Uncategorized

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demonstrate that bias and discrimination has lingered in the armed forces long after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed.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.

Uncategorized

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!

Uncategorized

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.

Uncategorized

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).

ActionLinkTwitter

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.”

NatTGTestingDay

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.

Uncategorized

Pandemic Exposes Trans Health Disparities – #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.

NCTETweetPandemic Exposes Trans Health Disparities

CBS News reported on how the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting healthcare issues already faced by transgender people. Many have to relocate or travel to find transgender-affirming care, and with the healthcare system in disarray, many now have trouble accessing life-saving treatments and services. Government attention to transgender health has been limited during with the pandemic, with at least one state – Idaho – taking the time to pass what CBS News called anti-transgender legislation.

Youth Front and Center in HIV Fight

The CDC marked April 10 as National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which this year had the theme, “Young People to the Front: Ending the HIV Epidemic in America.” Resources include a social media toolkit and bill of rights for young people with respect to HIV and health. The CDC also shared social media graphics and posted a video testimonial from young people.

Abuse Faced by Gender Minority Youth

Researchers found that among gender minority youth in Australia, several forms of abuse (including physical, sexual, and beyond, both within and outside of the family) were all associated with poor mental health. They also found that while physical abuse was most likely to happen within the family, sexual abuse was more likely to happen outside of the family. 30.9% also experienced partner abuse.

What Trans Women Think about an HIV Vaccine TransgenderHealth2

A new study found that transgender women thought HIV vaccine research was important, and that many would be driven to participate to help their community. However, they also cited barriers to participation including fearing side effects and feeling excluded from medical research. Having trust in their providers was a factor that facilitated their potential participation in this important research.

How to Assess Drinking among Gender Minorities

Researchers published more new research based on the PRIDE Study, and found that the best single question to determine if gender minorities engaged in harmful drinking habits was asking if they had had five or more drinks on one occasion in the past year. The result could help literature grow on substance use among gender minorities, who are often not identified in large studies and population surveys.

AIDSQuiltNY

LGBT New Yorkers See Parallels

US News reported on the parallels some New Yorkers see between the HIV epidemic that took 62,000 lives in the 1980s and early 1990s, and the COVID-19 pandemic – namely with respect to the great fear felt in the community. The difference, they say, is that HIV was largely concentrated among LGBT people, whereas COVID-19 has had a broader impact, though is still believed to be disproportionately harming marginalized populations.

Uncategorized

What We Can Learn from Addressing HIV – #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.

How Lessons with HIV Can Inform Us Today

UNAIDSCovidUNAIDS published a report on how the human rights-based approach that has been applied to combating HIV can inform the current fight against COVID-19. Recommendations include engaging the communities at every step in the response, in part to build trust; combating discrimination and stigma; and removing barriers to seeking services, be they socioeconomic conditions or misinformation.

 

Queer Men Struggle After Prostate Cancer

A new study examined the sexual health of gay and bisexual men after being treated for prostate cancer. It found that sexual minority men had unique concerns with respect to sexual health, were dissatisfied with the guidance they received, and had to deal with heteronormativity and homophobia within the system as they dealt with prostate cancer and its aftermath.

POZCover

New Research on HIV among Trans Folks

Poz Magazine reported on some recent research presented at a virtual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) on HIV among transgender individuals that was presented at a virtual HIV conference. For example, one study looked at HIV among transgender men – an often overlooked group– and found that 43% of the group had been tested and 2.8% were living with HIV. Another study examined risk factors among transgender women and found that older age, homelessness, and (surprisingly) more knowledge about HIV were associated with increased rates.

Substance Use Services Needed

Researchers found that young sexual minority men in Vancouver, Canada who use opioids have a variety of harm reduction strategies in their toolkits but face barriers to safer substance use. The authors recommend locating low-barrier harm reduction opportunities within LGBT spaces like Pride events and LGBT venues, as well as ensuring that existing services for people who inject drugs are LGBT-inclusive.

Treating Transgender Patients with Cancer TransSymbol

Oncology Nurse Advisor explored how to improve services for transgender patients with cancer. They say that more research needs to include transgender populations to help inform providers, 80% of whom say they lack the knowledge to treat transgender patients. The article also recommends making changes to the office environment, from intake forms that do not allow preferred names to “gendering” diseases (for example, using the color pink for materials on breast cancer).

KathyKozachenkoHow One Queer Woman Quietly Made History

NBC News reported on the untold story of Kathy Kozachenko, a lesbian woman and human rights activist who was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council in 1974 – three years before Harvey Milk won his first race in California and claimed the mantle of first gay person elected to public office. Kozachenko, Milk, and others helped lead the way to the 800-plus LGBTQ elected officials in office today.

