LGBT HealthLink Brings “PACHA to the People”

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!

5Meeting Tackles HIV in Florida and Puerto Rico

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


No Gains in LGB Depressed Mood

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

Menstrual Products Grow Inclusive AlwaysPads

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

HPV Vaccine Practice Differs from Beliefs

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

LGBT People and Poverty

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

InheritancePlay Explores HIV Across Generations

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


How DACA Impacts LGBT Youth

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

Recognizing HIV Disparities in Latinx Communities

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

Diverse Families Explain Stigma During Pregnancy

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

Gay Couple Steps Up

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


Making Medical Offices LGBT-inclusive

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

Hepatitis A Outbreak Threatens More States

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



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

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!

STI Rates Face Drastic Rises

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

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

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

Trans Care Access Improves Mental Health

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

PrEP Concerns for Trans, Nonbinary Youth

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

Trans Cancer Survivor Shares Story TransWoman

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

How HIV United Gay & Lesbian Folks

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

Tanning Targets Gayborhoods?

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

HIV Epidemic Nears End in New York

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


Drinking and Smoking Habits of Queer Women

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

Queer Mens’ Perspectives on HPV

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

New Resource Re: Black Men and HIV

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

BiWithUmbrellasFocusing on Bi+ People of Color

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


Catch Up on The Most Recent #LGBTWellness News

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!

TGHealthReportTrans Women of Color Describe PrEP-related Stigma

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


Latinx LGBT Patients Lack Inclusive Care

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

Dance Troupe Shakes Up Perceptions

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

Fathers May Be Protective Factor DadKids

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

Fertility Coverage Not Always Inclusive

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

Exploring Resilience Among Gender-diverse People

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

Sexual Minorities at Center of Opioid Epidemic

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

Health Challenges Change Outside Cities

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

POCMapReportSpotlight on Rural LGBT People of Color

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


Trends in Medicare Suggest New Options, Needs

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

Climate Change and HIV AIDSClimateChange

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

Prejudice and Assumptions in Health Access

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


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

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!


Groundbreaking Play Explores HIV Experiences

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

Severe Health Outcomes for Conversion Attempts

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

Trans Experiences in China

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

RedFlagVaping Red Flags Raised

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

Bi Folks Find Support to Come Out

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

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

Trans Access to Care Limited with Medicaid

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

Queer Women Using More Marijuana BiWeedFlag

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

Campaign Aims to Stop HIV Together

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

One in Seven Trans People Faced “Conversion”

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

2Dads.JPGSame-sex Fathers Benefit Least

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

Black Queer Women and Resilience

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

Call Issued for Inclusive HIV Research

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



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

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!

GenesMultiple Genes Contribute to Sexual Orientation

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

School Policies Associated with Disparities

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

Treating Cancer among LGBTQ Youth

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

Differences in HIV Testing Rates HIVTest

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

Sexual Minorities and Sexual Assault

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

Defining Bisexuality

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

Trans College Students Face Challenges

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

35,000 Cancer Cases Attributable to HPV

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

New York Officials Condemn Forced Surgery

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

HarvardDocHow to Talk to Your Doc

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

Youth Interventions Need Study

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

Improving Data on Gender Identity

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


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

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://apple.co/2lzs5Ti or on your podcast app of choice. Now available everywhere!


400+ Facilities Get Top Marks

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

How HIV Status Relates to Cancer Outcomes

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

TransHealthStudy.JPGTrans Support Groups Great for Parents, Too

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


Another State Moves for Inclusive Classes

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

Challenges for Trans Men in Pregnancy

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

Impact of Opioid Epidemic on HIV HIV AIDS

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



Transwomen of Color Coming Out Sooner – #LGBTWellness This 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.

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://spoti.fi/2OqsIN1

Trans Women of Color Identifying Earlier TransWOC.JPG

A new study of young transgender women, aged 16-29 found that trans women of color reported earlier experiences with hormone therapy initiation, sexual debut, transfeminine disclosure and identity expression in public, compared to their White counterparts. Researchers said in a press release that the results may reflect the impact of racial discrimination on the community as well as differing norms relating to disclosing identity. The results suggest both elevated risk of acquiring HIV and other STDs among young transgender women of color but also the need for more resources and support.

