV supply. Among LGBT people not living with HIV, only 56% reported access to HIV prevention services.

Banning LGBT Healthcare Discrimination

The LA Blade reported on how the federal government’s recent decision to end a gender identity nondiscrimination rule is being challenged in court, a move strengthened by the Supreme Court’s recent decision to include LGBT folks in employment nondiscrimination law. The article also explores how state LGBT nondiscrimination laws still stand in many places, including California, which means the federal government’s decision will have a more limited effect.

BodyShapes

Disordered Eating Among Lesbian Women

Researchers examined disordered eating among cisgender lesbian women using PRIDE Study data, and found that 9.1% reported in the clinically-significant range for weight concerns and 13.9% reported the same for shape concerns. 13.5% reported past month occurrence of dietary restriction and 8.7% past month binge episodes, while 7.1% had been diagnosed with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. The study is one of the first to look at eating disorder behaviors specifically among lesbian women.

Being a Black Lesbian Woman at an Historic Moment

Ms. Magazine published an op-ed on the intersectional discrimination facing Black lesbian women, who find themselves at the crossroads of LGBT, Black, and feminist movements – all of whom are still fighting for equal rights many years after those battles began. The author says her optimism at some of the progress that has been made, such as the recent Supreme Court decision advancing LGBT rights, is tempered by factors like the marginalization of Black women even within the LGBT community.

Anal Cancer Rates Highest for Queer Men Living with HIV

A new study found that people living with HIV, sexual minority men living had the highest incident rates of anal cancer, with heterosexual men coming next, followed by women. Sexual minority men not living with HIV were at lower risk than all subgroups living with HIV. The article concludes with recommendations for a unifying anal cancer risk scale.

POCLesbianCoupleIssues, Resources for Trans Older Adults

LGBTQ Nation reported on challenges and resources for transgender older adults, who sometimes struggle with respect to social support, health care, and aging services. This group is less likely than others to have strong support networks, which also puts them at increased risk for discrimination, according to research. Resources include provider listings for finding trans-affirming care and know-your-rights guides.

 

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LGBT Anxiety and Depression Rise During Pandemic – #LGBTWellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

CovidAnxietyBrainAnxiety, Depression Rise During Pandemic

Researchers found that anxiety and depression have increased in LGBT people during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the increases were among people without prior symptoms. The results suggest that the isolation is taking a toll on the community and that the number of people needing services is growing. The research was conducted using data from the nationwide PRIDE Study initiative.

More on Mental Health

Relatedly, Psychiatry Advisor explored the topic of LGBT health during the pandemic and showed anecdotal evidence of increases requests for mental health medications, as well as calls to crisis lines. They note that the closure of campuses has made it especially hard for youth and young adults, who have lost their support systems and sometimes been forced to move back in with unsupportive relatives.

Get Tested!

The CDC published even more resources to promote National HIV Testing Day, including a series of videos that discuss why testing is important and some of the barriers people have to overcome. The CDC says that self-testing is a good alternative for people who are trying to limit contact with others or travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is sharing new resources on how that can be implemented.

Legal Guide for Trans Youth TransYouthHandbook

Harvard Law School published a new guide for transgender youth on their legal rights in a variety of areas. These include health and many factors that impact it, like access to identity documents and affirming environments. The guide also includes advice on self-advocacy, including keeping record of instances of discrimination, knowing one’s rights, and seeking both emotional and legal support.

More to Be Done Post-SCOTUS Decision

WBUR explored how there is still a lot to be done to make the health field more LGBT inclusive, even after the Supreme Court’s recent decision that made workplace discrimination against the community illegal. They cite studies showing that the vast majority of doctors have at least some implicit bias against LGBT folks, and that prospective patients also often harbor biases against having an LGBT doctor.

UNAIDS_EDCOVID Could Halt HIV Progress

The UNAIDS Coordinating Board discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability of healthcare systems to meet HIV-related goals worldwide. The UNAIDS Executive Director warned that the world was already off-track on meeting many targets before the pandemic hit; she also urged that HIV programs must be fully funded despite worldwide financial challenges or else further progress would be lost.

HIV (Self) Testing Day

The CDC marked June 27th as National HIV Testing Day, publishing lots of resources and social media content for organizations to help spread the word. Among the resources are information on self-testing, an option that has not been widely offered but that has become increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it reduces potential exposure to COVID-19 among those getting tested.

CDCPrideHealthProudly Smoke-free

The CDC also published an article encouraging LGBT people to use Pride Month as an opportunity to quit smoking. They note that 1 in 5 LGBT adults smokes, and that number is likely much higher – perhaps 1 in 3 – for transgender folks. The post includes resources, ways that everyone can get involved in reducing disparities, and tips from a former smoker who got started due to the industry’s targeting of queer communities.

Impact of COVID-19 on Trans Health

Researchers explored the potential health impacts, including mental health, of COVID-19 on transgender individuals. Not only are trans folks likely at higher risk for severe COVID-19 infections, but all trans folks – particularly those who become sick – are facing difficulties accessing gender-affirming care. That can put a strain on mental health, compounded by the fact that mental health services are also hard to access during this time.

