World AIDS Day and More – #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! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast. 

WADCDC Marks World AIDS Day

The CDC recognized December 1st as World AIDS Day by highlighting actions being taken by the U.S. at home and abroad to help end to the HIV epidemic. In addition to discussing the Ending the HIV Epidemic plan, which aims to reduce HIV rates in the U.S. below an epidemic level in 10 years, they discuss PEPFAR’s work to support HIV efforts around the world.


Spotlight on Empowerment

Meanwhile, UNAIDS commemorated World AIDS Day with the publication of a new report called “Power to the People.” It explores how individuals can play a critical role in addressing the HIV epidemic, as well as how programs that empower people – like increasing access to PrEP, addressing stigma, and reducing gender inequity – are all vital to the goal of ending HIV.

Identities and Disparities among Queer Women

Researchers  found that women who identify as “mostly lesbian” versus “exclusively lesbian” or “bisexual” reported higher levels of hazardous drinking and more identity uncertainty. Mostly lesbian and bisexual women also had several health disparities compared to exclusively lesbian women, including with respect to both mental and physical health.

Tweet Inspires Trans Action TransClothing.JPG

Mashable reported on an Ohio nonprofit organization that helps transgender youth access clothing that corresponds with their gender identity – and it was all inspired by a tweet about creating opportunities for trans youth. The founders of Transform want to help youth and their families who are ready to transition but lack the resources to buy a new wardrobe.

How One Counseling Center Made a Difference

University Herald reported on a new  examining an outlier in LGBT mental healthcare – an LGBT counseling center in Philadelphia that provided affirming care in the 1970s and 1980s. In lieu of having research or data on how to be LGBT-affirming, they practiced what the author calls “clinical activism” based on their ethics and experiences, and became a model for inclusive mental healthcare.

RainbowCouplesSame-sex Marriage Challenges Remain

Center for American Progress analyzed some remaining inequities facing same-sex couples with respect to marriage that may complicate their rights and role in child rearing. For example, while different-sex spouses have traditionally had a presumption of parentage over children, the rule generally does not apply for same-sex spouses who cannot gestate. Children born to same-sex parents abroad also face issues with respect to their citizenship.myhl-500-300

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Transgender People in Rural America – This Week’s LGBTWellness News

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! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!


PrEP Reduces Anxiety

Researchers  found that gay and bisexual men who use PrEP had lower levels of HIV-related anxiety than those who were eligible for PrEP but declined to use it. Men under 25 had higher levels of HIV-related stress than did older men who participated in the Australia-based study, suggesting the benefit of reduced stress could be especially useful for young men.

Major Policy Announcements from AMA

The American Medical Association adopted new policies on LGBT issues, including calling for inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in electronic healthcare records – an issue which would bring new knowledge on individual and collective LGBT health – as well as support for banning conversion therapy and increasing training on LGBT issues.

Queer Men Keen on HPV Vaccine

A study  found that 67% of queer men over 26 were likely to initiate HPV vaccination if the CDC were to recommend it to them. Currently, the vaccine – which can prevent cancer and save lives – is only recommended through age 26, despite calls from many LGBT health advocates that sexual minority men and others could benefit from the vaccine beyond that age.

Honoring Trans Lives with Action TransNames2019

Psychology Today marked Transgender Day of Remembrance by discussing the public health issues that the community faces today, many of them relating back to violence, discrimination, and the stress that comes with that. The author says that the role of the public health field should be to educate others on how systemic discrimination leads to negative and inequitable health outcomes.

Record Number of Cities Score High

Reuters reported that a record number of cities scored 100% on HRC’s annual Municipal Equality Index, which measures things like local LGBT antidiscrimination and inclusion policies. Only 11 cities received a 100% score back in 2012; seven years later, 88 have achieved it. The average score nationally rose modestly in the past twelve months, from 58 to 60.

MAPRuralTransTransgender People in Rural America

Movement Advancement Project published a report on transgender people living in rural areas. Research has shown that trans people are as likely as cisgender people to live in rural zones – but are more likely than their cisgender neighbors to have a disability or be living with HIV, and less likely to have health insurance, complicating health access in geographically dispersed areas.



