#LGBTWellness News for You All In One Place

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. 

CDC Releases Resources on Trans Folks & HIV

The CDC launched a new webpage and fact sheet on the risk of HIV in the transgender community as part of their recognition of National HIV Testing Day. The fact sheet notes that of the 2351 transgender people who received an HIV diagnosis between 2009 and 2014, half lived in the South and 15% were transgender men – an often overlooked group in HIV prevention.

Sexual Health of Queer African American Women AALesbians2

A study of sexual minority African American women in the South found that depressive symptoms, past incarceration, and intimate partner violence were all associated with sexually transmitted infection history. Researchers, who also looked at issues like alcohol and drug use during sexual encounters, recommend that providers address psychological stressors and STI risk in this population.

Evidence of Cardiovascular, Respiratory Disparities

A review of research found evidence of higher mortality rates relating to cardiovascular and respiratory disease among same-sex cohabiting women compared to opposite-sex cohabiting peers, and higher rates of asthma among sexual minority women compared to heterosexual peers. Researchers say more data collection is needed in large surveys to help confirm these disparities (which unfortunately make sense given high rates of tobacco use by LGBT people).

Pacific Wave of Conversion Therapy Bans

Hawaii became the 12th state to ban the practice of conversion therapy for minors, which has been discredited and condemned by major psychological and pediatric organizations. Meanwhile, the California Assembly passed a bill that would classify this therapy – which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity – as a fraudulent business practice.

Parental Problems Tied to Poor Sleep

Researchers found that sexual minorities have worse sleep than do heterosexual individuals, and that a big part of the reason might be strained relationships with parents when compared to their heterosexual peers. Teen Vogue also reported on the study, and noted that minority stress and discrimination against queer people has already been attributed to other disparities they face.

Rainbow UKLondon Calling… for an LGBT Center

In news from across the pond, Pink News reported that plans are underway to open a new LGBT center in London, largely to fill what is perceived as a gap in physical and mental healthcare for queer folks. It hopes to offer support groups, intergenerational contact, and other activities to improve wellbeing. Many stateside centers offer highly-needed services just like these.

Docs Dropping the Ball on PrEP?

Researchers found that among patients who were looking for PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment) at an infectious disease clinic in Missouri, 48% of those who had a primary care doctor had asked to be prescribed PrEP but were not, with many doctors saying it was specialty care. Researchers say this represents a missed opportunity for primary care doctors to help prevent HIV transmission.

Finding PrEP Made Easy

Speaking of PrEP: the CDC announced a partnership between its National Prevention Information Network and Emory University, in which NPIN is now maintaining a national PrEP locator to help folks find providers who can prescribe the treatment. It also helps users to know if they might be able to get assistance or insurance coverage with the 1,800 providers who are currently listed.

Putting the “T” in Telehealth

NPR reported on how telehealth – in which people can “attend” doctor’s appointments remotely using webcams – is improving access to transgender-competent healthcare. It might be especially useful for transgender people outside of urban areas, many of whom report having to travel long distance to find a trans-friendly doctor, and at least one LGBT-specific service has already begun.

Limited Leave for LGBTQ People of Color

HRC published a report on the 1.8 million LGBT people of color in the U.S. workforce, and how (due to intersectional discrimination) they struggle to get time off to care for themselves and their families. For example, 71% of those surveyed said that they did not have the resources to be able to take time off without pay, and 27% feared discrimination if they requested medical or family leave.

NPs Want Trans Training NursePractitioners

Researchers found in a study of nurse practitioners (NPs) in the northeastern U.S. that many fear gaps in their knowledge of transgender-related care will prevent them from delivering quality services. Many noted that their nursing curriculum had not included sufficient information on transgender individuals, and that options were also limited in continuing education courses.

Trans Wellness Center Set to Open

LGBTQ Nation reported that six organizations who serve transgender individuals in Los Angeles, including the LA LGBT Center, are joining together to open a new Trans Wellness Center in the city. The project is funded with a one million dollar grant from the LA County Department of Public Health, and will help folks access healthcare, housing, jobs, and legal services.


Keep in touch with LGBT HealthLink by joining our FREE membership. Have access to our library of tools and resources, all free. Join our members-only online networking groups, exclusive webinars just for members, and keep up to date with our Weekly #LGBTWellness Roundup. It’s quick and easy to join, and it’s all free!


We’ve Got All the #LGBTWellness News You Need!

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. 

