And Now, Back With More #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.

CDC Finds Disparities among LBT Women WomenQuit

The CDC released a new study that examined five healthy behaviors: not smoking, drinking in moderation, maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and sleeping well. They found that lesbian (5.4%) and bisexual (6.9%) women were less likely than heterosexual women (10.6%) to engage in these healthy behaviors. The results for transgender women suggested that they may be more likely to fall to one extreme or the other with healthy behaviors.

Understanding Gender Dysphoria and Youth

Researchers found that adolescents who experience gender dysphoria during or shortly after puberty often first expressed a non-heterosexual orientation (41%) and frequently had been diagnosed with a mental health or neurodevelopmental issue (62%) before gender dysphoria. The vast majority (83%) had been assigned female rather than male at birth.

Some Doubt Importance of Orientation

Johns Hopkins University reported on a new study finding only 52% of providers in a sexual health professional group asked for patients’ sexual orientation, and 42% said sexual orientation was not relevant to their care. One of the study’s authors said that this demonstrates that even providers who focus on sexual health may not understand the importance of LGBT identities.


Celebrating Health Centers

Fenway Health celebrated National Health Center Week and the role that centers play in providing healthcare to millions of people, including those who otherwise might go without care. NJ Spotlight also reported on a kick-off event in conjunction with this special week of a new health program especially for LGBT individuals, which was championed by state officials.

An Avatar to Help Treat HIV?

A Chicago-based study of Black men who have sex with men explored using an avatar-like personality in an app to help with HIV treatment. The focus groups generally liked the idea of the avatar keeping them informed and adherent, so long as concerns were addressed around topics like privacy and stigma, as well as some of the qualities of the avatar.

Turning Your Facility Tobacco-free

The National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco & Cancer Control released new resources on how facilities of various types can transition to being tobacco-free campuses. The resources may be of interest to LGBT community centers and healthcare centers that focus on LGBT populations, given the high tobacco use disparities facing the community.

WellnessGraphicCenters Play Big Role in LGBT Health

LGBT CenterLink and Movement Advancement Project released their biennial report on LGBT centers nationwide. The 128 centers that participated in the report represented 40 states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, and served an impressive 40,550 people per week. Additionally, the vast majority – 68% – offered health services, marking centers as a critical facet of LGBT health.

Additional Barriers as First Offenders

ABC News reported on a study finding that LGBT youth who are first offenders in the criminal justice system face health disparities compared to their non-LGBT peers. These included internalization of problems, self-harm, and substance use. Additionally, the study found that about one-third of the first offenders studied were sexual minorities, suggesting disproportionate involvement in the system.

Youth Really Want HIV-related Care

A new study found that 62% of teenage young men who have sex with men were willing to participate in clinical trials for PrEP (HIV prevention treatment), but some had concerns about confidentiality. Researchers cautioned against undue influence because many said they would participate just to receive free care, which should be concerning to researchers – and to advocates of better access to HIV-related care.

Family Acceptance Campaign Launched JoeBiden

CBS News reported on a new initiative from former Vice President Joe Biden designed to increase family and community acceptance of LGBT youth. The campaign is currently collecting stories on personal experiences as well as investigating best practices to reduce rejection and increase acceptance, which could be critical in improving LGBT health outcomes.

New Clinical Strategies for Trans Care

Researchers evaluated the creation of the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Boston Medical Center, an innovative clinical approach that sought to provide more holistic care to transgender patients. The study explains how the creation of the center uncovered prior gaps in care, which included adolescent care, care coordination, and certain types of surgery.

E-cig Company Investigated

Reuters reported that Massachusetts is investigating a leading manufacturer of e-cigarettes, specifically on whether the company has done enough to prevent online sales to minors. The article notes that the product is especially popular with teenagers – and research shows that LGBT teens are significantly more likely to “vape” than their non-LGBT peers.


#LGBTWellness News: Our New LGBT Cancer and Wellness Brochures Are Here!

All 4 across

Looking to Learn About Staying Healthy and Cancer-Free?

LGBT HealthLink released new brochures packed with tips on wellness and cancer prevention in the queer community, as shared in a preview post on our website and in full on our membership page, which anyone can access with a free account. LGBT people face many preventable disparities in health and wellness and learning more is a great first step.