Uncategorized

LGBT Centers Create Virtual Oases – #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.

LGBT Centers Create Virtual Oases

CLMapBay Area Reporter examined how LGBT centers are still working to build community and offer essential services, even as many have shut their doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With few options to connect to other LGBT folks (or people in general), the centers and their clients say that virtual support groups, telehealth therapy sessions, and simple phone calls to check in are more important now than ever. Find an LGBT center near you using CenterLink’s directory.

Report on COVID-19 and LGBT Communities

Fenway Health published a report on special considerations for LGBT people, as well as people living with HIV, with respect to COVID-19. They note that LGBT people are more likely to have a history of conditions such as cancer, tobacco use, and HIV that could make them more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and complications. They also say that the social isolation many are practicing could have a negative mental health impact on LGBT folks, many of whom already struggle to find community.

Substance Use Varies Among LGBT Populations

Researchers found (using data from the PRIDE Study) that 51% of LGBT folks binge drank, 39.8% used marijuana, and 19.7% used other drugs within the past year. However, there were big differences between subgroups. For example, asexual individuals had lower rates of binge drinking and marijuana use, while queer participants had higher use of marijuana, than the baseline (lesbian women). The results show that substance use issues vary significantly by subgroup within the LGBT community.

HIV Conferences Carrying On, Online AIDSConference2020

AIDS 2020 announced that its 23rd annual conference, scheduled to happen in San Francisco in July, would be modified into a virtual event due to the prohibition on large events, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Meanwhile, the HIV 2020 conference scheduled to take place in Mexico has been canceled but is also pursuing online options. Both noted the importance of addressing COVID-19 among people living with HIV, who may be at higher risk for COVID-19 related health problems.

Senators Call for End to Blood Ban

Washington Blade reported on a letter issued by six senators that called for an end to the ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood unless they have been celibate for at least a year. Experts say that the U.S. is on the verge of a blood shortage, as the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced donations and the health system is flooded with patients. The letter says that the ban contributes to this shortage – as well as to stigma.

StopHIVTogetherTookkitHIV Resources Galore

The CDC published an online toolkit for its Let’s End HIV Together campaign. It includes images and sample text on topics like stigma, testing, and PrEP. Meanwhile, in addition to FAQs released by the CDC on COVID-19 concerns for people living with HIV, the government also published FAQs for Ryan White Programs while HHS released interim guidance for serving people living with HIV during the pandemic.

Uncategorized

Why ID Matters for Trans 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://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

NonBinary2How IDs Matter for Trans Health

Reuters reported on a finding that transgender and nonbinary adults who have their preferred name and true gender marker on their ID were less likely to have severe psychological distress or suicidal thoughts or planning. The results show the importance of permitting transgender individuals to easily change their name and gender marker on IDs, as well as providing a nonbinary marker option.

COVID-19 and HIV

The CDC published frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how COVID-19 can affect people living with HIV. While they say that it is currently unknown if people living with HIV are generally at higher risk for COVID-19, those with low CD4 counts or not currently on HIV treatment are generally those who suffer most from viral respiratory infections. They also note that both HIV and COVID-19 come with stigma, an important theme to be addressed as we confront the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opioid Use among Trans Girls and Women

Researchers examined opioid use among transgender girls and young women, and found that 11.8% had used prescription opioids for nonmedical purposes at some point in their lives. Risk factors for using opioids included smoking cigarettes and having a sexual orientation other than heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual, possibly due to added minority stress or reduced social cohesion among these youth.

Queer Women and Mammograms MamoPOC

A new study found that sexual minority women were less likely to obtain mammograms as part of a regular screening process and instead were more likely to receive mammograms because of an identifiable problem existing. Queer women also used less preventive care in general. The results are concerning because finding cancer earlier than later can make a big difference in health outcomes.

Orgs Oppose Blocking Trans Health

HRC shared a letter from child welfare organizations representing a total of 7 million professionals, which condemned policies, emerging around to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth. The organizations say that banning access to this care, puts at risk the very youth who they are charged with protecting. HRC says that this care is critical to the youths’ development and overall wellbeing.

Fenway2Learn About Queer Health from Your Couch

Spending more time than usual at home? The National LGBT Health Education Center published a schedule of upcoming webinars on topics like PrEP, sexual wellness, and caring for intersex patients – all of which you can enjoy from wherever you are working these days. They also have a library of on-demand webinars from the past if you would like to catch up.