LGBT HealthLink’s 2018 E-Summit Registration is here!Esummit-Register-2018

Gender-affirming Care Improves Lives

NBC News examined how gender-affirming surgery had a positive effect on the quality of life of transgender individuals. Citing a recent German study that found that 75% of transgender people who had such surgery had a better quality of life in the years that followed, the article explored the state of gender-affirming care in the U.S. and how lives can be improved by it.

Half of Bisexual Utahns Faced Sexual Violence

A Utah study found that LGB people were more likely than heterosexual folks to have experienced sexual violence. The results were particularly staggering for bisexual individuals, almost half of whom faced sexual violence during their lives, compared to about a third of lesbian and gay people and 9% of heterosexual people. Researchers say the trend is not unique to Utah.

Nonbinary Youth Struggle Getting Care

A study of gender-nonconforming young adults in the San Francisco area found that many struggled in accessing healthcare, even at clinics known to be culturally competent for transgender individuals. Many faced barriers such as providers not understanding what it meant to be nonbinary, and felt they had to “borrow” a binary identity or simply avoid receiving care.

Keeping Transgender Women in Care

Fenway Institute published a guide on how providers can help keep transgender women living with HIV in care. Transgender women may fall out of care after experiencing discrimination, failing to feel represented where they seek care, and facing a fragmented system that is not aligned to their various healthcare goals. The guide provides best practices to remove these barriers.

Mentorship Among Queer Healthcare Professionals Mentoring

Researchers found that 72% of young LGBT healthcare professionals think it is important to have an LGBT-identified mentor for their personal development; the study also found that 48.5% of those surveyed did, in fact, have a mentor of the same sexual orientation as themselves. Participants said such relationships were helpful to get LGBT-specific advice and networking help.

Exploring Suicidality and Religiosity

Reuters examined the role of religion in suicidality among LGBTQ people. For most individuals, having involvement with religion has been viewed as something that decreases risk of suicidality, but some studies have shown that the opposite is true for LGBTQ people. One recent study found that lesbian youth faced an especially heightened risk of suicidality tied to religiosity.

Centers Short on Formal Tobacco Training

Researchers found that administrators of LGBT centers providing primary care believed that LGBT tobacco cessation was important, but that staff had been only informally trained and resource availability largely relied on a staff “champion” who was passionate about the issue. (Did you know that LGBT centers can contact HealthLink for tobacco control resources? It’s true!)

Cyberbullying Hurting Queer Youth

A major NIH study found that sexual minority youth reported higher depressive symptoms from the eleventh grade through three years after high school, and that one key association was higher rates of cyberbullying, especially among male-identified youth. Other associations of depressive symptoms were lower family satisfaction and greater likelihood of unmet medical needs.

NatTransTestingDayRecognizing Trans HIV Testing Day

The Center of Excellence for Transgender health marked National Transgender HIV Testing Day on April 18, noting that transgender women of color in particular face disproportionately high rates of HIV; research has been limited on transgender men, but they are also at risk. The Center published videos, resources, and promotional materials to increase testing in the community.

High Mental Health Needs for Trans Youth

A study found that transgender children and adolescents had high rates of both attention deficit disorders (affecting 15% of transfeminine and 16% of transmasculine youth) and depressive disorders (affecting 49% of transfeminine and 62% of transmasculine youth). Transgender youth also had higher rates of suicidal ideation and self-injury than their cisgender peers.

Students Think More are Smoking & Vaping

Researchers found that 61% of students overestimated how many of their peers used e-cigarettes and 74% overestimated peer use of regular cigarettes. Those who only overestimated e-cigarette use were 3.29 times more likely to be curious about using e-cigarettes and 8.15 more likely to be currently “vaping.” It’s bad news for LGBT youth, who use both tobacco products more heavily.

Mandatory Trans Training for MDs?

Infectious Disease News explored the idea of requiring medical students to receive basic education on transgender health, citing research that more than a million people in the U.S. are transgender but that medical students receive only a few hours of total education on LGBT health. The author notes that many students are actually asking for more, and recommends it be mandatory.


#LGBTWellness News: Helpful How-to Vids for SOGI Collection

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. 


Videos Explain Care for LGBT Patients

The National LGBT Health Education Center published a series of videos to help healthcare personnel learn how to collect sexual orientation and gender identity data, while treating their patients with respect. They also cover how to help patients who changed their names, use a patient’s preferred pronouns, and work with queer people whose native language is not English.

Cancer Centers Lack LGBTQ Policies

Researchers examined 21 comprehensive cancer centers across the U.S. and found that while most had an advisory committee regarding sexual and gender minorities, most did not have explicit policies or routine practices about key issues like inclusive data collection and forms. The authors recommend more coordinated and systematic efforts to address LGBTQ needs.