Vaping Skyrockets, Plus News from Austin to LA – #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! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!

Almost 4 in 10 LGB Adults Vape

A new study found that 38% of sexual minority adults, nationally, are currently using e-cigarette products – nearly double the 19.8% of heterosexual adults who said the same. As concerns about the dangers of “vaping” grow, the researchers said that the study is evidence that new efforts to reduce e-cigarette use will need to specifically include and target the LGBT community.

AustinOutpostPopping Up Soon Near You?

American Institute of Architects reported on the designing of a “pop-up” LGBT center that will move around Austin’s 10 districts. Given Austin’s large but geographically-dispersed LGBT community, its creators hope that decentralizing the idea of a community center will help more residents access services and get connected to others in their local area.

Find an LGBT center near you using Centerlink’s interactive directory.

Quality of Life for People Living with HIV

Researchers called for a renewed focus on quality of life versus just viral suppression for people living with HIV, reported Bloomberg News. The move, backed by pharmaceutical companies, aims to look more at the other health issues facing people living with HIV, “such as associated mental and physical co-morbidities… financial stresses and potential HIV-related stigma.”

APA Okay with “They”

LGBTQ Nation reported that the American Psychological Association (APA) has endorsed in its publication guidelines the use of  “they” pronouns for people who prefer them, as well as in place of “he or she” when talking about someone hypothetical. Advocates said that the move could help ensure nonbinary binary are more visible and represented in academic literature.

Rethinking Vaginal ExamsButtGoesHere

Freethink reported on a “reinvention” of the vaginal speculum, a medical device that can be painful and, they say, particularly alienating for members of the LGBT community. The accompanying video unpacks the experiences of trans men and nonbinary folks seeking OB/GYN care, and explains how inclusive and welcoming care is necessary to advance LGBT health.

New Trans-focused Housing, Care in LA

The Los Angeles Blade reported on how the city honored Trans Awareness Week and Trans Day of Remembrance by announcing a shelter specifically for transgender women that will also provide them with trauma-informed care. The center is one of the first of its kind, and is designed to address the epidemic of violence facing trans women of color in particular.


HIV, HPV, Bi Health, and Pride in Brazil – This Week’s #LGBTWellness News

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! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!

SouthernHealthReportLGBT Health in the South

Campaign for Southern Equality published a report on LGBT health access in the South, and found that while many reported good physical health, this was often not true for transgender or lower income folks. Respondents also reported HIV disparities compared to the general population – especially gay men, Black individuals, those who were older, and trans women of color. Many reported avoiding needed care because of stigma or inability to cover the cost of care.


Latinx People and HIV

The CDC published new facts on Latinx people living with HIV, of whom there were more than a quarter million as of 2016. Among Latinx persons living with HIV, 60% had received some care, 49% were retained in care, and 51% were virally suppressed. HIC case rates continue to rise among Latino gay, bisexual, and same-gender-loving men. Distrust of the medical system and fear regarding immigration status were two noted barriers to improving these numbers.


Days of Good (and Not Good) Health

Researchers found that gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults had more days of less-than-good mental health compared to heterosexual adults. Beyond that, many disparities varied: bisexual women reported more days of bad physical health than heterosexual women, while gay men reported fewer days of bad physical health than heterosexual men (with disparities instead in other areas).

Many Trans Folks Lack Medicaid Coverage

Williams Institute published a report finding that of the 1.4 million transgender adults in the U.S., approximately 152,000 are enrolled in Medicaid, for which many policies vary by state. Less than half of these individuals had clear access to gender-affirming care, while 51,000 lived in states with ambiguous policies and 32,000 lived in states that explicitly banned such care .

From Pride to Prevention in Brazil BrazilPride

UNAIDS reported on how local activists brought HIV prevention back to the center of São Paulo Pride, which brings 3 million people to Brazil’s largest city. They cite rising HIV rates among LGBT youth and the new option of PrEP among their motivations. Best yet: the activists leveraged their success into ongoing prevention meetings to happen throughout the year. Now that’s pride!