Uncategorized

COVID-19 and LGBT 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://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

COVID Elder LGBTQ ShareableHow COVID-19 Affects Our Communities

The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center published a guide on why LGBT people are particularly at risk for COVID-19 (or Corona virus) infection, including preexisting health disparities, HIV rates, and tobacco rates, the latter of which can complicate respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. They describe how LGBT folks can protect themselves and get LGBT-competent care if needed. Find a local LGBT community center to get the support you need here.

Bi Health Awareness Month in Full Bloom

Bisexual Resource Center launched the seventh-annual Bisexual+ Health Awareness Month, which uses March to help educate the public on the oft-overlooked health needs of bisexual+ individuals. Resources include a social media toolkit with lots of helpful talking points and a collection of media coverage of the event, including stats and reports from Movement Advancement Project.

Patient Cured of HIV Revealed LondonPatient

The New York Times reported on the self-identification of only the second person known to be cured of HIV, previously known only as the “London Patient.” Adam Castillejo was cured of HIV last March, when a bone marrow transplant happened to contain a mutation that transformed his immune system and wiped out the virus. He decided to publicly share his story as his doctors grow in confidence that he is cured for good.

Advancing Research on LGBT Health

A new study tackled the issue of limited data on LGBT health by testing a two-step approach to create a large probability sample of LGBT adults. They then completed an online survey in a process that could be replicated to study many aspects of health. With no census data on LGBT populations, the team used Gallup polling on who among U.S. adults identify as sexual minorities to build a representative sample.

StethascopeImportance of Doctors Coming Out

The American Academy of Family Physicians published an op-ed on the importance of LGBT physicians self-identifying – starting with those who lead and teach at medical schools and training hospitals, to help change the culture from the top. The author also explored the importance of banning employment-based discrimination to make it safe for LGBT health professionals to come out at work.

Conducting an Inclusive Sexual History

JAMA Internal Medicine published a letter to the editor on how providers can conduct a sexual history of a patient in a way that is sex-positive and gender-neutral – for example, forgoing binary language like asking patients if they have sex with “men, women, or both.” The author says that starting with open ended questions and going into specifics as needed can be a more open and inclusive process.

HIV’s Impact on Women and Girls EHEWomen

The CDC observed March 10th as National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. They note that any woman, regardless of sexual orientation (or sex assigned at birth), can contract HIV, and noted that Black women are disparately impacted. They also say that prevention strategies such as HIV testing and PrEP should be more thoroughly implemented into spaces where women receive healthcare.

Uncategorized

Queer Friends Are Good for Your 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://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

Friends2Queer Friends Are Good for Your Health

Futurity reported on a study finding that better health for LGBT folks was associated with having more people in their social circle who shared their sexual identity (regardless of age). Surprisingly, having more heterosexual friends and family did not make a difference for one’s health. The results underscore the importance of places like LGBT centers where LGBT folks can find a shared community.

PrEP Programs Lag Among Priority Populations

A CDC study found that of the 35 countries and regions supported by PEPFAR, only 15 had implemented PrEP access programs, and those programs lagged in providing PrEP to LGBT people and sex workers – the populations deemed most in need. Researchers note the lack of protections for LGBT people in many of these countries, and found community and stakeholder engagement, existing PrEP delivery guidelines, HIV service provider training and drug procurement systems to be key in improving uptake among that population.

HPV? There Could Be an App for That Apps2

A study of young men who have sex with men found mixed levels of knowledge on HPV and its risks, with many wanting credible and relatable sources of information. While participants reported using apps for many reasons, connecting to the health system and learning about health wasn’t among them, suggesting this could be an untapped way to share why HPV vaccination is key for queer young men.

Conversion Therapy Ban Breaches the South

NC Policy Watch reported that Virginia has become the first state in the South to ban so-called “conversion therapy” on LGBT minors, making it the 20th state to do so but the first in its region. North Carolina, meanwhile, has banned coverage of the discredited practice by government-funded healthcare, but has seen a bill to totally ban the practice on minors stalled in its legislature.

TransMedicalCareCourt Rules for Inclusive Care

Seattle Times reported that a federal court has sided with a transgender woman in Alaska who was denied health insurance coverage of medically-necessary, transition-related care. The judge said it was discriminatory to deny transgender folks the same type of care that would be covered for a cisgender person, a fact that the woman said was traumatizing and stigmatizing as she sought needed care.

Syringe Sharing Risks Spreading HIV

The CDC published a special report on HIV among people who inject drugs, a population that has grown with the opioid epidemic. They found that sharing of syringes – a leading cause of the spread of HIV – was most common among young adults: of those people 18-29, who inject drugs, having done so. They also found that the South was lagging behind the rest of the U.S. in providing clean syringes to those who need them. People who inject drugs should get tested for HIV at least once a year.