Queer Prostate Cancer Patients Face Bias

An LGBT publisher released a ground-breaking book on gay and bisexual men living with prostate cancer, that follows the path through diagnosis to survivorship and the bias, authors say, these men face along the way. They also note that while hundreds of thousands of studies have examined prostate cancer, only 88 have looked at the experiences of queer and transgender men.

Why Gay Men Avoid Care

A new study found that in addition to financial and health insurance barriers to receiving care, young gay men in New York also avoided the healthcare system because of their dissatisfaction with the care they received.  Disturbingly, major sources of this dissatisfaction included perceived anti-gay attitudes, judgment of gay patients, and lack of knowledge about what gay men need.

Findings Mixed on Social Media and Depression SocialMediaButtons

Researchers reviewed the available literature on LGBT social media use and its links to depression and found 11 recent articles. While some research established that cyber bullying of LGBT people was associated with depression and suicidality, and that social media could be a source of stress, LGBT folks also used social media to safely disclose experiences, share ways of coping, and find support.

What Docs Say Trans Youth Need

The Miami Herald reported on the great work some clinicians are doing to integrate more care options for transgender youth into hospital settings, including learning how to advise young patients who are struggling with gender identity and advising on a range of care and support options. One children’s hospital says that 30% of its patients seeking transgender-related care are now under the age of 16, highlighting the need for proper care at every age.

New Resources for Folks Living with HIV

The CDC launched a new website and fact sheet on living with HIV, in an effort to provide information on healthy living to the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States. They also have tips on how to disclose one’s HIV status, dealing with discrimination and bias, addressing mental health needs, and even traveling safely.

Coming Out Important for Quality Care

A new study from the CDC found that coming out to your doctor can have a big health benefit. Over 800 men who have sex with men were studied, and those who disclosed their sexual orientation to their doctors were more than twice as likely to get all the screenings and vaccines that are recommended – which helps prevent serious health problems such as cancer.

Sexual Minorities Less Likely to be Insured

Reuters reported on a new study that found that sexual minorities were less likely than their heterosexual counterparts to have health insurance, or to be employed. They were also more likely to report lower quality of life and poorer general health. Researchers warned that the truth could be even worse than the study shows because of intersectional disparities facing people of color.

TransformingHealthCDC Pushes for Transgender Health

The CDC launched a new website to address the high risk of HIV faced by transgender individuals, with information both for transgender people themselves and for providers. They also announced an accompanying CME/CEU course to help train healthcare providers on how to provide quality care, including HIV-related services, to the transgender community.

Alcohol Disparities Grow Among Queer Youth

A national study found that while alcohol use generally decreased among heterosexual youth between 2007 and 2015, the results were less consistent for sexual minority youth. For example, the disparity for lifetime use of alcohol between heterosexual and gay boys actually grew during this timeframe, as did the disparity in early onset use among lesbian girls.

Healthcare Quality, Trainings on Rise

HRC published its eleventh annual healthcare equality index, which named 418 facilities as LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leaders, and in which more than four in five participating facilities received at least an 80% score on measures of equality. Among the improvements from last year was a 63% increase in the number of LGBTQ-related training hours that were provided for staff.

Less Activity and Higher Risk for Queer Students LazyTeens

Researchers found that sexual minority youth were more likely than their heterosexual peers to to be obese and less likely to engage in physical activity – and, relatedly, to face higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. The national study looked at 350,000 high school students and concluded that minority stress faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer students may help explain these disturbing disparities.


Lesbians Make Great Moms – We Already Knew This, Right? #LGBTWellness News


Healthy Families for Lesbian Moms

A study found that there were no significant differences between children raised by same-gender female couples and those raised by opposite-gender couples, in relation to a range of issues including adaptive functioning and mental health. The study followed 154 lesbian women from the time that they were prospective mothers through their children’s adulthood.

CDC Releases Skin Cancer Report

The CDC released its fourth annual report on skin cancer prevention, highlighting recent findings such as gaps in skin cancer education in schools and low levels of healthcare provider engagement on the topic. It is an important topic for LGBT health advocates, given that research has found heightened skin cancer risk (including indoor tanning) among queer men.

Sexual Minorities and Intimate Partner Violence

A new study found that 46% of men in same-gender relationships had experienced intimate partner violence within the past year, with internalized homophobia significantly increasing the risk. One of the researchers stated in an interview that the study is important for demonstrating that opposite-gender couples are not the only ones impacted by intimate partner violence.