Unpacking Mental Health Disparities

A review of research on suicidality in the trans community found that White transgender people had the lowest suicide attempt rate of any race whereas Native American or First Nation transgender people had the highest rate. Transgender folks with an advanced degree had a lower suicide attempt rate than others. The results underscore the importance of addressing issues such as race and socioeconomic status when working to improve transgender mental health.

LGBT Centers May Produce Health Benefit

Researchers found that LGBT youth who participate in LGBT community organizations are more likely to have good mental health and less likely to engage in substance use when compared to their peers. The press release for the article discussed the work that CenterLink does – particularly through its LGBT YouthLink program – to build the capacity of LGBT community centers and ensure their work is accessible and beneficial to at-risk youth.

CenterLink-25th-Logo small


Find an LGBT community center near you using CenterLink’s directory.


Marriage and Bi Health

Researchers unpacked recent findings that bisexual folks who are married or living with a same-sex partner were 2.3 times more likely to report good health, than those with  different-sex partners. The authors suspect that stigma facing bisexual people in a different-sex partnership may explain the results.

HarvardHealthPubHow Bi+ People Can Take Charge of Their Health

On the subject of bi health, Harvard Health explored the challenges facing bisexual-plus people, including bi invisibility and bias facing bisexual-plus people even within the LGBT community. The author says that two things bi folks can do to improve their health is find a social network of other bisexual people for support, and be open with health providers about their sexual identities.

HPV in the Age of PrEP

A study examined HPV risk among queer men in France who use PrEP for HIV prevention. Receptive anal intercourse without a condom was the factor most associated for increased risk for anal HPV infection – a potential warning for those who use PrEP to prevent HIV but not condoms to prevent other STIs. Having less than 10 partners in the past year was associated with a reduced risk for anal HPV infection.

Improving Substance Use Prevention

Trust for America’s Health published a report that found substance use and mental health disparities among LGBT youth. They call for more funding of substance use prevention, particularly using a cross-sector approach, and for reaching youth who may be at lower risk in a given moment but who nonetheless could face higher risk in the future.

Addressing Gender-based Violence CAP2

Center for American Progress published a report on how to address gender-based violence in the U.S. The report sought to take a wide view of what comprises gender-based violence, looking at aspects of gender identity and expression rather than just sex, and various forms of violence. The authors call for a collective action to end the “culture of power” that represses women and gender minorities.



LGBT HealthLink Brings “PACHA to the People”

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! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!

5Meeting Tackles HIV in Florida and Puerto Rico

LGBT HealthLink participated in a special meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) in Miami as part of an effort to bring “PACHA to the People” and visit different regions. The meeting had a particular focus on addressing the HIV epidemic in Florida and Puerto Rico. For an exclusive interview about the meeting, check out our LGBT Wellness Podcast from Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen!


No Gains in LGB Depressed Mood

Researchers examined 18 years of data and found that while heterosexual youth had a decline in depressed mood symptoms for many years, sexual minority youth had no such improvement. Especially, considering the gains in LGBT rights during this time, the results suggest the ongoing need for targeted interventions to support LGBT mental health.

Menstrual Products Grow Inclusive AlwaysPads

NBC News reported that the brand Always will remove the “female” symbol from its packaging in an effort to be more inclusive of people of all gender identities who menstruate. Transgender health advocates heralded the move as one that could help trans and nonbinary people feel safer and more comfortable buying essential health products.

HPV Vaccine Practice Differs from Beliefs

A new study of providers in Canada found support for vaccinating all sexual minority men against HPV, which disproportionately affects queer men (especially those living with HIV). However, in practice, financial considerations of their patients and guidelines that limited vaccination to those 26 and under meant that many providers did not act on this belief of recommending vaccines to all.

LGBT People and Poverty

A Williams Institute report found that 21.6% of LGBT people live in poverty compared to 15.7% of others. Transgender, bisexual, and LGBT people of color all had further disparities compared to their cisgender, lesbian and gay, and White peers, respectively. Discrimination in education and employment, as well as health issues, may contribute to the community’s poverty disparities.

InheritancePlay Explores HIV Across Generations

The New York Times reported on a new play coming to Broadway that explores intergenerational exchanges among queer men on HIV. The cast and crew – many of whom bring personal connections from across generations – said the legacy of the epidemic is key to understanding the progress the LGBT community has made and the challenges it still faces today.


