#LGBTWellness News Special Edition: Healthcare Access

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.

Open for business

In honor of it being Open Enrollment Period for healthcare plans through the national healthcare.gov website (commonly known as Obamacare), as well as many state and private healthcare plans, this week we are bringing you a special edition of the Wellness Roundup focused on healthcare access. Obamacare has helped reduce the huge insurance disparities LGBT people once faced, but challenges remain. Make sure you search for a healthcare plan by December 15 if you are using healthcare.gov, or check with your state, private, or employer plan.

Helping Queer Folks 2Enroll OE6 Nondiscrim (2)

Out2Enroll launched their annual enrollment campaign aimed at getting LGBT people to sign up for healthcare, which includes a 2019 toolkit for organizations looking to help spread the word. They also offered updated FAQs to help LGBT people understand how to get covered, what is covered, and why it should matter to them. CenterLink is proud to serve on Out2Enroll’s advisory committee and to assist LGBT centers nationwide in getting LGBT folks covered.

KaramoA (Queer) Eye for Healthcare 

Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown opined on why he grew up thinking of healthcare as a privilege and not a right, and how that (and concepts of masculinity that he learned from others) led him to turn to alcohol and drugs instead of getting the care he needed. If you need help finding mental health services, check out this new resource guide from Teen Vogue.

Lesbian Women and Reproductive Healthcare

A new study found that lesbian women were less likely to receive birth control counseling at pregnancy tests or condom use information at an STI test, even though they may benefit from this information. Researchers said comprehensive and inclusive counseling scripts are needed for providers to ensure that queer women receive all the counseling and care they need.

Conference Takes On Trans Care

The University of North Carolina hosted a transgender health conference in which doctors reported their profession as “ignoring” the transgender population. They also said trans people face challenges in getting insured and in getting insurance to cover their care. However, they also discussed promising developments like increased services for youth and better data collection.

LGBT Brits Not Understood, Avoiding Care Rainbow UK

Personnel Today reported on a new UK study that found that 23% of LGBT people experienced or witnessed healthcare discrimination, and that 14% were deterred from seeking care because of it. LGBT people also reported unique experiences requiring care, such as hate crimes and higher rates of suicidality. Additionally, 62% of transgender people said providers did not understand their needs.

Challenges Beyond Getting Covered

While getting covered with health insurance is key for LGBT people, challenges remain between coverage and care. For example, a California study last month found that facing delays in care may now be a bigger problem there than getting LGBT people to enroll, and a recent study found that LGBT people still avoid care and face worse outcomes post-Obamacare. So once you get covered, remember to check your rights and find a quality provider to get the care you deserve.


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


Don’t Be Afraid! It’s #LGBTWellness News!

Rainbow pumpkin

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.

Queer College Students Seek Mental Health Care

A large study of college students found that gay, lesbian, and bisexual students were more likely than their heteroseuxal peers to receive counseling or other mental health services. However, bisexual men and LBQ women were less likely to go to a parent or family member for help than were their heterosexual peers, highlighting the importance of quality services on campus.

HPV Vaccine Expanded

The New York Times reported that the HPV vaccine has been approved for all adults aged 27 to 45 by the Food and Drug Administration. The cancer-preventing vaccine was previously only available to those under 27. Research has found that lesbian women are less likely to get vaccinated than their heterosexual or bisexual peers, and that queer men are at higher risk for HPV-related cancers. Now they can through age 45.


Youth in JailSupporting LGBTQ Youth in Custody

Fenway Institute published a new guide on best practices for LGBT youth in juvenile justice systems. They note that over 45,000 youth are held in facilities nationwide, and that the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 requires them to take action to protect youth, including those who are LGBTQ. They also cover issues relating to nondiscrimination, privacy, and more.

Understanding Suicide Risk

A large study examined suicide-related risks among transgender and gender-nonconforming people aged 14-30, and found that gender-related victimization and depressive symptoms were both predictors of things like past-year suicidal ideation and attempts. The authors recommend that efforts be “aimed at building support and positive self-concept, decreasing victimization, and treating depression.”