MilesToGoWorld Not on Track for HIV Goal

UNAIDS released a new report entitled “Miles to Go” in which  it warns that the world is not on track to reach the previously-set goal of having fewer than 500,000 new HIV infections per year by 2020. While the number of new infections has declined significantly in highly-impacted parts of Africa, they are on the rise in regions like Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Film Takes On Conversion Therapy

NBC News reported on an upcoming film entitled Boy Erased that takes on the issue of “conversion therapy,” a discredited practice that seeks to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. NBC cites research which found that 700,000 LGBT Americans between the ages of 18 and 59 were exposed to the practice during their lifetime; many states have now banned its practice.

Trans Woman Denied Prescription

CNN reported on a transgender woman in Phoenix who says a pharmacist – who has since lost their job at CVS – refused to fill her prescription for hormone therapy. Coincidentally, Arizona Central also recently reported on the progress the state was making on many fronts with respect to LGBT health thanks to the work of community groups and healthcare providers.

Pilot Program Doubles HPV Vaccine Odds

A new study found that an HPV vaccination program aimed at queer young men was successful at more than doubling the likelihood that these youth start vaccination. The program, called Outsmart HPV, combined tailored educational content for queer young men and regular reminders to complete the vaccine series. Queer young men are at an elevated risk for HPV, which can cause cancer, but HPV vaccination programs have traditionally focused on adolescent girls.

Ohio Sees Big Smoking, Vaping Disparities

Cleveland.com reported that LGBT teens in Ohio were more likely to use both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes than their non-LGBT peers. According to a new analysis conducted by the Ohio Department of Health, approximately 18% of transgender or gender-nonconforming students had smoked cigarettes and 26% had “vaped” within the past thirty days.

Trans Women and Cardiovascular Risk

NBC News reported on a new study which found that transgender women who take hormones were at an elevated risk for cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. The study included 5,000 transgender women and 97,000 cisgender patients for comparison, making it the largest study on hormone therapy for transgender folks to date.

Call to Tackle Ovarian Cancer in Queer Community

Multibriefs published an op-ed on the need to provide more tailored intervention to people in the LGBT community who are at risk for ovarian cancer. The author noted that queer women may be at higher risk because of health factors and lower likelihood of using contraception and having children, which can lower risk, and cited the need for inclusive prevention strategies and more welcoming healthcare environments.

Trust for Online, Mobile Research

A study found that queer men largely trusted online and mobile research despite a national climate in which data concerns have risen; participants were more concerned with their personal online data being sold to third parties than with it being shared anonymously with researchers.  This is good news for researchers, who often rely on online methods for hard-to-reach LGBT populations.

Want Quality Care? Here’s How Hospitals

Seventeen Magazine published a guide with tips for queer folks on how to tackle barriers and get quality healthcare. Among the suggestions: find queer healthcare centers where possible, try to define your identity when you feel your doctors need to know, and research resources if you are not getting what you need.


Black MSM, Opioid Use, and #SmokeFreePrideChat 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.

How Black MSM Use Apps Jack'd

A study in three southern cities of Black men who have sex with men found that more than three-quarters (76%) of those who used apps had used a social networking app like Grindr or Jack’d, with more reporting that they use the app to “kill time” than to find sexual partners. Just over a quarter (26%) did not know the HIV status of sexual partners they encountered.

Understanding Bullying of Transgender Youth

A new Minnesota study found that transgender and gender diverse youth who were perceived as being more gender incongruent faced higher odds of bullying victimization and emotional distress compared to peers who were perceived as being very congruent with their biological sex. Researchers note the importance of measuring perceived gender presentation in future studies.

LGBT Smoke Free Ad.2.15.18_EnglishPA Proud to be Smoke Free

Business Insider reported on efforts in Pennsylvania to have Pride events go smoke-free, a topic that LGBT HealthLink recently covered in a Twitterchat. The southeastern part of the state has made particular strides, and notes the need to counteract the effect of decades’ worth of advertisements directed by Big Tobacco at LGBT people, which may help explain smoking disparities.

WHO Reclassifies Transgender Identity

Slate reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) will no longer classify transgender identity as being a mental illness, a move heralded by advocates as one that better reflects modern medical knowledge and could reduce stigma. Gender incongruence (and the services it might require, like hormone treatment) will now be referred to as a sexual health matter.