 How Discrimination Hurts Care Descrimination

A new study of national data found that facing discrimination in various settings, including outside of the healthcare system itself, caused transgender people to delay receiving preventive care. In total, 26.25% of transgender people reported doing so, with those who experienced discrimination up to 20 times more likely than others to report delaying care.

Community’s Risk for Eating Disorders

Slate published an article exploring eating disorders among LGBTQ folks, who faced unique factors with respect to body image and the intersection of gender identity. One study found that more than half of LGBTQ youth reported such a disorder, and transgender and gender-nonconforming people may be at even higher risks than others.

Parents Failing “The Talk”

A study found that parents struggle to discuss the basics of sexual health with LGBTQ teenagers, with many reporting that they do not feel knowledgeable enough about queer relationships to explain how to be safe. Researchers say that having these conversations are nonetheless critical for positive youth development, and suggest interventions to help parents could be useful.

The End of HIV in Sight?

The Lancet examined the global health community’s goal of reducing HIV incidence by 90% by the year 2030, which recent studies have suggested is unlikely, even if factoring in recent developments such as the advent of PrEP. However, the author contends that the issue is ultimately a matter of priority-setting, and that with sufficient resources, the goal is possible.

Conversion Therapy Bans on a Roll

NBC News reported that yet another state passed a ban on the discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ youth, with the Maryland legislature sending a bill to the state’s governor for signature. It would be the eleventh state to have done so, with Washington state having just passed its own ban in recent weeks.

STD Awareness monthNew Resources for STD Awareness Month

The CDC launched a new website in recognition of STD Awareness Month that includes resources for both patients and providers around the theme “Treat Me Right.” Among the many available resources are a report on how providers can ask essential and LGBT-inclusive questions regarding sexual health, graphics for social media, and sample social media posts.

What Queer Folks Need to Quit

A study found that LGB people were more likely to be smokers if they were younger, less educated, and used alcohol; queer men were also more likely to smoke if they used heroine. Researchers say that the results suggest cessation programs for queer folks should focus on those who younger and have lower education levels, and factor in potential use of other substances.

Grindr Turns Notifications On Grindr

The New York Times reported that Grindr, a social networking application primarily for queer men, will now allow its 3.3 million users to opt into regular HIV testing reminders that even help them find close testing sites. Experts hailed the move as helping to normalize and destigmatize HIV testing, thus helping to overcome some of the biggest barriers to folks being tested.


Trans Victimization and Suicidality

A Swedish study of transgender individuals found that 37% had seriously considered suicide within the past year and 32% had attempted suicide at least once. Both facing offensive treatment within the past three months and lifetime exposure to transgender-related violence were associated with higher rates of suicidality, highlighting the repercussions of such experiences.

Panel Examines Groundbreaking Discrimination Survey

Harvard University recorded a panel discussion on a groundbreaking new survey it conducted on LGBT people’s experiences within the healthcare system. Panelists discussed the survey’s findings that LGBT people frequently encounter discrimination while trying to access healthcare, and that these experiences have impacts on both their physical and mental health.


Keep in touch with LGBT HealthLink by joining our FREE membership. Have access to our library of tools and resources, all free. Join our members-only online networking groups, exclusive webinars just for members, and keep up to date with our Weekly #LGBTWellness Roundup. It’s quick and easy to join, and it’s all free!


#LGBTWellness news – Facebook: The Key to Quit Smoking

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 seven days. 

RainbowFacebookStudy Exposes Social (Media) Smokers

A new study found that LGBT people, especially smokers, were more likely to view tobacco-related messaging on social media than were non-LGBT people. In contrast, non-LGBT people were more likely to view tobacco-related (especially anti-tobacco) messages on traditional media. The results suggest that social media is key to decrease smoking among LGBT folks.

Bisexual Girls at High Risk for Teen Pregnancy

Researchers found that bisexual teen girls were at five times higher risk for becoming pregnant than were heterosexual teens, while lesbian and “mostly heterosexual”-identified girls were about twice as likely as heterosexual girls to become pregnant. Researchers believe factors like bullying and abuse are why sexual minority girls were more likely to become pregnant as teens.

Queer Men in Trouble Tanning? TanningMale

Researchers found that sexual minority men were more likely than heterosexual men to report using indoor tanning, both ever and within the last year. They also scored lower on protecting themselves from the sun when they were outside, although they did report some good behaviors, like wearing sunscreen and seeking shade. Tanning and sun exposure can lead to skin cancer.