Med School Experiences and Doctor Bias

Researchers at Yale studied over 2,900 medical students and residents and found that increased positive experiences with LGBT community earlier in their medical career was correlated with decreased bias towards sexual minorities later on in their career. The study reinforces the importance of not just LGBT competency as part of comprehensive medical training but exposure to sexual minority communities during medical training to improve overall doctor-patient relationships.

Knowing Orientation Means More Encouraging Care

A study found that providers were more likely to encourage patients to receive sexual healthcare (like HPV vaccines and STI tests) when they knew their patients sexual orientation, regardless of the orientation reported. It also found that sexual minority patients were more likely to receive such encouragement than were patients with no same-sex partners, with the exception of lesbian women, who were encouraged less than heterosexual women to get HPV vaccines and Pap tests.

Seeking Diverse Study Samples

Researchers explored social media strategies for reaching transgender youth for HIV prevention studies. They found that Craigslist, Facebook, and peer-to-peer referrals were all successful ways of recruiting trans youth, and that Craigslist was especially promising for youth of color – showing that diverse survey samples are not out of reach. Did you know that you can help contribute to diverse health research by participating in the All of Us Research Program campaign?


 Doctors Call Out “Conversion Therapy”

U.S. News reported on a perspective piece from physicians on the dangers of so-called “conversion therapy,” in which one attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. While 18 states have banned the practice on children, none have done so for adults, despite what doctors say are serious health, wellbeing, and socioeconomic problems it can cause.

LGBT Health in the Arab World

Al-Fanar Media reported on the difficulties of getting patients in the Middle East to disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity, given cultural attitudes on LGBT issues, which makes researching the population difficult. Mental health providers were farther along than general healthcare providers at accepting all orientations and gender expressions as being healthy and were more likely to use appropriate pronouns.

Trans Wellness Conference Hits Philly

Metro reported on the world’s largest free, trans-specific event, the Philly Trans Wellness Conference, which drew thousands of trans folks and their allies to Pennsylvania. The annual event includes a track for health and legal professionals, but also offers countless sessions for transgender individuals of all ages to learn about topics that are rarely given attention and to network with people of shared experiences.

Unpacking Private Insurance Data

A new study examined private health insurance data to compare health status outcomes among gender minority individuals. It found that gender minority identity was 8.5 times to also have a mental health diagnosis, 3.4 times as likely to have a substance use disorder, and 1.4 times as likely to have diabetes. The disparities were mostly driven by high rates of these conditions among youth, under 18 years of age.

CondomsMeasuring HIV Prevention Effectiveness

The CDC published a new resource that compares the effectiveness of various HIV prevention options among different sub-populations, including men who have sex with men and transgender women. They found that, for example, “consistent use” of condoms during sex was 63-91% effective for HIV prevention among men who have sex with men, whereas oral daily PrEP was about 99% effective among this same population.

Mental Health of Cancer Survivors

Researchers found that limited information is available on the mental health of sexual minority cancer survivors. Of all published medical literature, only twelve studies met their criteria and compared sexual minority and heterosexual survivors’ mental health. While the studies did not find significant differences for women, they did show sexual minority men to face increased risk of depression, distress, and anxiety compared to heterosexual male survivors.

Happy Health Center Week! NatHealthCenterWeek

The National LGBT Health Education Center marked National Health Center Week by sharing recently-added webinars like how to better care for sexual minority women and navigate insurance issues for transgender patients. Health Center Week is designed to recognize the role that health centers play in bringing care to under served groups, including LGBT folks.

Gender Equity and Public Health

The Lancet editorialized that ending the HIV epidemic will require ending gender inequity, too. They note that factors like stigma facing transgender people and sexual assault risk among women limit the effectiveness of HIV prevention strategies, and they call for laws protecting these populations and health programs that help empower them.


Update: Puerto Rico – Two Years Later

Last year CenterLink was able to provide support to our LGBTQ+ friends in Puerto Rico after the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Since then CenterLink member Waves Ahead has continued to work to rebuild the homes of the many LGBTQ+ individuals impacted by the storm.

Below is an update from Waves Ahead staff and volunteers.