How DACA Impacts LGBT Youth

Center for American Progress published a report on LGBT youth who are recipients of the DACA program, which has allowed undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States. They estimate at least 66,000 DACA recipients are LGBT, of which, 65% said they felt like they belong in the U.S. after receiving DACA status. In contrast, 80% of these LGBT youth said they would fear for their physical safety if they had to return to their country of origin.

Recognizing HIV Disparities in Latinx Communities

The CDC commemorated National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) by exploring the disparities the community faces. Between 2010 and 2016, HIV infections decreased among Latinx women  and heterosexual men , while rising 18% among bisexual and gay Latinx men – deepening the disparities faced by LGBT Latinx persons. The NLAAD website has resources, news, and more.

Diverse Families Explain Stigma During Pregnancy

Researchers found that polyamorous families faced challenges during pregnancies relating to stigma from healthcare providers, and that many felt the need to seek more open providers or to hide the status of their relationships to avoid such stigma. The study is one of few to examine the healthcare experiences of polyamorous (or nonmonogamous) individuals, and LGBT people – who already face LGBT-related stigma – are more likely than others to identify this way .

Gay Couple Steps Up

Out Magazine reported on a same-sex couple who adopted a baby living with HIV after she had been rejected by ten other families because of her HIV status. After receiving proper treatment while living in their home, her viral load is now undetectable and she has reached a healthy weight. The story highlights the importance of LGBTQ-inclusive adoption policies in a world in which adoptive parents are desperately needed – especially for marginalized children.


Making Medical Offices LGBT-inclusive

Medpage Today reported on a presentation at a recent health conference on making provider offices more LGBT-inclusive. Their tips: put up rainbow flags or “safe space” stickers; include LGBT magazines in waiting areas; change gendered language like “mother” and “father” to “parent 1” and “parent 2” on forms; and mark single-occupancy restrooms as gender neutral.

Hepatitis A Outbreak Threatens More States

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on the Hepatitis A outbreak that has impacted 30 states and is now threatening those that remain, like Georgia . While queer men are at higher risk for the disease – which affects the liver and can be deadly – they have also been targeted for outreach to be vaccinated, including through PSAs from the dating app Grindr.



Why Are STIs At An All Time High? #LGBTWellness News

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! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!

STI Rates Face Drastic Rises

Allure reported on a new CDC report finding that chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis rates have hit record-high levels. The CDC says that some of the reasons for the increases are stigma surrounding STIs and prevention, as well as budget cuts to sexual health programs; however, the higher rates could reflect more testing – especially among gay, bisexual and same gender loving men. Chlamydia saw a 19% increase, gonorrhea a 63% increase, and congenital syphilis a 185% increase, all since 2014.

Infographic-2019-Title-VIIHealth at Stake in Defining Discrimination

Movement Advancement Project published an infographic to explain how the Supreme Court’s definition of sex-based discrimination could impact LGBT folks; putting half nationwide at risk of being fired for their identity. Bloomberg Law reported further on how this could impact health – not only by those who lose their jobs losing health insurance, but also by insurers attempting to rescind coverage of same-sex spouses and of healthcare for transgender people.

Trans Care Access Improves Mental Health

On the subject of trans-inclusive care, Yale shared a study finding that having gender-affirming surgery was associated with an 80 percent reduction in use of mental health services over a ten year span. Researchers said that the Sweden-based study shows the importance of insurance coverage for gender-affirming surgery and having more transgender-inclusive providers.

PrEP Concerns for Trans, Nonbinary Youth

Researchers found concerns among transgender and gender nonconforming young people with respect to PrEP. While most people included in their studies were aware of PrEP, only one person was currently on the HIV prevention medication. Others expressed concerns relating to things such as cost and how it would interact with hormone therapy, indicating that transgender-specific education is needed.

Trans Cancer Survivor Shares Story TransWoman

New York Daily News reported on a transgender woman who recently survived a rare form of cancer relating to her breast implants that was discovered after she received a mammogram – after previously being told by doctors that it would not be helpful to her as a transgender woman with implants. She hopes her experience will encourage more transgender-competent care.