Examining End-of-life Care

A study reviewed research on end-of-life care for LGBT persons and found that one of the biggest barriers was the impact of discriminatory laws and policies, such as prohibitions against same-sex marriage that kept partners from being legal decision-makers. Challenges to decisions from biological next of kin, psychological distress, and lack of visitation rights were other common problems.

Opioid Crisis in the Queer Community

The National LGBT Health Education center released a report on opioid use in the LGBT community. They note that sexual minorities, especially sexual minority females, were more likely than their sexual majority peers to misuse pain relievers; they also explore the relationship between opioid use and HIV risk, which is also concerning for LGBT health advocates.

Proudly #SmokeFree Today

LGBT HealthLink held a Twitterchat to provide tips on how to make Pride celebrations smoke-free. The issue is a significant one given that LGBT people smoke at about a 50% higher rate than do others, and are often the targets of tobacco marketing. You can read the conversation by checking out LGBT HealthLink’s Twitter handle or the hashtag #SmokeFreePrideChat.

Loneliness and BMI Connected

Researchers found that lesbian and bisexual female adolescents were more likely to face peer victimization and loneliness, and that these factors were connected to these youth having higher body mass indexes (BMIs) and seeing greater rises in BMI between ages 10 and 14. The findings help solidify these social considerations as key risk factors for higher BMI in queer girls and young women.

Outreach for LGBT Veterans

NPR reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, is conducting outreach to LGBT veterans to find ways of making them more comfortable seeking care in VA facilities. A New Hampshire medical facility – citing the higher rates of PTSD and depression among LGBT veterans as its motivation – even used a drag performance to help show its inclusivity. Task & Purpose also reported this week on the stigma facing LGBT vets.

Designing Inclusive Tobacco Research

A study examined LGBT participants in tobacco control research who were recruited in-person at LGBT social venues and via online social media ads. They found that gay men were less likely to be recruited by social media than were many other sexual minority subpopulations, and that Hispanic or multiracial, non-Hispanic individuals were also less likely than others to be recruited by social media.

RainbowLockers2Belonging at School Matters

A California study found that inclusion or “belonging” at school – or the lack thereof – could lessen or increase the relationship between peer victimization and using drugs for transgender youth. It also found that while transgender youth of color faced more victimization, they did not engage in drug use at a higher rate than their white transgender peers. Researchers recommended improving school climates as a way to decrease drug use among transgender students.

Falling Condom Use Raises Concerns

The New York Times published an opinion piece raising alarms about the falling rate of condom use among men who have sex with men. The author says that while this is in part because of an increase in PrEP use, the fall is still dramatic and troubling – and notes that PrEP does not protect against STIs other than HIV, which have also been on the rise.


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The AMA Tops 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.


AMA Issues New LGBT Policies

Healio reported on new actions taken by the American Medical Association (AMA) regarding LGBT health, including backing LGBT-inclusive medical leave policies and recommending safe treatment of incarcerated transgender people. On that subject, the AMA said that transgender prisoners should be housed according to their gender identity and not be unnecessarily isolated.

Making Cancer Care Inclusive

Oncology Nurse Advisor published an interview on how to make clinical environments and interactions more inclusive of queer women who are seeking cancer prevention or care. The article explains how factors like heteronormative imagery in cancer prevention materials may exacerbate disparities. On a related note, a major UK cancer organization just rebranded its cervical cancer screening recommendations to apply to “anyone with a cervix” – a message that is now inclusive of transgender men and others who do not identify as women but who are susceptible to cervical cancer. .

Bi Men at Cardiovascular Risk

A new study found that while there were similar cardiovascular risk factors for gay-identified and heterosexual-identified men who have sex with men, among bisexual-identified men, there were several heightened risks. These included higher rates of mental distress, obesity, and elevated blood pressure. Researchers recommend additional research and more screenings for bisexual men.

SF Launches Queer Seniors Training BiracialSeniorMen

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the city has launched a $400,000 effort to better train personnel who work with LGBT older adults, who the city estimates represent 12% of its over-60 population and are more likely to be childless and live alone. The effort will include helping providers collect more data and responding to the trauma the group has historically faced.

Exploring Care for Rural Transgender Folks

A study explored what transgender individuals in rural areas would recommend to their peers when they seek healthcare services. Among the themes that emerged were how to “vet” providers and treatments for being of good quality, how to remain strong in the face of barriers, and how to seek out mentorship to have at least one person who can give advice.