HIV Prevention For and By Men of Color

Gay Star News reported on a new initiative in the U.K. to have queer men of color – who face disproportionately high rates of HIV on both sides of the pond – build an HIV prevention campaign that reflects them, from the ground up. The campaign’s founders hope that if queer people can see themselves in the program, they will be more likely to get on board and get tested.

Affirming Surgeries Growing, But Still Costing

A study found that the number of gender-affirming surgeries has increased in the U.S. since 2000, with 83.9% of patients seeking care under transgender-related codes from 2006-2011 seeking surgery as part of their care. Still, the majority were not covered by health insurance, with Reuters reporting on the fact that many transgender people pay out-of-pocket for this care.

Apps2Stopping HPV in the App Store

Fenway Health announced a new study in which they will test an app-based platform to increase HPV vaccination and awareness among young queer men, who are at high risk for contracting HPV but are often left out of female-focused vaccination efforts. HPV puts queer men at risk for anal, penile, mouth, and throat cancers, Fenway stated, and the app could help prevent this.

Hawaii Says “Aloha” to a Billion Dollars

Big Island Now reported that the state of Hawaii has saved $1 billion in medical costs due to its tobacco control efforts over the past two decades. LGBT folks are one of Hawaii’s priority populations, since they still smoke at a higher rate than others, reported Big Island Now. That’s a national trend, but the rest of the country can learn from Hawaii’s overall low smoking rate.


“Simon” Says What Youth Need to Hear

Care2 reported on the popular new LGBT-themed comedy entitled Love, Simon, and why it is important for LGBT youth to see themselves represented in film and other media. The article points to the bullying, familial rejection, and stigma that queer youth face, and says that seeing that their stories and identities matter can help build a more inclusive society for LGBT youth.


LGBT Folks Have Worse Heart Health

The American Heart Association announced preliminary findings that queer folks were less likely than their heterosexual peers to have ideal cardiovascular health. Researchers looked at over 2400 adults and found that LGB people were 36% less likely to have an optimal level of heart health. A main reason for the disparity was higher rates of smoking among LGB adults.

HIV Peer Navigation Post-incarceration

Researchers conducted a randomized clinical trial of queer men and transgender women living with HIV as they were released from LA County Jail. They found that participants who received a peer navigation intervention to help manage their health needs achieved higher rates of viral suppression than did people who received a traditional model of care, warranting further study.

Evolving Guidelines on Queer Clinical Care

A study reviewed clinical guidelines on primary care and family planning for LGBT patients and identified a whopping 2,006 in available literature. From these, they distilled recurring themes like qualities of the clinical environment, cultural sensitivity of providers, and confidentiality. The authors note the need for frequent updates to such guidelines as research is rapidly evolving.

Exploring Autism in the Trans Community TransBrain

Slate examined why studies have found that a disproportionate number of autistic young people are transgender. While some people say there may be a genetic link between the two traits, others believe that some of the characteristics of autistic individuals – such as less reverence for social norms, or a possible “overfocused interest” in the topic of gender – could explain the connection.


Keep in touch with LGBT HealthLink by joining our FREE membership. Have access to our library of tools and resources, all free. Join our members-only online networking groups, exclusive webinars just for members, and keep up to date with our Weekly #LGBTWellness Roundup. It’s quick and easy to join, and it’s all free!


#LGBTWellness: Safety for LGBT Youth Still Needs Work

RainbowLockersNo Rush to Protect Student Safety

Researchers found that only one out of eight measures to improve LGBTQ student safety, as monitored by the School Health Profiles study, increased in most states between 2010 and 2014. Reuters reported on the findings and noted that schools were doing better on things like designating safe spaces than they were at creating GSAs or improving mental health care.

PrEP Uptake Lags Among Minorities CDC PrEP

The CDC found that while 500,000 Black and 300,000 Latinx individuals could benefit from taking PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment), under 8,000 prescriptions have been filled for members of each group. The Daily Beast also reported on the findings and other studies showing that minorities have lower rates of PrEP usage despite facing higher HIV exposure risk.

Don’t Miss Bisexual Health Awareness Month

The Bisexual Resource Center launched its annual Bisexual Health Awareness Month campaign, with a social media toolkit, selected recent articles, and more resources. They include resources for bisexual folks who want to improve their health, and for others who wish to be good allies or supporters of bisexual health equity. Either way, check out the campaign before the month is up!

 More Proof Patients OK with Questions

A study examined the acceptability of patients being asked for their sexual orientation and gender identity and found, as have similar studies, that patients overwhelmingly do not mind being asked, with only 3% reporting some kind of offense. US News explored the findings and the importance of collecting this data to provide quality care to LGBT patients.

Presumptive Treatment of Gonorrhea?