How HIV United Gay & Lesbian Folks

Time explored how the HIV crisis of the 1980s helped unite the gay male and lesbian populations, with many lesbian women stepping in to help care for gay men affected by HIV and raise money and awareness to fight the epidemic. The author says that for her group of lesbian friends, it was the first time they really mixed with gay men and felt part of one community.

Tanning Targets Gayborhoods?

A new study found that neighborhoods with higher populations of queer men were twice as likely to have a tanning salon as those with fewer queer men. Researchers say this could be a sign that gay and bisexual men are being targeted, which is concerning given their higher rates of both indoor tanning and skin cancer.

HIV Epidemic Nears End in New York

The New York Democrat & Chronicle reported that the Empire State appears poised to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the near future. In 2018, 2,481 diagnoses were reported, which is the lowest it has been since the early years of the virus, while a record number of people (32,000) were on PrEP – a rise of 32% in just the past year. The state’s plan was first launched in 2014.


Drinking and Smoking Habits of Queer Women

Research found that young lesbian and bisexual women were more likely than their peers to smoke tobacco while consuming alcohol. Additionally, while they didn’t drink more days than straight women, they drank higher quantities on the days when they did.

Queer Mens’ Perspectives on HPV

A study examined the perspectives of 29 queer young men with respect to HPV vaccination. Many believed (incorrectly) that HPV only affected women, and some also felt there was stigma associated with getting vaccinated. The cost and convenience of getting vaccinated, as well as other access issues, were among the concerns expressed by those in the study.

New Resource Re: Black Men and HIV

The CDC published a new fact sheet on HIV among gay and bisexual Black men, who they say accounted for 26% of all new HIV diagnoses (including 37% of those among gay and bisexual men) as of 2017. While some age groups showed declines in new transmissions between 2010 and 2016, queer Black men, ages 25 to 34, saw an increase of 38%.

BiWithUmbrellasFocusing on Bi+ People of Color

Center for American Progress explored the importance of disaggregating data to look at bisexual people of color. For example, among White LGBT people, a recent data set showed bisexual individuals had poorer health indicators than their lesbian and gay peers, but this was not true among people of color. While differences like these can be due to small sample sizes as the observed population grows, more specific, answers can only come through more research.


Catch Up on The Most Recent #LGBTWellness News

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! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!

TGHealthReportTrans Women of Color Describe PrEP-related Stigma

A new qualitative study found that Black and Latinx transgender women using PrEP encountered stigma in their community for using it, including facing the belief that those who used PrEP engaged in high-risk behaviors or were HIV-positive. Researchers say that more could be done to help transgender women of color navigate the process of disclosing their PrEP usage to be able to do so safely and to build social support.


Latinx LGBT Patients Lack Inclusive Care

Research presented at a cancer conference revealed that most LGBT Latinx individuals (73%) are reluctant to share their LGBT identity with healthcare providers, and the vast majority (91%) have never received tailored information about their cancer risks . The results demonstrate the need for welcoming healthcare options and increased provider training about LGBT populations.

Dance Troupe Shakes Up Perceptions

AFP reported on the first gay “Apsara” dance group of Cambodia, which is seeking to change perceptions of the LGBT community at home and around the world. The group has adopted a style of dance traditionally performed by women in an attempt to show LGBT people in a healthier, positive light that is defined by the community rather than the stereotypes shown in mainstream culture.

Fathers May Be Protective Factor DadKids

A study found that LGB individuals who had experienced discrimination but who were close with their fathers reported lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels than those who were not close with their fathers. Lower CRP levels can mean less cardiovascular risk, making closeness to one’s father a potentially protective factor. Interestingly, the same was not true for closeness with one’s mother, although those relationships are likely to provide other benefits.

Fertility Coverage Not Always Inclusive

A study examined how legislation is impacting fertility preservation for transgender individuals. Several states have recently changed their insurance mandates to expand fertility preservation, but it is often unclear if changes will be transgender-inclusive. The authors note that transgender people are already less likely to have access to care, and should be explicitly considered and included.

