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.
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Meeting 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
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.
Play 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.