Exploring Data Collection Gaps, Importance

Movement Advance Project explored the current limitations in sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data collection. Key sources of data on public health often fail to include SOGI indicators; for example, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) allows states to not include SOGI questions, and 18 states and two territories currently do not do so.

DisclosureExploring Trans Portrayals in Film

CNN reported on a new documentary, entitled “Disclosure,” that looks at how transgender people are portrayed on film – and how that can enforce or break down stereotypes about the community. The filmmaker also discusses how a 1990s film was both powerful as one of the first depictions he saw of a trans body, while also damaging in the over-the-top rejection the character faced.

Get Caught Up on HIV in the U.S.

The Body published a helpful review of everything one might need to know about HIV in LGBT communities. They review statistics on the inequities in HIV rates facing the community, including that of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. today, 700,000 (almost two in three) became positive from same-sex relations between men. They also explore the hugely disparate rates facing LGBT people of color.

 

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2 For 1 Special – 2 #LGBTWellness Roundups/1 Post

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak-Rincón bring you a round-up of some of the biggest LGBTQ wellness stories from the past week.

Podcast2

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://bit.ly/LGBTWellnessPodcast or where ever you podcast.

What LGBT Folks Think about Our Health

A national study found that LGBT people view HIV as being the community’s most significant health issue, with about one in four making that selection. Very few people identified areas with significant documented disparities such as smoking, cancer, or hate crimes as being the community’s top health priority.  Meanwhile, 4.2% of LGBT folks believed the community did not have any health differences compared to non-LGBT people.

LGBT Rights in Flux

The New York Times reported on the Supreme Court’s ruling that existing civil rights laws banning sex-based discrimination at work also bans discrimination based on LGBT identities. The news comes just days after the Department of Health and Human Services eliminated an extension of similar rights in healthcare, a decision that could eventually be undone by the Supreme Court’s new interpretation.

HIV Experts Call Out Racism BLMProtest

A group of HIV organizations published an op-ed explaining how racism underlies the HIV epidemic in America, noting that nearly half of new HIV diagnoses are among Black individuals. They say that for the HIV epidemic to be successfully addressed, reforms are needed to address forms of systemic racism that are embedded in the justice system and that impede on the wellness of people of color.

Substance Use Disparities Persist

Poz Magazine reported on new research finding that sexual minorities aged 50-plus are more likely than their heterosexual peers to use various forms of drugs for non-medical reasons. LGB adults were more than twice as likely as their peers to use opioids or marijuana, and were more than three times as likely to use prescription tranquilizers, suggesting that LGB drug use disparities continue throughout the lifespan.

HCWOutAtWorkBeing Out Matters for Healthcare Workers

The Advocate published an op-ed on why it’s important for healthcare workers to feel safe coming out at work, especially during stressful times such as the present pandemic. The author says that it is critical workers be there to support one another, check in on them and their families, and share their hopes and concerns. That care of self and community is impossible when LGBT employees feel the need to shield a major part of themselves.

Guidelines for Studying Puberty Suppression

Children’s National Hospital published best practices on how researchers can study the impact of puberty suppression on transgender youths’ brain development. Puberty suppression – in which transgender youth can delay the impacts of puberty, which may be contrary to their gender identity – is a relatively new treatment that researchers say requires careful and coordinated study

Black Lives Matter in Our Communities

Movement Advancement Project published a report on why ending violence against Black individuals should be a top priority for LGBT advocates. They note that police brutality is an issue for both Black and LGBT communities, and that Black LGBT folks – especially Black transgender women – are particularly at risk of suffering this injustice. They also share a list of ways for LGBT people to get involved in this critical issue.

Trans Men Want More Inclusive Language

Researchers found that transgender men and trans-masculine nonbinary folks want providers to engage more on respectful language, with 77.7% saying they want providers to directly ask what language to use regarding their genitalia. A majority of 65% wanted providers to use medical terminology rather than informal language. Yet, only 26.9% reported that a provider had ever asked for their preferences, despite many more saying their provider was otherwise knowledgeable on trans-affirming care.

Pride Plans Continue NationwideGMAPride

Good Morning America published an extensive list of upcoming virtual Pride Month events happening all over the country, with in-person events mostly canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many sessions are simply celebrations, some cover specific topics like mental health, veteran’s issues, and gender diversity. GMA says that it is key the community still have space “to celebrate its resilience, diversity and history,” even if that means going online.

PrEP Expansion Delayed in UK

Forbes reported that a long-awaited change in which PrEP would finally be available in the UK’s health system – which was scheduled for April – has been indefinitely delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocates for PrEP access say that the stay home order actually presented the perfect opportunity to work on HIV prevention; however, others cite reduced health system capacity as a barrier to launching this new service.

HealioQuick Reads on Mental Health

Healio compiled a list of quick hits on LGBT mental health in recognition of Pride Month. Among their picks: concerns about fertility impacting the future outlook of transgender adolescents; unique concerns facing LGBT older adults with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers; and mental health issues remaining high among sexual minority youth despite growing significantly in numbers over the past decades.

CDC Promises More Data

ABC News reported that the CDC will start collecting race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 tests, which until now has not been done at the federal level, potentially masking disparities. The CDC also said that it is “dedicated to leading to America to healthier lives, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sex, geography, or sexual orientation,” though no plans have yet been made to collect gender and sexual orientation data.