Exploring Resilience Among Gender-diverse People

Researchers utilized photos to prompt discussion among gender-diverse individuals around the idea of resilience. They found two major themes: flexibility (including around coping choices and techniques like meditation) and awareness (including around trauma and health outcomes). The research could inform how public health interventions utilize resilience to reduce health disparities.

Sexual Minorities at Center of Opioid Epidemic

A new study found that between 2015 and 2017, 1.1 million LGB adults had used illicit opioids within the past twelve months. Disparities existed for LGB folks compared to others with respect to women aged 50-and older and men 18-25 and 50-and over. The results demonstrate the need to use LGB-specific strategies in the ongoing response to the opioid epidemic.

Health Challenges Change Outside Cities

U.S. News reported on the story of an LGBT-focused doctor who recently made the move from New York City to rural Massachusetts, and the challenges LGBT people face in accessing competent care there. Many have to drive hours to find doctors who are knowledgeable on LGBT issues. The doctor says providing a nonjudgmental atmosphere to talk about things like HIV care and prevention, including PrEP, is key for rural communities.

POCMapReportSpotlight on Rural LGBT People of Color

Speaking of rural communities, Movement Advancement Project published a new report on LGBT people of color in rural areas. The community faces unique challenges, like less social support and fewer options to access when they have experienced discrimination. However, there are also unique strengths to these communities that could be key to finding solutions.


Trends in Medicare Suggest New Options, Needs

Researchers found that between 2009 and 2014, there was a trend among Medicare patients  from treatment with inpatient and outpatient care to treatment with psychotropic medication, and this trend was more pronounced for gender minority patients than for others. The authors say this suggests a need for providers to better understand how such medications interact with gender-affirming care.

Climate Change and HIV AIDSClimateChange

UNAIDS published an article on how climate change impacts people living with HIV worldwide. As severe weather incidents increase, people can be left without access to medication, medical care, and basic necessities like shelter. This can make staying adherent to medications impossible.

Prejudice and Assumptions in Health Access

A U.K. study explored the experiences of sexual minority women in accessing healthcare, and found that they frequently experienced ignorance, prejudice, and assumptions of heterosexuality – for example, accepting that a same-sex partner was not a “friend.” The similarity to U.S. experiences highlights the potency of bias regardless of differences in health systems.


CDC: African-American Men Make Up At Least 54% of New HIV Diagnoses – #LGBTWellness News

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! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!


Groundbreaking Play Explores HIV Experiences

Daily Beast reported on a groundbreaking, “immersive theatre experience” that explores the stories of four Black gay men in the South who are living with HIV. The work’s creator says that much of what we see regarding HIV takes place decades ago and does not center Black experiences, even though Black men still make up more than half of all new HIV diagnoses .

Severe Health Outcomes for Conversion Attempts

A new study, of 27,715 US transgender adults, found that 19.6% of transgender people who had ever talked to a professional about their gender identity were subjected to attempts to “convert” that identity. This experience was associated with a 1.56 times increased risk for severe psychological distress in the past month and a 2.27 times increased risk of a suicide attempt over the course of their lives. This was true for both secular and religious-based experiences.

Trans Experiences in China

Meanwhile, researchers in China investigated the experiences of transgender and nonbinary adolescents there, and found that 92.8% of those who were out to their parents had experienced parental abuse or neglect. Among all transgender and nonbinary youth, 76.6% reported being bullied or abused at school as a result of their gender identity.

RedFlagVaping Red Flags Raised

The Los Angeles Blade called LGBT folks’ attention to a recent CDC warning about e-cigarettes, after over 450 cases of pulmonary disease were associated with the practice. The Blade notes that “vaping” may be exacerbating the already high disparities that LGBT people face with respect to tobacco products, partially due to being targeted by the industry.

Bi Folks Find Support to Come Out

Men’s Health explored how nine bisexual men were able to overcome stigma and obstacles and come out – something which bisexual folks are far less likely to feel comfortable doing than their gay and lesbian peers . They talked about how factors like representation in the media and at work, and support from LGBT organizations and bisexual friends, helped them open up.

Did you know that CenterLink’s interactive directory can help you find an LGBT center near you?