Thanks to all our incredibly generous friends at CenterLink, The Community of LGBT Centers, and our friends in the diaspora and beyond, Waves Head in Puerto Rico has been able to rebuild more than 19 homes during the Reconstruye Q Project and continues to help individuals and families living in the affected areas of Humacao, Toa Alta, Toa Abaja, Carolina, San Juan, Yabucoa, and Vieques.

If you are interested in supporting the Reconstruye Q Project, please Give HERE 


During the first 60 days, after the Hurricane Maria catastrophic event, Waves Ahead was able to provide more than 378 individuals and 63 families – 51 children under the age of 16 – with food, drinking water, and their essentials for survival.  Since then we have continued to provide aid to more than 1,140 individuals.

Unfortunately the situation in Puerto Rico remains very difficult almost a year and a half after Maria & Irma devastated our island. To make matters worse, LGBTQ+ communities in Puerto Rico often face even a more dire situation due to increased stigma, bias, and overall denial of help and funds by the government.

For that reason, Waves Ahead, with the help of CenterLink and our diaspora, continues to fight the good fight. In fact, our next Reconstruye Q Project effort led by Waves Ahead began May 11, 2019. We still need your help to fulfill our mission of rebuilding homes for LGBTQ+ people and their families in Puerto Rico. This is a unique project that specifically focuses on LGBTQ+ communities. Waves Ahead is on the front line meeting the needs of LGBTQ+ people in Puerto Rico who are less likely to receive FEMA or local government aid to rebuild their home and lives.

With your support, we plan to finish our Reconstruye Q Project by November 2019. There are only 2 homes left to be completed! The good news is YOU CAN HELP by donating today to support the rebuilding efforts. There is so much work yet to be done, and we will not stop until every LGBTQ+ person in Puerto Rico has what they need to rebuild, to be healthy, and more importantly, to live their lives with dignity, justice, and support!

There are 2 homes left to be completed:

Arturo’s home, $16,000 – Toa Baja

Irma’s home, $15,000 – Yabucoa

If you are interested in supporting their efforts, please Give HERE

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please email waves@wavesahead.org


#LGBTWellness News – And a Podcast, Too!

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

Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://spoti.fi/2OqsIN1

MAPDisabilitiesLGBT People with Disabilities

Movement Advance Project marked the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by sharing a report on LGBT people with disabilities. They estimate that 3 to 5 million LGBT people in the U.S. have disabilities, and explore the challenges this population has in accessing healthcare, education, jobs, and even LGBT spaces.

Peer-to-peer Intervention Connects to Care

An NIH-funded study found that HIV treatment services for same gender-loving men and transgender women who are not currently connected with care, can increase engagement in medical care. The study used peer-to-peer recruitment of people living with HIV with unsuppressed viral loads. Most, 91% of participants were retained in care after 12 months, by which time almost half had reached viral suppression.

Neurologist Readiness for LGBT Patients

Neurology Today reported on a survey of members of the American Academy of Neurology, which found that more than 8 in 10 neurologists (84%) said they know that LGBT people face health disparities. However, only one-third said they would tailor care for LGBT people, despite what the study’s author says are clear links between LGBT identities and neurological conditions.

Health Centers Release Data

Fenway Institute published a study of LGBT patients of health centers, which have just begun to report on sexual orientation and gender identity. Less than 4% (3.7%) of patients identified as a sexual minority and 0.4% identified as transgender, but data was missing from more than half of patients. The missing data seemed to highlight the importance of health centers creating welcoming environments and having culturally competent staff.


Research for All of Us

On the subject of increasing data, the All of Us campaign uploaded new videos encouraging folks to sign up to participate in this nationwide effort to collect inclusive health data. These include a new video on the benefits of participating in All of Us. The campaign has been conducting heavy outreach to the LGBT community, who have often been left out of research.

LGBT Adults Face Cognitive Decline with Aging

Researchers found that LGBT adults are at higher risk for cognitive decline than were their non-LGBT peers, in a new study reported at an international Alzheimer’s conference. The study of over 44,000 adults found that 14% of LGBT folks aged 45-plus had significant cognitive decline, compared to 10% of non-LGBT individuals. While the source of this disparity is unknown, it may be due to factors like stress, depression, and reduced healthcare access.

LGBTBirthControlBirth Control for Trans and Nonbinary Folks

Vogue published a guide to accessing and understanding birth control for transgender and nonbinary folks. Among their tips: you deserve a knowledgeable and affirming provider, even if they’re hard to find; being on hormones does not mean that you can stop taking birth control if you wish to avoid pregnancy; and ask for the help you need in the process.

