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.


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.



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.



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.


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.


Care Lags for Black Trans Women – #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.

TransWOC2Care Lags for Black Trans Women

Researchers found that Black transgender women living with HIV were less likely than their Black cisgender peers to reach viral suppression, a key indicator in wellness among people living with HIV. Black transgender women were also less likely than Black cisgender women to be retained in care. The results show the impact of the unique challenges facing Black transgender women living with HIV.

Impact of Gun Violence in Queer Community

Juvenile Justice Information Exchange reported on how the impact of gun violence is not measured with respect to LGBT individuals. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not routinely included in places such as death certificates or police reports, where information on the impact of firearms is typically measured. Experts believe, based on available studies and higher rates of violence facing LGBT people, that guns likely pose a disproportionate public health risk to the community.

Expanding Our Idea of “Family”

Center for American Progress argued in favor of expanding the definition of “family” in federal laws, saying that the definitions used (in addition to being outdated in general) often exclude LGBT families. This means that LGBT families may fail to qualify for health benefits or social services programs, exacerbating existing disparities.

How Data Collection Can Help Patients TransMasc

Fenway Health published new research proposing that an acne treatment commonly used for transmasculine patients begin collecting gender identity data to improve our knowledge on trans health and improve outcomes for individual patients. The authors say that the drug can have serious side effects for pregnant individuals, and that identifying and serving transmasculine patients who can become pregnant is key to mitigating these risks.

Resources to Help with Mental Health

HRC marked the end of Mental Health Awareness Month by releasing tip sheets and other resources for providers, parents, teachers, and researchers to help meet the heightened mental health needs that LGBT folks are facing during the pandemic. They noted, “Remaining at home does not mean you have to remain isolated, with an abundance of resources and opportunity to build community available online.”

TransFlagCovidChallenges for Trans Folks During Pandemic

Researchers in China published an analysis of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on physical and mental health for transgender individuals. They note that transgender individuals face complex medical needs that governments should ensure can be provided at home during quarantines. They also discuss the role of stigma and discrimination, and the need to better assess the pandemic’s impact on this population.


Improving Access to Care Has Positive Mental Health Impact – #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.

HealthCareDescriminationMeasuring Impact of Inclusive Policies

A new study examined the impact of states banning gender identity-related discrimination in health coverage. It found that in states issuing such nondiscrimination policies between 2014 and 2016, there was an associated decrease in suicidality among gender minorities within the first year. The results suggest that improving access to care and decreasing stigma could have a positive mental health impact.

Few States Collecting SOGI Data during Crisis

amNewYork reported on a legislative effort in the Empire State to have the public health system begin collecting sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few states, including California and Pennsylvania, have taken such action – meaning that the impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ community cannot be measured and disparities cannot be effectively addressed.

Long-lasting PrEP Shows Promise ViiVHealthcare

Dallas Voice reported on a new form of PrEP that is injected once every two months instead of taken orally each day. In a trial, the new injectable version was found to be 69% more effective at preventing HIV infection than the current daily pill. A long-acting injectable is seen as an attractive alternative to a pill for which the efficacy is largely dependent on patients remembering to take it every day.

Gender Minority Youth Face Mental Health Disparities

Trevor Project published new research finding that transgender and nonbinary youth were at least twice as likely than their cisgender LGBQ peers to have experienced depressive symptoms or attempted suicide. Transgender males were, among all gender identity groups, those most likely to have faced these challenges. Trevor Project offers emergency services for all LGBT youth in crisis.

SOMapStatus of Sexual Orientation Rights

Forbes explored the status of LGBT rights around the world, and noted that in 70 countries, it is still illegal to be in same-sex relationships, including 12 countries in which the penalty is death. Meanwhile, in 65% of the world’s countries, same-sex relationships are legal, but only 6% of countries ban sexual orientation-based discrimination in their national constitutions.

LGBT Personnel Work and Wait

USA Today reported on how LGBT healthcare workers are combatting COVID-19 even as the Supreme Court considers whether to protect or diminish their employment rights. About half of LGBT healthcare personnel (totaling an estimated 386,000 people) live in states without their own law banning anti-LGBT employment discrimination, meaning they can be fired for being LGBT unless the Court recognizes their rights federally.


Queer and Trans Men Feel Unsafe 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.

HuffPostLogoQueer and Trans Men Feel Unsafe During Pandemic

Huffington Post reported on a new study finding that 30% of queer and transgender men feel unsafe in their own homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, while 72% had experienced anxiety and 24% felt extreme loneliness. The study explored both physical and emotional safety and found concerns related to unsupportive families, abusive partners, and lack of connection to community and services.

Standing against Discrimination UNAIDSflag

UNAIDS marked May 17th as International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, and called on governments to enact laws to protect LGBT rights. They also called for an immediate stop to arbitrary arrests of LGBT individuals, which they say has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as some governments are using LGBT populations as scapegoats and targeting them for harassment.