Trans Access to Care Limited with Medicaid

Bloomberg Law examined the continued challenges faced by transgender people in many states in accessing gender-affirming medical care through Medicaid, despite a federal law that should guarentee access . Problems like low numbers of qualified providers and “low” rates of reimbursements for doctors who accept Medicaid also limit access to care.

Queer Women Using More Marijuana BiWeedFlag

MedicalResearch.com interviewed the authors of a new study on marijuana, which found that 40% of bisexual women used the substance within the past year compared to 26% of lesbian women and 10% of heterosexual women. Bisexual women also had higher rates of daily use of marijuana, as well as use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, than other women.

Campaign Aims to Stop HIV Together

The CDC launched a new website with resources designed around the newly-announced plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. These include the Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign, which has a library of materials for digital download or print ordering.  They also published an embeddable widget that helps people to find nearby HIV prevention resources, including PrEP.

One in Seven Trans People Faced “Conversion”

Physician’s Weekly shared new research on conversion therapy facing transgender people. One in seven transgender people say that a professional counselor has attempted to make them undergo discredited therapy to change their gender identity, and one in twenty have faced such treatment in just the past five years. Only a minority of states have banned the harmful practice.

2Dads.JPGSame-sex Fathers Benefit Least

The Reuters Foundation shared a new study finding same-sex fathers had less access to paternal leave than did others, receiving equal benefits in only 12% of the countries included in the study. Same-sex mothers fared better, but still only received equitable time in 60% of countries. The study may inform those seeking to expand such benefits in the U.S. on how to do so equitably.

Black Queer Women and Resilience

OZY explored resilience among Black LGBT women, particularly with respect to mental health. The author notes that some research has found that bisexual and lesbian Black women were less likely to experience depression than were their White and Latinx peers, and suggests that family and community support and high self-esteem might serve as protective factors.

Call Issued for Inclusive HIV Research

A group of transgender researchers, providers, and advocates published an article on the importance of including transgender people in research being conducted about their communities. They also proposed ways to ensure that trans people are represented in planning and delivering health conferences, including using best practices to gather data on presenters.



Is Being Gay in Our Genes? Listen to This Week’s #LGBTWellness Podcast and Find Out

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! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!

GenesMultiple Genes Contribute to Sexual Orientation

STAT reported on a groundbreaking study which found that genetics are indeed related to sexual orientation, but do not tell scientists enough to predict orientation based just on DNA (at least not yet). Additionally, they found that many genetic variants contribute to one’s orientation, and that there is thus no single “gay gene”. The study included the DNA of over 400,000 individuals.

School Policies Associated with Disparities

A new study found that in states with prohibitions on the so-called “promotion of homosexuality” in schools, disparities existed between sexual minority and heterosexual students with respect to use of e-cigarettes that did not exist in states without these laws. Researchers say that stress from living under discriminatory laws may play a role in disparate e-cigarette use.

Treating Cancer among LGBTQ Youth

Healio reported on efforts in Australia to make healthcare professionals more welcoming of LGBTQ youth and young adults with cancer, a population which has remained mostly invisible. Researchers developed suggestions including comprehensive and ongoing training, creating safe spaces within hospitals, and partnering with more LGBTQ community stakeholders.

Differences in HIV Testing Rates HIVTest

Researchers examined differences in HIV testing with respect to gender, sexual orientation, and race and ethnicity. Overall, Black men and women and Latinx men had higher lifetime testing rates than their White counterparts, whereas Asian men and women had lower rates than their White peers. Among men, gay Latinx men had the highest lifetime testing rate – 92.6%.

Sexual Minorities and Sexual Assault

The Conversation reported on the unique harms suffered by queer men who face sexual assault, who also may be less likely to report instances because of fear of stigma or victim-blaming. Rates of sexual assault among sexual minority males are even higher than those who are not. Experts say sexual minority survivors may face negative psychological outcomes with relation to their LGBTQ identities, which can entail low self-esteem and trouble managing relationships.

Defining Bisexuality

Prevention explored the meaning of terms like bisexual, pansexual, and more – the definitions of which often confuse those working in the health field (not to mention others). The author busts some common myths about the term “bisexual” by noting that bisexuality does not imply equal attraction to more than one gender, or that that attraction is always both sexual and romantic.