Students Support Bullied Teacher

NewNowNext reported that a California teacher is on mental health leave after being cyberbullied by students at her school for being a lesbian. Some students are now coming forward to support her by sharing their own experiences of bullying and bias from their classmates, while administrators told her to just let the situation resolve itself.

Resilience of Queer Cancer Survivors

A new study explored resilience in breast cancer survivors of diverse sexual orientations and found that among all survivors, greater resilience was associated with factors like more social support. Sexual minority women differed from heterosexual women in that those who were unemployed faced reduced resilience compared to those with jobs, a factor that heterosexual women did not face.


Loss to Follow-up High in HIV Care

A UK study followed individuals receiving HIV-related care for a 10 year period, and found that 28.1% of the 12,811 individuals studied were lost to follow-up during that time, meaning that they fell out of care. This is a higher proportion than previously reported, which could raise concerns. However, this loss to follow-up did decrease over the duration of the study.

Diversity Lacking Among LGBT Folks in Studies

Researchers found that Middle Eastern and North African Americans are underrepresented in scientific literature on sexual and gender minorities, with only one published study to date examining their identities and experiences of stigma and discrimination. The authors give advice for how those working in health fields can be more inclusive of this unique population.

LGBTAppleRural LGBT Teachers Face Barriers

Schools Week reported on a UK study which found that LGBT teachers in rural areas took more days off due to sexual identity-related anxiety or depression compared to those working in cities. Additionally, 40% of rural LGBT teachers said that their sexual orientation or gender identity was a barrier to receiving a promotion, compared to 15% of those working in cities.

Taking Pride in Prevention

ABC7 reported on organizations in DC taking on the issue of high suicide risk among LGBT individuals, especially youth, as Pride season is fully underway. While a time of celebration for many, the report notes the high rate of suicidality among LGBT youth, and the concerns among activists that LGBT-serving organizations and allies stay vigilant in preventing suicide.


#LGBTWellness News – LGBT Students Feel Like They Don’t Matter

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.

RainbowVermontLGBT Youth Not as Connected to Communities

A statewide survey of students in Vermont found that LGBT students were less likely to feel like they matter to their local communities than were other students, with less than four in ten LGBT young people feeling this way about their community. They also reported higher rates of mental health problems, bullying, unwanted sexual contact, and more, when compared to their peers.

Self-Tests for HIV Test Well

A review of research found high levels of accuracy when people used HIV rapid tests to test themselves, suggesting that it may be underutilized as a way of helping people conveniently and privately learn their HIV status. Researchers say that the quality of self-testing could be improved even more by making collecting samples easier and by simplifying instructions.

Wellbeing Impacted by Marriage Recognition

MAP released a report on the harms faced by children when individuals and institutions refuse to recognize the validity of the same-sex marriages of their parents, including not being able to join health insurance plans, facing denial and health and social services, and problems with child welfare agencies. They estimate that two million children have an LGBT parent today.

Facebook and Coming Out RainbowFacebook2

A study examined the use of Facebook by LGBT young people, including how social media interacted with managing the disclosure of their sexual orientation or gender identity to others. Among their findings was that closeted young people had “considerably lower overall network connectivity” than others, and that one’s outness to one’s family was particularly important.

More Centers Offering Phones for At Risk Youth

PowerOn announced an expansion of its program that provides phones and other devices to LGBT youth experiencing or at risk for homelessness, with new partnerships at three LGBT centers in different regions of the country. PowerOn says that LGBT youth – who are much more likely to end up on the street – use these devices to connect to healthcare, critical services, jobs, and more.


Marking Cancer Survivorship Month

The CDC released new resources in recognition of June as National Cancer Survivorship Month, including resources for caregivers, special information for those who use tobacco, and stories from survivors. LGBT cancer survivors and their caregivers often encounter unique challenges and may find these resources particularly beneficial to ensuring a successful treatment and recovery.


“Cancer and Women” Resource Tops 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. 

Spotlight on Women’s Health CDC cancer page

The CDC published an updated “Cancer and Women” resource page as part of their recognition of Women’s Health Month. Among their tips to stay cancer-free: steer clear of tobacco products (which queer and transgender women use more of than other women) and get screened regularly (which queer and transgender women generally do less than other women).