Rule Could Invisiblize Foster Youth

Human Rights Campaign reported on a proposed federal rule that would eliminate sexual orientation data collection by state foster care systems. The current rule instructs states to collect sexual orientation information on both youth in the system and prospective parents, as a way of bringing visibility to a population that is disproportionately involved in the foster care system and that has unique needs.

Providing PrEP During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The CDC issued guidance on how providers of PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment) can continue to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that containing HIV is still a public health priority. They provided options for at-home and self-test kits to ensure those on PrEP can continue to regularly test for HIV, and recommended that providers issue 90 day refills to reduce the frequency of pharmacy visits.

Trans Patients More Likely to Have HIV Diagnosis

Researchers examined electronic medical records and found that transgender patients were much more likely to have had an HIV diagnosis (at 3.9%) than were non-transgender patients (at 0.32%). Transgender individuals living with HIV also had a higher burden of most opportunistic infections compared to their non-transgender peers living with HIV, highlighting another level of disparities.

SeniorMenwTechUsing Tech to Link LGBT Elders

Washington Blade reported on how technology can reduce isolation among LGBT older adults. They say that these adults are particularly in need of accessing social support and medical services virtually, since they may lack social support or affirming care where they are physically based. LGBT older adults are also more likely than others to live in poverty and thus may lack the means to access these services.


Trans Folks Turn to Telehealth – #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.

TelehealthTrans Folks Turn to Telehealth

Vice reported on the role that telehealth is playing for transgender individuals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep people at home, telehealth services are finally being covered by more insurers, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private plans. Transgender people who rely on insurance to cover their care can now access trans-friendly providers via phone or video regardless of geographic distance.

Experiences of Youth Pursuing Top Surgery

A new study examined the experiences of young transgender people seeking masculinizing top surgery, and found that 85% had received at least one behavioral health diagnosis, while 64% had a history of self-harm. The behavioral health needs were also varied and complex, and while not necessarily affecting eligibility for top surgery, underscored the importance of integrated behavioral healthcare.

Queer and Female Service Members Face Victimization Military

US News reported on new findings that gay and bisexual men in the U.S. military experience higher rates of sexual harassment and assault than their heterosexual peers, while women in general (regardless of sexual orientation) face higher rates of harassment than did men. The results demonstrate that bias and discrimination has lingered in the armed forces long after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed.

HIV-related Deaths Could Double

UNAIDS warned that thousands could die of HIV-related causes as health services and supplies – including antiretroviral therapy – are interrupted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In sub-Saharan Africa, they estimate that HIV-related deaths could double to nearly one million this year. They urged those working on addressing the HIV epidemic not cut resources or attention during COVID-19.

TransKeyboardFilling in the Blanks on Trans Health

Researchers examined how to make a sexual and reproductive health survey that is inclusive of transgender and nonbinary folks. Since how people refer to their anatomy varies greatly among the population, the novel process let participants fill in their own language at the beginning of the survey that shaped the questions they received. The process could allow more complete and inclusive data collection among trans individuals.

Lawmakers Call for Queer Inclusion

Washington Blade reported on an effort by members of the U.S. House and Senate to ensure that the U.S.’s work related to COVID-19 abroad is LGBT-inclusive and addresses actions against the community, such as raids of LGBT spaces and policies that differentiate by gender and leave transgender folks in limbo. They also cited heightened needs for housing and healthcare access among LGBT individuals at this time.


Tumbling Out of the Closet – #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://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

TransmanwDrTumbling Out of the Closet

A new study examined Tumblr posts from transgender folks on coming out, and found that medical professionals were often the first people to whom transgender individuals came out, underscoring the importance of affirming and knowledgeable providers. Disclosure to close family and friends was followed by extended family, with public sharing via Facebook usually a late step in the process.

Supporting LGBT Immigrants

MAP reported on the issues facing LGBT immigrants during COVID-19. An estimated 67,000 LGBT young adults have DACA status (14% of the total population), and these individuals face growing threat to their legal status, even as many work in jobs critical to containing the pandemic. Undocumented immigrants who lack even DACA protections are particularly struggling at this time to access jobs and services.

Trans Care in Rural Areas Lags

Researchers found that transgender and gender diverse folks in rural areas – even with insurance and relatively high access to care – largely avoid gynecologic services, with only 18% of transgender women having had a pelvic exam within the last year and transgender men lagging far behind other trans folks with HPV vaccination. Trans individuals were also less likely to have received Pap smears or accessed contraception compared to cisgender peers.

Pandemic Strains LGBT Families KickedOut

Buzzfeed reported on the challenges facing families with LGBT members during the pandemic, including unaffirming parents driving LGBT youth out of their homes and onto the streets, but also LGBT parents facing unexpected bias from non-LGBT children, as the stress from staying home causes them to lash out. Intimate partner violence is also a major concern for those stuck at home with abusive partners.