Trans College Students Face Challenges

Researchers found that in a data set of 65,000 college students, gender minority status was associate with a 4.3 increased odds at having at least one mental health problem compared to cisgender students. While problems like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders impacted 45% of cisgender students, 78% of gender minority students (almost 8 in 10) were affected.

35,000 Cancer Cases Attributable to HPV

A CDC study found that almost 35,000 cancers annually between 2012 and 2016 were attributable to HPV, with 92% of these cases being attributable to HPV strands that are targeted by the 9-valent HPV vaccine. More than half, 59% of these cancers caused by targeted strands of HPV occurred in women and 41% occurred in men. Other research has found that vaccinating more young men would particularly benefit gay, bisexual, and queer men.

New York Officials Condemn Forced Surgery

OZY featured an op-ed from top health and human rights officials in New York, recommending strongly against involuntary surgery performed on intersex babies and youth. Two percent (2%) of the population is born with an intersex trait and 1 in 2,000 babies is at risk of having “corrective” surgery performed on them, which the experts say these surgeries could be “damaging and traumatic.”

HarvardDocHow to Talk to Your Doc

Harvard Health published a guide for how LGBT people can talk comfortably with their doctors about their sex life, which is key to ensuring one’s doctor is providing necessary and appropriate care. Their tips include being upfront about goals and concerns, taking a partner (or someone else) who makes the patient feel comfortable, and asking difficult but important questions.

Youth Interventions Need Study

A new study found a scarcity of scientific research on interventions to help LGBT youth with issues relating to substance use, mental health, and violence. In nearly 20 years’ worth of studies relating to the population, only nine studied the effectiveness of programs to address these pressing issues. Researchers say that the lack of proof around effective programs should be seen as an opportunity for scientists to evaluate promising programs.

Improving Data on Gender Identity

Researchers examined issues that remain with respect to gender identity and research samples. Since 2014, the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) has allowed for optional collection of gender identity information, providing probability samples that can be used to study transgender health. But problems with generalizability remain, leading to the author’s recommendations.


More Healthcare Facilities Get High Marks in This Week’s #LGBTWellness News

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! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!


400+ Facilities Get Top Marks

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released its annual Healthcare Equality Index, which scores healthcare facilities on equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and staff. This year, 406 facilities were awarded a top “100” score. The report assesses facilities based on nondiscrimination policies and training, patient and employee support, and patient and community engagement. Readers can explore the index to find an inclusive site near them.

How HIV Status Relates to Cancer Outcomes

A study of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linked data in the United States, found that cancer patients living with HIV had higher cancer-specific mortality rates with respect to prostate cancer (1.65 times higher rate) and breast cancer (1.85 times higher rate) compared to HIV-negative patients. Men living with HIV also reported higher rates of relapse or death with respect to prostate cancer, as did women living with HIV with respect to breast cancer .

TransHealthStudy.JPGTrans Support Groups Great for Parents, Too

Researchers identified perceived benefits for parents who participated in support groups for families of transgender youth: with 66.7% saying it was “important or critically important” for their child and even more – 72.9% – saying the same for themselves. In addition to being a source of emotional support, parents used the groups to get medical, legal, and school resource ideas.


Another State Moves for Inclusive Classes

The Washington Post reported on efforts in Maryland to create LGBT-inclusive history education standards, which they say is important not just for LGBT students to see themselves in the material, but also for other students to better understand them. In this way, curricula can lead to safer and more inclusive schools. At least four states have taken similar steps, though the Post reports that implementation of such standards is often difficult.

Challenges for Trans Men in Pregnancy

Out Magazine reported on the challenges that await transgender men who become pregnant, including a medical professional that is not always understanding and competent, and situations that can worsen gender dysphoria. While there is not much data on pregnancy among transgender men, experts estimate that 30% of these pregnancies may be unplanned.

Impact of Opioid Epidemic on HIV HIV AIDS

Researchers explored how the opioid epidemic has lead to HIV outbreaks in areas that previously had not been particularly affected by HIV, including rural areas. The article proposes several public health strategies that could help reduce HIV risk until the opioid crisis abates, including needle exchange programs and access to PrEP among opioid users.