Researchers examined the practice of presumptively treating suspected gonorrhea infections before test results have come back. They found that the site of the infection (urethral, rectal, or pharyngeal) played a big role in how likely an infection was likely to be treated presumptively, and recommend implementing point-of-care testing to improve on this model.

Making Public Housing Smoke-free NBHN smokefree

The National Behavioral Health Network published an infographic on the effort to make public housing smoke-free, which is slated to happen nationwide this year due to a new regulation. However, almost a million units across the country still need to be converted. We hope the policy will help LGBT people, who smoke at higher rates than others, quit (and avoid secondhand smoke).


#LGBTWellness News: A Little About Us and Much More

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 seven days. 


Did You Check Us Out on Grindr?

In recognition of March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, LGBT HealthLink partnered with Grindr to promote cancer screening with special popup messages on March 2nd. The aim is to help meet the 80% by 2018 goal, an initiative to have 80% of adults 50-plus being tested for colorectal cancer by the end of this year.

Surprising News on Youth Suicide Risk

Researchers found that sexually-active youth whose sexual partners did not match up with their sexual orientation – for example, gay students who had opposite-sex partners – had 70% higher rates of suicidal ideation or attempt than did others. News sources reported on the study for shining light on how sexual orientation-related stressors may put certain youth at risk.

Alcohol Expectations and Abuse

A study examined how queer women’s expectations about what drinking related to their likelihood of alcohol abuse. It found that those who reported “drinking to forget” were more likely than others to have instances of heavy drinking, while those who expected to become more aggressive when drinking were more likely than others to show alcohol abuse and dependence.

CDC EcigsCDC: That E-cig Isn’t Helping You

The CDC released a new infographic on e-cigs, which explains the dangers of these devices and that e-cigs are not an approved way to quit smoking. In fact, 40% of e-cig users have never smoked cigarettes before and are a whole new “market” for tobacco companies. Research shows that both LGBT youth and adults have higher rates of e-cig use than do their peers.

Finding Young Men for STI Studies

Researchers explored using venue-based sampling to find young men aged 14-17 for STI prevention studies, since they can be a hard population to recruit and thus understand. They identified and visited places like LGBT centers and popular parks, and recruitment went well. Youth recruited in more structured venues (like centers) had lower rates of STIs than did others.

Where to Retire if You’re LGBTQ FTL

SeniorAdvice.com published its top twenty list of cities for LGBTQ folks to retire in, including a fun infographic that shows important characteristics like quality medical care and affordable housing. #1 on the list? LGBT HealthLink’s home of Fort Lauderdale, Florida!

Taking Advice from Stephen Fry

Towleroad reported that Gay British actor and personality Stephen Fry was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and has recently been treated. He’s now urging his fans to get tested if they are at risk, which public health experts advise is inclusive of queer men and transgender people with prostates. The article shares various resources for GBT people to learn more.

Infographic on Intersectionalities and Smoking

LGBT HealthLink published a new infographic along with its sister health disparity networks on how smoking disproportionately impacts many vulnerable populations, including LGBT folks, people of color, homeless individuals, and rural populations. Given these groups are hardly exclusive, it also hints at which subgroups of LGBT folks are most likely to light up.


Preferences Revealed for HIV Testing

Researchers interviewed queer Black men and Black transgender women in New York and found that their perception of accuracy of HIV tests and the characteristics of the venues in which they’re offered were key factors in them deciding to get tested. They also found that many lacked knowledge about newer and possibly preferable methods like home and self-testing.

“Scant” Research on Therapy for Trans Youth

Researchers reviewed the available literature on using cognitive behavioral therapy to treat transgender youth who experience social anxiety disorder, and found that studies assessing its success are “scant.” The review summarizes the guidelines published by major professional organizations on how to make such therapy gender-affirming and recommends more research.

E-Cigs Make You Inhale Toxic Metals

A new study found yet another danger associated with e-cigarettes: toxic metals that enter the body when the coils inside e-cigs heat up. Sources like U.S. News reported on the study as yet more proof that the dangers of e-cigs are not yet fully known to regulators or the public. It should be concerning for LGBT folks, who have picked up “vaping” faster than have others.

Festival Features LGBT Latinx Films

ReMezcla reported on LGBT Latinx films to be featured at Outfest Fusion, a festival happening soon in LA. The films tackle key topics like loss, family rejection, reproductive health, coming out, and queer friendship.


#LGBTWellness News: Bullying Our Seniors?

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 seven days. 


LGBT Seniors Facing Bullying?