HIV Prevention Uneven among Troops

A CDC study found that of those in the U.S. military who were prescribed PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment), the vast majority were men who have sex with other men. Unfortunately, while Black men make up the majority of military personnel who are diagnosed with HIV, they so far made up only 19% of those who were prescribed PrEP, suggesting more outreach is needed.

Financial Hardship Tied to Substance, Tobacco Use

A study of queer men in Paris found that financial hardship was associated with higher substance use, including marijuana and tobacco use. The authors say this may help shine light on who within the queer community needs particular assistance in addressing substance and tobacco use, and the study also hints at how intersectional identities are important in addressing disparities generally.

NY Youth

NY Shelter to Tackle LGBT Homelessness:

Patch reported on a new shelter that will open in New York to help LGBT youth experiencing homelessness. Sadly, LGBT youth are far more likely than others to find themselves without a stable place to live, due to factors like family rejection. The new shelter will serve youth through age 24 and is part of a $9.5 million effort to combat the homelessness disparities queer youth face.

LGBT Immigrants At Risk for Sexual Assault

The Center for American Progress published a report finding that LGBT immigrants in detention may face 97 times the risk of sexual assault and abuse compared to others. They also found that solitary confinement may be overused as while it potentially serves as a protective option as a last resort, placement in solitary confinement also poses other risks, such as that to mental health.

Do You Have What it Takes?

A study explored what it might mean for a healthcare provider to be considered competent in transgender care, an often-used phrase that lacks a clear definition to date. Specifically, they discuss understanding the health needs, health disparities, and limitations in coverage by insurance coverage, the latter of which often presents a barrier to transgender folks getting what they need.


Teens Approved to Use PrEP

Healio reported that the FDA has now approved the use of PrEP for teenagers, meaning that the use of the treatment to prevent HIV transmission is no longer limited to adults. The change was based on a study that found favorable results of PrEP in teens, though it also found that they had trouble adhering to the daily drug properly, suggesting they may need support in that area.

Depression, Stress, and Measures of Orientation Depression

A national study found that all sexual minority groups had more depressive symptoms than people who were heterosexual in terms of identity, attraction, and behavior. Among all sexual minority women, as well as men who identified as “mostly-heterosexual,” higher perceived stress was found to be a mediating factor in these depressive symptoms. The authors say this shows the importance of measuring different forms of sexual identity, attraction, and behavior.

New Findings on Autism and Gender Dysphoria

Researchers found that transgender men seemed to have higher levels of autism spectrum disorder than transgender women. The finding is interesting because it means that the trend of cisgender men having higher rates of autism spectrum disorder holds true for transgender men, rather than following a trend of the sex transgender people are assigned at birth.

The State of Trans Medical Education

Researchers reviewed the available literature on transgender health curricula and found that while there was no consensus on exactly what content to use, all of the educational interventions that have been written about in published literature were successful. The authors recommend building consensus and ensuring that content is retained long-term and is skills-based.

SocialJusticeSexualitReport on Poverty and LGBT Wellbeing

The Social Justice Sexuality Project published a report on how the issue of poverty impacts LGBT people, especially LGBT people of color and transgender individuals. The report, which relied on extensive community meetings and interviews, issues recommendations on topics such as prohibiting discrimination, increasing access to health services, and addressing homelessness.

Diversity, Health Centers Improve Wellness

MedicalXpress reported on a new study conducted by Yale which found that communities had healthier residents when they had more racial diversity, public transportation, and health centers, among other things. Did you know that CenterLink can help you find an LGBT center in your community – many of which offer health services that Yale found make communities healthier?


Missed the E-Summit? You can view the webinars or download the slide decks here: https://bit.ly/2JGedNO


We’re Going to Need to See ID… #LGBTWellness News of the Week

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. 


Bills Could Curb Youth Smoking

Several cities and states – including Massachusetts, Illinois, and the city of Austin – made moves in recent days to raise the age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21. The states of California, Hawaii, New Jersey and Oregon already have such laws, and a new law in Maine will go into effect on June 1. These policies could be a boon to decreasing the high smoking disparities LGBT youth face.

Discrimination Dangerous for Trans Community

A study based on the National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that being denied services increased transgender people’s rates of attempted suicide. Additionally, those who faced more denial of care or discrimination in treatment settings were more likely to forgo services. 25% had been denied services and 28% had faced discrimination, underscoring the urgency of the problem.