How AIDS Activists Made History

NBC News marked LGBT History Month with a fascinating report on the early years of the HIV crisis, and the inspiring actors who pushed a reluctant government to provide help. The first government report of AIDS came in 1981, when five men were reported sick; since then, an estimated 700,000 Americans have died from the disease.

Insurance Not Enough for Equal Care

A California study found that while LGB adults there were at least as likely as heterosexual adults to have health insurance, they were more likely to experience delays in getting care. Bisexual adults in particular were also more likely to need care from the emergency room. Did you know our Healthcare Bill of Rights can help make sure you get the care you deserve with your insurance?

Pro-discrimination Laws May Hurt Health RainbowIndiana

A new study found that the Indiana law that legalized some discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals may have led to more unhealthy days per month for queer folks in the state. The lead author said that Indiana was the only state that saw LGB people face such declining health in the year following the law’s passage, and that it therefore might be to blame.

Exploring PrEP and Trans Communities

A study reviewed the available scientific information on PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment) among transgender people. Transgender women of color in particular are known to have higher risk of HIV, but data is limited on the efficacy of PrEP among this community. The article explores known barriers, including poor access to healthcare generally and complications with hormone therapy.

Meta-analysis Confirms Suicide Attempt Risk

Researchers found that, in an analysis of 35 studies, lesbian and gay youth had 3.71 times the odds of suicide attempts compared to heterosexual youth, while bisexual youth had an even higher risk that was 4.87 times that of heterosexual youth. There was also limited data that transgender youth faced a highly elevated risk compared to their cisgender peers.

Protecting and Including LGBT Students

Movement Advancement Project published a fact sheet on the importance of inclusion and protections for LGBT college students, including under Title IX, which is a federal law that was extended to transgender students in 2016. Troublingly, 79 colleges and universities have received waivers from Title IX protections that allow them to discriminate against LGBT students.

NLAADLatinx AIDS Awareness Day

The CDC marked National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day on October 15th, sharing social media tools to spread the word about HIV prevention and treatment with Latinx audiences, as well as on fighting stigma. They also included fact sheets with facts including that 59% of Latinx persons living with HIV had received care and 50% had achieved viral suppression.

Jobs, Insurance, and Trans Health

CNN reported on the status of insurance coverage for transgender individuals, and noted that many companies are beginning to change policies that excluded any gender-identity related care as being “elective” and thus not covered. That can mean transgender employees have to pay out-of-pocket for costly care that otherwise would be paid for by their employer-based plan.


How To Identify Implicit Bias 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.

Improving Care for LGBT Patients FenwayLGBTHealth

The Fenway Institute published a new guide with case examples to help providers overcome implicit bias towards LGBT patients. They also announced an upcoming webinar on addressing behavioral health needs among sexual minority women, which will explore how “stigma and lack of culturally affirming care impact health outcomes.” Registration is open now.

Bisexual Youth Smoking, Vaping More

A study of Minnesota students found that bisexual youth were twice as likely as heterosexual students to use e-cigarettes, a growing epidemic nationwide. Further, bisexual students were four times likely to smoke traditional cigarettes. The study matches evidence found elsewhere in the country that both traditional and e-cigarettes remain a huge problem for bisexual youth.

What Queer Men Need to Know About Prostate Health

Hornet reported on the risk that queer men face with respect to prostate cancer, and sought to dispel the rumor that having same-sex relations necessarily puts men at risk. Still, they highlight the importance of getting screened and talked to experts about how going with a loved one (such as a boyfriend) can help men who feel uncomfortable or nervous.

EmpoweredWomenPrevention Through Empowerment

A study tested an HIV prevention program for young transgender women that was empowerment-based and conducted in a group setting. When researchers checked in a year later, women who had taken the program had a 39.8% greater reduction in condomless sexual acts than did women who had received standard HIV prevention information.