Yahoo reported on a lawsuit being brought against a senior living facility, where a lesbian resident says she was repeatedly bullied because of her sexual orientation during her three years in the facility, including with verbal slurs and physical attacks. The report says that anti-LGBT bullying may not be uncommon in the confinement of such retirement facilities.

The Health of Trans Teens

A study of Minnesota data found that transgender and nonbinary youth reported poorer overall health, less preventive care use, and more visits to the nurse than did their cisgender (or non-transgender) peers. The results also suggested that the degree to which one’s gender presentation was perceived as congruent with one’s sex assigned at birth is related to health outcomes.

 LGBT Caregivers are Younger, More Strained

Researchers examined the composition and experiences of LGBT caregivers nationwide, and found that when compared to non-LGBT caregivers, they were younger on average and more ethnically and racially diverse. When controlling for other factors, they were also more likely to be financially strained and to face poorer health and greater emotional stress.

School, Centers Progress on Mental Health MentalHealth2

The University of Southern California launched a new initiative focused on researching LGBT mental health, including the particular challenges and needs of queer people of color. Meanwhile, CenterLink and the Johnson Family Foundation announced an effort to bring innovative mental health services to LGBT community centers across the U.S. and Canada.

Racial Disparities Mark HIV Treatment

The CDC found that Black individuals living with HIV were less likely than White or Latinx individuals to have sustained viral suppression, regardless of whether transmission occurred through same-sex sexual contact (the most common means) or something else. The results mean that race continues to be a major factor in not only transmission, but also treatment, of HIV.


State Advances Competency Trainings

KTUU reported that Alaska is working to address what is a national phenomenon: LGBT people being less likely to get diagnosed early for cancer, partially out of avoidance of (or poor treatment in) the doctor’s office. In response, Alaska is advancing competency trainings for oncology practices to learn how to be more welcoming and understanding of LGBT patients.

Breaking News in Trans Parenthood

Researchers published a case study in which a 30-year-old transgender woman was able to successfully breastfeed her child for a period of six weeks, in what is thought to be the first such report published in medical literature. News sources such as the Guardian covered the story as a groundbreaking moment in transgender healthcare and a sign of potential advancements to come.

Truth_LGBT FactSheet_FINAL_Page_1Truth Hurts on LGBT Tobacco Use

Truth Initiative published a new factsheet on smoking in the LGBT community, which highlights the disparities that LGB and especially T people face, and also speaks to some of the history of tobacco companies targeting the community. The document also notes that while smoking among youth has dropped in general, LGBT youth have not seen the same gains as have others.



Queer Men Lack Info on HPV Vaccine

A study examined in-depth interviews with 15 queer men living with HIV and found that they had largely not even considered getting vaccinated for HPV, despite the risks that HPV poses for people living with HIV. Many of those interviewed, cited the lack of a doctor’s recommendation and their belief that the vaccine was only for women as their reasons for not getting vaccinated.

Psychiatry Group Condemns “Conversion”

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reported on a new policy from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry that condemns so-called “conversion therapy” of LGBT young people, and notes that in addition to not helping patients, the practice has the potential to deal substantial harm. HRC also reports that conversion therapy bans have been proposed this year in several states and U.S. Congress.

Findings on Diabetes risk factors and Orientation

Researchers found that gay and bisexual men were more likely than heterosexual men to report a lifetime diabetes diagnosis. Similarly, the study found that queer women were more likely than heterosexual women to report a higher body mass index. Accordingly, concluding findings of the research report that sexual minorities may be at an increased risk for diabetes than their heterosexual peers.

Snuffing Out Smoking from TX to PA LGBT Smoke Free Ad.2.15.18_Spanish

Dallas Voice reported on how Dallas Pride’s history of refusing tobacco companies as advertisers, and local bans on smoking in bars, may help to curb LGBT individuals smoking trends locally in spite of national studies showing LGBT people smoke more than others. In addition, LGBT HealthLink, a program of CenterLink, also reported on how LGBT centers in Pennsylvania are taking novel steps to reduce smoking in their communities.


Keep in touch with LGBT HealthLink by joining our FREE membership. Have access to our library of tools and resources, all free. Join our members-only online networking groups, exclusive webinars just for members, and keep up to date with our Weekly #LGBTWellness Roundup. It’s quick and easy to join, and it’s all free!


#Living ProudlyLiving Longer – LGBT Smoke Free in Pennsylvania

LGBT community centers in PA collaborate on  tobacco cessation campaign


by Adrian Shanker

Executive Director, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center

LGBT HealthLink Community Advisory Council Co-chair


Tobacco use is among the greatest health challenges facing the LGBT community. According to the 2016 Southeastern Pennsylvania LGBT Health Needs Assessment, 34% of the LGBT community in the region consumes tobacco (compared to 18% of the general population.)