Minority Stress During COVID-19

Harvard Medical School published a look at how the concept of minority stress – in which members of a marginalized community are impacted by stigma – is applying to LGBT people (especially those of color) during the pandemic. Economic strain, difficulty and fear accessing medical care, and lack of connecting to an affirming community may add to this stress, but luckily, there are also some resources to help.

StudyAtHomeLearn from Home

The National LGBT Health Education Center announced a series of webinars on LGBT health to enjoy while you may be working or studying from home. Topics include how social determinants of health impact LGBT individuals; an in-depth look at PrEP, the HIV prevention treatment; and a two-part series in Spanish on achieving LGBT health equity. Se puede aprovechar la oportunidad y aprender más ya!


Pandemic’s Impact on LGBT Communities – #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://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

RainbowCovidPandemic Has Higher Impact on LGBT Folks

HRC examined the impact of COVID-19 on the financial stability of LGBT folks, and found that LGBT people were more likely than non-LGBT peers to have had hours reduced at work and to say their finances are now “much worse off” than before the pandemic. LGBT individuals are also more likely to have sought help from a doctor, to have done their own research on preventing COVID-19, and to have taken precautions like wearing masks and avoiding public transit.

Benefits Raise Awareness, Relief

Billboard Magazine covered the top moments from Centerlink and GLAAD’s Together in Pride virtual event, which rose awareness and funds for the crisis facing LGBT people and the community centers that serve them during the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter spilled the tea on the Queer As Folk reunion, scheduled for May 1, which will also provide relief to centers nationwide.

UNAIDS Rings Alarm on Violence

UNAIDS reported on troubling stories from around the world that LGBT people are being singled-out, blamed, and harmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, as police use the pandemic as an excuse to target and abuse LGBT people. Worse yet, it comes at a time in which LGBT people are already facing isolation and struggle, and are most in need of social support, not to mention access to public services.

Fighting Stigma with Rainbows CovidPoland

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on how one couple is fighting this kind of bias and stigma, one rainbow at a time. A married couple in Poland, which does not recognize their union and whose leading politicians have called the LGBT community a “plague,” have begun to distribute rainbow facemasks to keep people safe (and their community visible). Their effort has gone viral online, garnering millions of views.

Focus on LGBT People in Prison

MAP published a report on the crisis facing incarcerated people during the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes a disproportionate number of LGBT individuals. For example, one in five incarcerated youth is LGBT (and 85% of those youth are people of color). MAP recommends releasing incarcerated persons where possible to slow the spread of the disease, especially those with heightened risk.

CovidOlderHandsLGBT Older Adults Face Challenges

The Association of Health Care Journalists explored the issues facing LGBT older adults during the pandemic, including increasing the isolation already facing this population. Preexisting health disparities in conditions like HIV and smoking also put this group at higher risk for COVID-19 infection and complications, with one report finding a 15% mortality rate among LGBT older adults.


PrEP Prevents Hep B, Too – #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://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

PrEP Prevents Hepatitis B

AIDS Map shared new research finding that using PrEP to prevent HIV infection also reduces one’s risk of Hepatitis B infection by 87.7%. This seems to be an even higher risk reduction than that of the Hepatitis B vaccine, offering a significant side benefit for people at risk for both HIV and Hep B (although researchers stress that the Hep B vaccine is still an important treatment for those at risk).


Centers Push for Funding

NewNowNext reported on a letter issued by LGBT centers across the nation (and HealthLink’s parent, CenterLink) on the urgent need for funding during the COVID-19 crisis. LGBT centers serve almost two million people a year, and their services have proven more needed than ever (not to mention harder to deliver) as LGBT people have found themselves isolated from each other and needed services.

Medicare Coverage of Hormones Varies

Researchers found that coverage of drugs most commonly recommended for hormone therapy varied greatly among Medicare prescription plans, presenting challenges for transgender people on Medicare. Moreover, neither the number of covered drugs nor the range of out-of-pocket expenses showed improvement between 2010 and 2018, with respect to treatment for transgender men or women.

Trans Folks and Eating Disorders

A new study found that both transgender men and women reported concerning rates of eating disorder attitudes, with what are known as “shape concerns” registering particularly high and likely relating to connections between body image and gender norms. The study also found that transgender women reported higher rates of restrained eating than their cisgender peers using an age-matched prior study.

Pandemic Shines Light on Abuse

NBC News reported on the increased risk of partner violence in light of the stay home orders imposed throughout much of the U.S. and world – and specifically, how the issue is impacting LGBT folks. Advocates say that LGBT-competent resources are limited, that first responders are often not prepared to navigate these issues, and that seeking help can be impossible for those who are not “out.”


Marking Transgender Testing Day

The CDC recognized April 18th as National Transgender HIV Testing Day. They provided updated social media tools for sharing the day and encouraging testing, as well as referred folks to the Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign, which has a growing library of resources. They also re-shared an issue brief finding that 9.2% of transgender people are living with HIV, compared to just 0.5% for the overall population.