Translating Apps Means More Than Language

A study on HIV prevention apps found that Spanish-speaking sexual minority men prioritize being personally interested in apps, while English-speaking men were previously found to be mostly interested in the efficiency of these apps. The results suggest that HIV apps for Spanish speakers may require more customization than just translating existing apps from English.

Higher Diabetes Risk for Queer Women Diabetes

EurekAlert reported on a new study finding that queer women were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes over time than were heterosexual women. Specifically, over the 24 year study time, lesbian and bisexual women had about 27% higher risk than did their heterosexual peers; lesbian and bisexual women also developed type 2 diabetes earlier in life than did other women.

Impact of Homelessness on LGBT Youth

LGBTQ Nation reported on the epidemic of homelessness affecting the LGBT youth population, citing newly-released data from a national report that LGBT youth are twice as likely as others to experience homelessness. Furthermore, once homeless, they are 15% more likely to experience physical harm and 18% more likely to exchange sex for money, food, or shelter to survive.

Personalities Could Inform Prevention

Researchers examined how personality traits relate to sexual health practices in queer men and found that conscientiousness, openness, and extraversion were all associated with having fewer instances of condomless sex, while conscientiousness and extraversion were both associated with using preventive services. The authors say research on personalities could inform prevention strategies.

ThisFreeLife2Your Smoke-free Moment of the Month

This Free Life published another amazing video as part of its This Free Friday series, which highlights members of the LGBT community who avoid tobacco use. This month’s features Mia, who explains how she rejects negativity and stays tobacco-free to keep her gorgeous look. The campaign is aimed at LGBT youth, who smoke at much higher rates than others.

LGBTQ Teens Face Major Disparities

A new study of 12,000 LGBTQ teenagers nationwide found that these youth face a wide range of challenges, including 77% feeling depressed or down within the past week and 95% having trouble sleeping at night. Some youth faced additional challenges, such as LGBTQ youth of color, of whom only 11% said their race or ethnicity was viewed positively by others, and transgender and gender expansive youth, of whom 50% said then could never use the restroom at school that corresponds with their gender identity. Media outlets such as U.S. News reported on the groundbreaking study, with many noting that these disparities for youth exist despite progress on LGBTQ rights in some respects.

One Secret to Better Trans Health?

Researchers in Colorado found that transgender and gender-nonconforming adults had a variety of better health behaviors when they had a medical provider who was transgender-inclusive.  These including being more likely to receive wellness exams, less likely to delay care due to facing discrimination, and less likely to be depressed than those without a transgender-inclusive doctor.


Study Testing New HIV Prevention for Youth

Researchers have launched a Detroit-based study of young queer men and transgender individuals who use substances including alcohol and who are often missed by common HIV prevention services. The effort, known as Project Swerve, has been enrolling patients since April 2017 and is testing how including a substance use intervention in HIV prevention may change things.

Honoring LGBT Older Adults Chase Brexton

Chase Brexton Health Care reported on their efforts to recognize National Honor our LGBT Elders Day on May 16th. The occasion, which Chase Brexton founded, is designed to recognize and celebrate LGBT older adults, who often face unique health, social, and other needs due to a lack of support from biological families and because they are more likely to be unmarried than non-LGBT peers.


#LGBTWellness News for You All In One Place

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

CDC Releases Resources on Trans Folks & HIV

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

Sexual Health of Queer African American Women AALesbians2

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

Evidence of Cardiovascular, Respiratory Disparities

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

Pacific Wave of Conversion Therapy Bans

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

Parental Problems Tied to Poor Sleep

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

Rainbow UKLondon Calling… for an LGBT Center

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

Docs Dropping the Ball on PrEP?

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

Finding PrEP Made Easy

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

Putting the “T” in Telehealth

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

Limited Leave for LGBTQ People of Color

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

NPs Want Trans Training NursePractitioners

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

Trans Wellness Center Set to Open

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


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Gender-affirming Care Improves Lives

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

Half of Bisexual Utahns Faced Sexual Violence

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

Nonbinary Youth Struggle Getting Care

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

Keeping Transgender Women in Care

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

Mentorship Among Queer Healthcare Professionals Mentoring

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

Exploring Suicidality and Religiosity

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

Centers Short on Formal Tobacco Training

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

Cyberbullying Hurting Queer Youth

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

NatTransTestingDayRecognizing Trans HIV Testing Day

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

High Mental Health Needs for Trans Youth

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

Students Think More are Smoking & Vaping

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

Mandatory Trans Training for MDs?

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