LGBT Smoke Free Ad.2.15.18_English

In response, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Tobacco Control Project, an initiative of Health Promotion Council, has partnered with three LGBT community centers in Pennsylvania to educate our community, change the social norms, reduce the pressure to smoke, promote smoke-free pride celebrations, and promote tobacco cessation for the LGBT community. The most recent example of collaboration was realized through a co-branded two-month ad campaign in Philadelphia Gay News (an LGBT news outlet that does not accept tobacco industry advertisements!) The ad, co-branded by three LGBT community centers, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, LGBT Center of Central PA in Harrisburg, and William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia, along with the Southeastern Tobacco Control Project, encourages smoke-free living (#LGBTSmokeFree) so our community can enjoy living proudly and living longer.


For us, it is critical that this message comes from LGBT community centers. Those who walk into our centers trust us to provide information about LGBT rights and LGBT health. This new campaign, #LivingProudlyLivingLonger is about ensuring that our community experiences a high-quality of health, which tobacco-free living can help us achieve!

Adrian Shanker (He/Him/His) has been an activist, organizer and an advocate for the LGBT community for more than a decade. He serves as Executive Director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and previously served as President of Equality Pennsylvania where he led successful campaigns to advance non-discrimination and relationship recognition ordinances in municipalities across Pennsylvania.


This Week in #LGBTWellness: Pride Events To Just Say No!

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 seven days. 


When Pride Parades Go Up in Smoke

Researchers explored the targeting by tobacco companies of what should be a safe space: LGBT pride festivals. They found that only 8% of the 100 festivals studied had published a smoke-free policy, usually resulting from local bans on smoking. Also concerning was that 61% of the festivals that shared their sponsorships had received funding from alcohol companies.

Thousands at Risk for Conversion Therapy

The Williams Institute published a new report finding that 20,000 youth aged 13-17 today will receive harmful “conversion therapy” by the time they turn 18 if states do not move to protect them, and that another 57,000 will be similarly mistreated by religious figures. NBC covered the report and provided an update on the status of conversion therapy bans in states and Congress.

Anti-LGBTQ Homicides Are on the Rise

NCAVP reported that the number of anti-LGBTQ homicides in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2016 to 2017, jumping from 28 two years ago to 52 last year. The new number, they point out, means that an LGBTQ person was murdered an average of once per week throughout 2017. 71% of all victims were people of color, with transgender women of color especially at risk.

RainbowUSAdogtagsMilitary Docs Want LGB Training

Researchers found that nearly 4 in 5 military doctors want specific guidance from the Department of Defense on how to provide sexual health care for queer patients. While almost two-thirds of doctors said they were comfortable discussing same-sex relations, only 5% had asked patients about such activity, and less than one-third said they had been trained on it.

Better Family Support Means Better Trans Health

A study found that when transgender and gender-nonconforming youth reported their families as being better functioning (in terms of communication and overall satisfaction), they also had better health outcomes. For example, youth from these more supportive environments reported less self-harm and depressive symptoms, as well as higher levels of self-esteem and resiliency.

Doctors Don’t Always “Get” Queer Women

NewNowNext reported on the “clueless questions” that queer women tend to get from doctors, whom studies have shown are not always LGBT-competent. In addition to summing up some of the research on the subject, the author also shares her personal experience as a queer woman in college, as well as the experiences of other women who have had less-than-great encounters.

Bi Men at Risk for Prescription Misuse

Researchers found that in a study of queer young men in Chicago, bisexual men were more likely than gay men to misuse painkillers and depressants or tranquilizers; some racial differences were also found among queer men generally. Those who used other substances were more likely to have misused prescription drugs of one form or another.

Smoking Drop Excludes LGBT Folks

U.S. News reported on recent research showing that while the overall population has seen a significant decline in smoking, the rate remains high among the LGBT population. Groups like low-income people, those with mental illness, and some racial minority groups have also seen smaller-than-average drops in smoking rates, suggesting a need for targeted cessation efforts.

 Surprising News on Trans Health and Age TransHealth

Researchers found that even though transgender youth are growing up in a somewhat more open culture, a comparison of trans-feminine youth and trans-feminine folks aged 40-plus revealed that the older group had less internalized transnegativity and less psychological distress. The surprising results underscore the need to support trans youth even as we move towards equality.

Competent Services Needed for Queer Immigrants

Center for American Progress reported on the challenges and opportunities facing LGBT immigrants in the US, who number almost 1 million – among whom more than a quarter-million are undocumented. The report looks at programs in several cities in states available to help LGBT immigrants and explores the importance of culturally-competent services.