Center Tackles Isolation among Older Adults

The NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan reported on the innovative efforts from that city’s local LGBT center to support LGBT older adults. They note that many older queer adults were closeted for much of their lives and face increased isolation (and health risks) as they age. CenterLink supports many LGBT centers in providing such services to older adults.

How Words Can Empower

Psychology Today published an article on how early HIV activists launched a self-empowerment movement that helped to (literally) define their community by rejecting disempowering terms like “patient” and “victim.” In addition to their success at organizing a movement, these leaders also “taught us that we can author our own story,” the author argued in the piece.


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


Because You Need More #LGBTWellness News In Your Life!

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.

NonBinaryRisk High for Trans, Nonbinary Teens

ABC News reported on a new study finding that half of teenage transgender boys have attempted suicide, the highest of any group based on gender identity; the next highest groups were gender nonbinary teens (42%) and transgender girls (30%). The report was made in time for Suicide Prevention Day, to which some LGBT activists drew attention with a bold take on a queer icon.

New Data on LGBT Kids

A new study found that .86% of children aged 9-10 identified as gay or bisexual, with .4% identifying as transgender. The parents of the same children had much higher estimates for how many believed their child might be LGBT. In a press release, researchers said that the number of children who self-identify this way justifies inclusion of LGBT identities in more studies involving youth.

E-cig Epidemic Targeted tobacco-youth-header-only v2

The Food and Drug Administration (or FDA) declared e-cigarette use among minors an “epidemic,” pointing to a massive 75% jump of e-cigarette use by high school students just from 2017 to 2018. They announced that they would be targeting 1,300 retailers and 5 manufacturers as they investigate how teens are so easily accessing the age-restricted product. LGBT youth use e-cigs (and other tobacco products) at even higher rates than do other youth.

What’s It Like for Trans Teens?

Teen Vogue reported on a new campaign from MAP and GLSEN that seeks to educate the public on what high school is like for transgender teens. The effort includes a video ad and highlights that 65% of transgender students are bullied for their identities and 70% have avoided using the bathroom at school because they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

Queer Men Not Meeting Testing Recs

A national study found that about one in four (25.2%) young gay and bisexual men had never been tested for HIV, and that most gay and bisexual men did not fully meet the CDC’s testing recommendations. Only 4.1% were using PrEP, the HIV prevention treatment, despite more than two in three (68.4%) of those who knew about PrEP having a positive opinion on it.

HBOR FrontFinding a Friendly Doctor

Self published a guide to finding LGBT-competent healthcare, which the author says can require research to start (using some search tools they identify), as well as asking questions about their experience and seeing how they act when they make a mistake or do not have an answer. There are also some tips for what happens when something goes wrong (for which our Healthcare Bill of Rights might also come in handy).

4 in 10 Trans Women Face Partner Violence

A new study found that young transgender women in Chicago and Boston faced intimate partner violence (IPV) at a rate of 42%. This included some distinct forms of violence that had to do with their gender identities as transgender women. The results suggest that IPV interventions not only need to be transgender-inclusive, but also contain unique components for this population.

Family-based Support Lacking for Youth

Reuters reported on a new study which found that few programs serving LGBT youth include help on addressing family-based discrimination, in comparison to relatively common topics such as school-based bullying. The failure to address family issues is partially because the topic has been seldom evaluated in studies, with more research on best practices therefore needed.

Call for Trans-inclusive Care, Data

Researchers published a guide to transgender clinical care in JAMA Internal Medicine, and recommended that medical professionals take basic steps like using the patient’s identified name and pronouns and obtaining a medical history inclusive of gender identity-related care. They also address the need for more uniform and inclusive methods of data collection in electronic medical records, and recommend that health facilities take action to address this shortcoming.

UN Praises India Decision UNAIDS

UNAIDS published a report praising the Supreme Court of India for annulling part of its penal code that criminalized relations between LGBT people. UNAIDS notes that such criminalization hinders access to HIV prevention and treatment services, and also increases the prejudice and violence LGBT people face. The UN has found that addressing the HIV crisis requires a human rights response.

