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PrEP Prevents Hep B, Too – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

PrEP Prevents Hepatitis B

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

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Centers Push for Funding

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

Medicare Coverage of Hormones Varies

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

Trans Folks and Eating Disorders

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

Pandemic Shines Light on Abuse

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

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Marking Transgender Testing Day

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

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Pandemic Exposes Trans Health Disparities – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

NCTETweetPandemic Exposes Trans Health Disparities

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

Youth Front and Center in HIV Fight

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

Abuse Faced by Gender Minority Youth

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

What Trans Women Think about an HIV Vaccine TransgenderHealth2

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

How to Assess Drinking among Gender Minorities

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

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LGBT New Yorkers See Parallels

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

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What We Can Learn from Addressing HIV – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

How Lessons with HIV Can Inform Us Today

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

 

Queer Men Struggle After Prostate Cancer

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

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New Research on HIV among Trans Folks

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

Substance Use Services Needed

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

Treating Transgender Patients with Cancer TransSymbol

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

KathyKozachenkoHow One Queer Woman Quietly Made History

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

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LGBT Centers Create Virtual Oases – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

LGBT Centers Create Virtual Oases

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

Report on COVID-19 and LGBT Communities

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

Substance Use Varies Among LGBT Populations

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

HIV Conferences Carrying On, Online AIDSConference2020

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

Senators Call for End to Blood Ban

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

StopHIVTogetherTookkitHIV Resources Galore

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

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Why ID Matters for Trans Health – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

NonBinary2How IDs Matter for Trans Health

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

COVID-19 and HIV

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

Opioid Use among Trans Girls and Women

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

Queer Women and Mammograms MamoPOC

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

Orgs Oppose Blocking Trans Health

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

Fenway2Learn About Queer Health from Your Couch

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

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COVID-19 and LGBT Health – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

COVID Elder LGBTQ ShareableHow COVID-19 Affects Our Communities

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

Bi Health Awareness Month in Full Bloom

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

Patient Cured of HIV Revealed LondonPatient

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

Advancing Research on LGBT Health

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

StethascopeImportance of Doctors Coming Out

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

Conducting an Inclusive Sexual History

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

HIV’s Impact on Women and Girls EHEWomen

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

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Queer Friends Are Good for Your Health – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

Friends2Queer Friends Are Good for Your Health

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

PrEP Programs Lag Among Priority Populations

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

HPV? There Could Be an App for That Apps2

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

Conversion Therapy Ban Breaches the South

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

TransMedicalCareCourt Rules for Inclusive Care

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

Syringe Sharing Risks Spreading HIV

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

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Healthcare’s Diversity Problem Starts in Med School – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

GayDrHealthcare Diversity Problem Starts in Med School

A new study found that among 27,000 medical students, sexual minorities were much more likely to report at least one incident of mistreatment in medical school as compared to their heterosexual peers. Specifically, 43.5% of LGB students had faced such mistreatment, compared to 23.6% of heterosexual students – almost double the likelihood. Female students and students of color also faced disparities.

Growing Movement Targets Conversion Therapy

Reuters reported on a growing movement to end so-called “conversion therapy” at the national level – both in the U.S. and abroad – and the leading role that survivors of such treatment are playing. Only three countries worldwide have banned the practice; in the U.S., 19 states have placed limits on it, such as preventing such attempts among minors, while still often permitting it for consenting adults.

Cancer Screening Disparities for People of Color

A Canadian study found that men living with HIV faced racial/ethnic disparities in anal cancer screening. Compared to White men, Asian men were less likely to have discussed getting screened with their provider, and African, Caribbean, and Black men were less likely to have received digital anorectal exams. The authors say this could lead to a disparate burden of anal cancer among men of color living with HIV.

Addressing Social Isolation among Older LGBT Adults LonlinessOlderAdults

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reported that LGBT older adults may be at particular risk for social isolation. They also say that while there are likely interventions that serve minority populations – including LGBT older adults and people of color – there has been little study on this topic and so providers currently lack data that could help address disparities.

$117 Million Awarded in HIV Fight

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that over $117 million had been awarded as part of its effort to end the HIV epidemic. Like the Ending the HIV Epidemic plan, the awards focused on the counties, cities, and states that are facing disproportionate rates of the virus. Awardees included 195 health centers and 60 Ryan White programs, and will focus on prevention, testing, and PrEP.

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Supportive Communities See Less Substance Use

Researchers found that in British Columbia, sexual minority youth who lived in communities that were more supportive of LGBTQ people were less likely to use illicit drugs, with sexual minority girls also being less likely to smoke or to use marijuana in particular. On the whole, sexual minority youth in places with more LGBTQ events had lower odds of substance use, suggesting this could be a protective factor.