Progress Report on Inclusive Data

The Nation’s Health reported on the progress of the All of Us campaign, a nationwide effort to improve health data on underrepresented communities, that recently marked its one-year anniversary. So far, over 192,000 people have started the process of signing up; the campaign’s goal is 1 million. The campaign includes an LGBT-focused component, in which LGBT HealthLink, a program of CenterLink, serves a partner in increasing LGBT health data.

Understanding Risks Post-HPV Vaccine

A new study found that queer young men who are living with HIV generally had appropriate risk assumptions after getting a first round vaccination for HPV. On average, they understood that the HPV vaccine reduced their risk for that particular virus, while not reducing the risk for other STIs or the need to use condoms, although some still needed further education.

LGBT-focused Addiction Programs Nearly Nonexistent

Behavioral Healthcare Executive published an interview with the board president of NALGAP, the Association of LGBT Addiction Professionals and Their Allies. They discuss that while 854 recovery agencies nationwide claim they have LGBT programming, only 62 actually did offer such programs upon investigation, suggesting a huge gap in truly affirming and tailored care.

New Guide Promotes Cervical Cancer Screening FenwayCervCanScreen

The Fenway Institute published a guide to promoting cervical cancer screening among transgender men and other transmasculine individuals. They note that while the vast majority of transgender men are still at risk for cervical cancer, far fewer receive a Pap test than do their cisgender female peers. The report explains that low levels of provider knowledge and patient comfort help to explain the disparity, which can be reversed with education.

Coming Soon: Inclusive Filters?

Prevention.com shared a newly-launched campaign to get websites that commonly connect people to healthcare providers – like ZocDoc and Yelp – to offer a button or filter to show LGBT-inclusive providers. The author says that LGBT people have different health risks and needs, and that their health and wellbeing depend on them finding a competent provider.


#LGBTWellness Podcast Now Available!

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



Now you can HEAR your Weekly Wellness Roundup, too! Listen to our weekly podcast here: https://spoti.fi/2OqsIN1



PrEP Use Varies Greatly by Race, Ethnicity

Researchers with the CDC found that knowledge and use of PrEP (the HIV prevention treatment) grew significantly between 2014 and 2017 among urban men who have sex with men. Those aware of PrEP climbed from 60% to 90% during this time, while usage jumped from 6% to 35%. However, men of color – who are more at risk for HIV – were less likely than White men to use PrEP, and for Black men, this was true even after controlling for factors like income and region .

“Microdosing” Grows More PopularMicrodosing

NBC News reported on the growing number of nonbinary individuals who are seeking low doses of hormones to help them achieve a more androgynous appearance. Little research has been done on the practice, known as microdosing, as studies have mostly focused on using hormones to achieve characteristics along binary, male-female  .

Queer Women at Risk for Binge Drinking

Researchers found that sexual minority women were more likely than other women to report binge drinking at 2 or 3 times the standard “cut-off” level for safe consumption, according to national data. On the other hand, sexual minority men were only as or less likely than other men to report such drinking. The results suggest sexual minority women are especially in need of intervention to prevent or respond to binge drinking .

Exploring Cancer Care for Trans Patients

Oncology Nurse Advisor explored the needs of transgender people with respect to cancer care. While noting that data is limited because it is not collected in national cancer registries, they say that transgender people may not always be aware of the risks they face, and neither are their providers – making them less likely to undergo potentially life-saving screenings. The article calls for more training and the creation of more welcoming, affirming medical environments.

BiFlag2Behavioral Health among Bi and Gay Adults

A study found that bisexual individuals faced higher levels of major depressive episodes than did both their heterosexual peers and their gay and lesbian peers, with lifetime prevalence of 30.8% among bisexual men and 35.8% of bisexual women. The study also looked at alcohol and illicit drug abuse or dependency, in which bisexual women had the highest rates .

Queer Women’s Fund a National First

The Bay Area Reporter shared that California has just established a $17.5 million Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women’s Health Equity Fund. The new fund – passed in the state’s annual budget and the first of its kind in the nation – will provide a new, dedicated funding opportunity to service providers interested in advancing queer women’s health in the Golden State.