“Inside Knowledge” Campaign Targets Cancer

The CDC launched a new campaign on the importance of getting screened for gynecological cancers, including videos, radio spots, and print advertisements available for use. It’s an important message for those in the LGBT community who are susceptible to these cancers, as research has shown that they are less likely to get screened, especially when uncomfortable with their doctor.


Vaping, Laverne, and Success All in This Week’s #LGBTWellness

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.

NoVaping10 Million Are Vaping

Reuters reported on a disturbing trend in which an estimated 10.8 million Americans now use e-cigarettes, with disproportionate numbers being youth and LGBT people. The report is based on a large study of almost half a million people, and is the latest to confirm an LGBT disparity.

Study Tests LGBT Health Curriculum

A study tested an LGBT health curriculum for internal medicine students and found that it improved students’ scores on LGBT knowledge from 42% to 66%. It also found that while students said LGBT health knowledge was important before taking the class, they also expressed implicit bias against LGBT patients, highlighting the important role such curricula could play.

Understanding Gender-affirming Care for Youth

Researchers published a study exploring why some pediatric patients may begin gender-affirming medical care and later stop treatment – for example, if their healthcare goals or understanding of their gender identity change. They also explain how external factors – such as discrimination and its impacts, financial barriers, and insurance coverage – can also play a role.

Partnering for Better Trans Health FenwayArticle

The Fenway Institute published a new guide on how medical-legal partnerships can help meet the needs of transgender individuals by pairing these often related services. For example, accessing and getting covered by health insurance often requires additional navigation and expertise for transgender individuals, who also face potential healthcare discrimination requiring legal help.

New Resources from CDC on HIV

The CDC released new HIV-related resources, including a comprehensive HIV treatment toolkit entitled STEPS to Care and an infographic that shows data on new HIV cases in 2016. Two-thirds of cases resulted from male-to-male sexual contact, and young Black gay and bisexual men in particular made up fully 9% of all cases, a disproportionately high number.

Disturbing News on STIs

In other CDC news, NBC reported on the agency’s finding that the most recently yearly estimate of new chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases rose by 200,000 to a whopping 2.3 million. Researchers surmise that a rise in dating apps and a decrease in fear of HIV (and thus lowered use of condoms) may help account for the change. LGBT folks have tended to be disproportionately impacted, though rates were rising among others, as well.

Discrimination Hurting Our Youth

A new study found that adolescents who were more concerned with rising societal discrimination used more illicit substances, used them more frequently, and were more likely to have attention-deficit and hyperactivity symptoms. Researchers warn that rising violence and intolerance towards minorities might therefore be having a significant effect on the health of youth.

Queer Men Prepped for PrEP?

A study of young men who have sex with men in California found that 85% of those who were not willing to take PrEP orally on a daily basis were willing to try it in an on-demand or injectible format, suggesting that expanding options for the HIV prevention treatment might increase uptake. Young men who had at least some college education were more willing to try.


Laverne Cox Speaks Out

Instinct Magazine reported on a powerful statement issued by Laverne Cox on discrimination and violence facing transgender women of color, and the mental health challenges that some – including her in prior years – face as a result. Cox was driven to speak out after a string of hate crimes that advocates feel are not being adequately addressed.

Care Too Costly for Many

LGBTQ Nation reported on a new study that found many LGB people still routinely put off healthcare services due to costs, despite progress at increasing insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. 16.4% of sexual minority adults reported delaying care due to affordability compared to 14.2% of heterosexual adults.

Remembering Kofi Annan

UNAIDS reflected on the legacy of Kofi Annan, the one-time UN Secretary General who passed away this summer, with respect to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. They highlighted his role at building more international cooperation and open conversation on the topic in the 1990s, and his work on exponentially growing the funding to treat and prevent HIV.

Success Story Eblast v2Share Your Story!

LGBT HealthLink issued a call for stories of progress towards LGBT health equity, and how our resources are useful in you reaching your organization’s goals and success. Still working on finding success with an LGBT health initiative? Become a member and have access to great tools and networks.


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.