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Nurse Poppy Gets it DONE! – #LGBTWellness News

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

TransYouthandDr'Youth Face Barriers Disclosing Gender Identity

Newsweek reported on a new study, finding hesitance among transgender and gender nonconforming youth to come out to healthcare providers. While 78% had come out to at least one provider, 46% reported heaving intentionally avoided the subject while getting care. Inclusive practices like recognizing chosen names and gender pronouns increased the likelihood of youth coming out.

LGBT Antismoking Efforts “Critical”

The Surgeon General’s office published an annual report on smoking and found (on page 58) convincing evidence that LGBT people face significant smoking disparities. While they say that data is particularly light on transgender adults, the research we do have shows “the critical importance” of both targeting LGBT folks with tobacco cessation efforts and increasing data collection on gender identity in particular.

Examining Gender Identity and Skin Cancer SkinCancer

A study found that gender nonconforming adults had higher lifetime prevalence of skin cancer than all other individuals, including cisgender and transgender adults who identify as male or female. Compared to cisgender men, transgender men and women did not have statistically significant differences, while cisgender women had the lowest rates. The authors say that both gender nonconforming and transgender adults are likely to avoid cancer screening, making this a group in need of further support.

HIV and HPV in the South

Researchers found that among people living with HIV in the South, men were more likely than women to report a number of HPV-related clinical conditions, despite the fact that in the general population, these conditions are usually more common among women than among men. The study highlights the importance of understanding and addressing broader health issues facing people living with HIV.

NursePoppyWorking Towards Equity (in Heels)

Nursing Times reported on a UK nurse competing for that country’s top drag queen prize – and who is using the competition to draw attention to health inequities and unmet care needs of LGBT patients. Poppy Aphrodite says that drag helped them find the confidence they needed to be a leader at their hospital, which they say, enjoys a strong LGBT and ally network that many facilities are still sadly lacking.

 

An Up Close Look at Ending HIV

The CDC published profiles of people working “on the frontlines” in the fight against HIV all over the world, as well as facts on how the CDC and PEPFAR have supported local HIV prevention and treatment efforts globally. The series looks at topics such as data, mobile testing, connection to treatment, and diverse prevention methods through the eyes of individual patients and providers.

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Non-heterosexual Orientation Youth Has Nearly Doubled – #LGBTWellness Roundup

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Subscribe to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or where ever you podcast.

TransDrLow Use of Gynecological Care for Trans Adults

A new study found that transgender and gender diverse adults at a rural health center were less likely than cisgender peers to access gynecological services like Pap smears and contraception – despite high rates of access to care and insurance. They also found that transgender men had the lowest rate of HPV vaccination (20%) comparted to transgender women (60%) and gender diverse individuals (60%).

Disparities Mark HIV Priority Zones

The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examined HIV testing outcomes for Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative priority jurisdictions, and found that Black individuals faced major disparities. Black adults accounted for 40.4% of HIV tests that occurred in the zones, as well as 47.5% of new diagnoses and 58.5% of those who had been diagnosed previously but were not yet in care. Such delays in entering care worsen outcomes, they say.

Looking Back at the Decade MAPPolicyReport.JPG

Movement Advancement Project published a report on the past ten years of policy and legal changes facing LGBT people nationwide. They found that their “policy tally” score for the states increased by more than 10 points over the decade, but the average rating of each state remains just “fair.” More promisingly, the number of LGBT people who lived in “negative” states (where protections are very low and harmful policies are on the books) went from 48% of the LGBT population to just 20%.

Risks Remain for Growing Queer Population

Researchers found that the number of youth reporting a non-heterosexual orientation nearly doubled from 2009 (when they were 7.3% of the population) to 2017 (14.3% of the population). They also found that while the number of suicide attempts declined among these students, sexual minority youth were still about three times as likely to attempt suicide as were their heterosexual peers.

HIV Vaccine Trial Ends

UNAIDS reported that an US-run HIV vaccine study happening in South Africa has been halted after initial data showed the vaccine was not successful at preventing HIV transmission. While disappointing, UNAIDS says that much can be learned from the study to move this work forward – and meanwhile, there are two more studies attempting to develop vaccines in Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

MaineDrRural Doctor Making a Difference

The Morning Sentinel reported on a doctor working to serve LGBT people in rural Maine – the most rural state in the country, where many live far from inclusive care. Dr. Karren Seely is one of only two providers in central Maine who is part of a GLMA’s network of LGBT-affirming providers, a list which the group’s president says many welcoming providers in rural area are afraid to join. Dr. Seely says the community’s needs are not that complicated, but require providers to get educated and comfortable with LGBT patients.