E-Cigs Can Be Deadly

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a report on the health problems caused by e-cigarettes, with news sources reporting on the potential “risk of life-threatening conditions” like cancer and heart disease. While the report did not directly address LGBT folks, research has shown that both LGBT adults and youth face high disparities.

WCDObserving World Cancer Day

The Union for International Cancer Control marked World Cancer Day on February 4th, a somber reminder of the work still left to be done to improve public health, especially for disparately- and differently-impacted groups. This includes LGBT people, whose relationship to cancer is something in need of further study and attention.


This Week’s #LGBTWellness News – Tobacco Use Still Higher for Our Folx

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 seven days. 

Yes, LGB People Are Still Smoking CDCMMWRSmokingFactors

In a national study, the CDC found that LGB adults smoke at about a one-third higher rate than do other adults, at a rate of 20.5% for LGB folks versus 15.3% for their heterosexual peers. Uninsured people and those under psychological distress were also more likely to smoke. The study adds to troubling evidence about LGBT people and tobacco products beyond cigarettes.

Queer Folks Experiment More with Tobacco

Researchers found that queer women under 25 years old were more likely than their heterosexual peers to experiment with cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and more; queer men under 25 were more likely than their peers to experiment with cigarettes. The results (and tobacco’s addictive properties) may help to explain why LGB people have such high smoking disparities later in life.

What Students Learn About HIV

A study of high school students in Florida found that sexual minority males were less likely than their peers to report having learned about HIV at school, and were less than half as likely to have used a condom the last time they had sex. One silver lining: sexual minority males were 1.88 times more likely than their peers to report having been tested for HIV.

ConversionTherapyConversion Bans Hit Cities, States

News reports from all over the country gave updates on local and state bans on LGBT “conversion” therapy, which experts overwhelmingly say causes harm. Broward County, Florida (where HealthLink calls home) banned the practice earlier this month, and Washington state is now considering such a bill; New Hampshire, on the other hand, voted down a ban.

HPV in Men Living with HIV

A study of Italian men living with HIV found that anal HPV was much more prevalent than oral HPV, with 85.2% having HPV infection observed at the anal site and only 20.9% with infection at the oral cavity. Low CD4 count and a higher number of recent partners was associated with higher odds of having oral HPV infection.

Telehealth Transports Trans Health

Vice reported on the amazing potential of telemedicine to connect transgender patients with providers who are trans-friendly and -competent, something to which many transgender people do not have access. The article reports on clinics that are offering care (sometimes exclusively) by two-way video conferencing, helping folks in far-flung areas find trans-friendly care.

How Many Brits Are LGB?

A study found that an estimated 547,000 British men and 546,000 women aged 16-74 identified as being LGB, representing about 2.5% of the population. However, when looking at how many Brits have ever had same-sex sexual relations, those numbers jump way up to over 1.2 million men and 1.3 million women, showing the importance of how sexuality questions are posed in surveys.


Trans People Must Ask for Cancer Screenings Screening

Evening Standard reported on a new guide from the UK’s national health system on cancer screenings for transgender patients. While the UK has made progress on allowing transgender people to self-identify their gender, it faces some screening challenges, and has advised transgender people to self-advocate for screenings they need but are not automatically offered.

Why Docs Don’t Vaccinate Queer Men

In more UK news, a study found that general medical practitioners were less likely to offer HPV vaccines (which can prevent cancer) to queer men than were sexual healthcare professionals. General practitioners were also less confident in offering the vaccine to queer men and less likely to believe the evidence that queer men’s risk for HPV justifies them being routinely vaccinated.

Streaming School Fills Sex Ed Gaps

Healthline reported on a new online platform that offers sexual health education on a variety of topics, including many that are specific to LGBT health. O.school, as the site is known, has new classes being added every week, and seeks to fill gaps in many sexual health education curricula that are outdated or not inclusive of many who depend on them to learn safer sex practices.


Linking Discrimination and Health

Center for American Progress published a report on how experiencing discrimination causes LGBT people to avoid getting medical care in the future, which can lead to serious harm. Meanwhile, Movement Advancement Project published a detailed report examining the current state of public accommodations nondiscrimination laws across the U.S., and their importance.

Peer Relationships and Health

Researchers reviewed the available studies on sexual minority youth and how their relationships with others can have a positive or negative impact on their health. One notable protective factor was peer norms with respect to safer sex; for example, the perception that peers were using condoms or other safer sex practices was associated with young queer men doing so themselves.