Weekly Wellness Resolutions – Have You Kept Yours?

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.



Keeping Your New Year’s Smoking Resolution

CNN reported that quitting smoking – while a popular New Year’s resolution – is also one of the hardest to keep. With LGBT adults smoking at a 50% higher rate than other adults, many queer folks may be facing this challenge as 2017 rolls along. You can find helpful apps and advice, tailored to the LGBT community, here.


Marijuana Tied to More Partners Among Youth LGBTYouth

Researchers found that marijuana use among LGB youth was associated with increased odds of having multiple sexual partners, something that is considered a risk factor for contracting sexually transmitted infection among youth. The research also showed that LGB youth were more likely than heterosexual youth to be using marijuana throughout the course of the study.


Transgender Health Protections Halted

A federal judge halted protections for transgender people in healthcare from taking effect, putting into jeopardy one of the Obama administration’s key measures in support of LGBT equality, as well as a significant-if-under-reported aspect of the Affordable Care Act. Advocates say the protections are essential to ensuring transgender people can access healthcare services.


advocateAdvocate Offers HPV 101

The Advocate opined that HPV is an under-discussed topic in the LGBT community, which suffers from the disease but is often not targeted for prevention by public health efforts. There are many strands of HPV which have different levels of consequences, with the worst closely linked to cancer. Smoking and concurrent HIV infection can also increase risks with HPV.


How to Improve Data on Queer Health

Researchers published a comprehensive report on incorporating measures of sexual orientation into public health surveys conducted by the government. While things have improved in recent years, data on sexual orientation (and gender identity) often goes uncollected – leaving the public without solid data on many aspects of queer health.


Community Centers Step Up Aging Support logo-transparent-250-250

The Miami Herald reported on the issue of LGBT aging in South Florida, a region known for both its queer community and its popularity among older adults. They report that many LGBT community centers are trying to provide support as their constituents age, seeming to help fill the role that senior centers hold for the general population.


This Week’s Wellness Roundup Mourns The Loss of a Princess

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.



Galaxy’s Favorite Princess Passes

Carrie Fisher – a lifelong friend to the queer community and fierce fighter against mental health stigma – passed away at the age of 60. Fisher, best known as portraying Princess Leia in the Star Wars saga, became a hero of mental health advocates when she spoke out about living with bipolar disorder. LGBT folks face huge disparities in mental health conditions (and stigma).


Benefits of Being Out to Your Doctor 

Researchers found that queer women were 3.6 times more likely to have had a breast exam in the last two years if their provider knew their sexual orientation. In contrast, gender-nonconforming women were less likely to get screened when they perceived stigma or discomfort from their providers, underscoring the importance of inclusive care in preventing cancer.



New Data on HIV in Trans Communities

The first-ever national analysis of HIV in transgender communities found that most new cases occurred among Black/African Americans, with Hispanic or Latino rates also high. The analysis also showed that 15.4% of new cases among transgender individuals were among trans men rather than trans women – surprising given that HIV prevention efforts for trans individuals focus almost exclusively on women.


Targeted HPV Vaccination Likely Beneficial

Researchers in England determined that targeting HPV vaccination towards queer men in select health clinics would reduce HPV rates and be more cost-effective than the status quo, in which vaccine programs generally focus only on cisgender women and leave others out. Queer men have disproportionate rates of the virus, which can cause cancer.


Catholic Groups Challenge Trans Protections

The Washington Post reported that a group of Catholic-affiliated businesses have sued the Obama administration in federal court, saying that recent regulations banning anti-transgender discrimination in healthcare violate their religious freedom. Transgender equality groups argue the protections are vital to reducing widespread disparities in transgender health.


aalesbiansAging Needs of Black Lesbian Women Highlighted

An Atlanta study of lesbian African Americans over age 40 found several themes regarding their needs during the aging process, which largely revolved around the connectedness of care, community, economic interventions, and information. Many women expressed a desire for complementary (also known as “alternative”) medicine focused on holistic wellness.


Your LGBT Wellness Roundup Has This Week’s Top Health News

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.


How Craigslist Could Improve Health Equity

Researchers found that when it comes to recruiting smokers for tobacco control studies, LGB smokers were more likely than other smokers to respond to Craigslist and Facebook ads. This may be key in improving queer inclusion in research, which in turn can mean better-tailored interventions and more funding for those working with LGBT individuals.


Survey Reveals Big News on Trans Population gender

A study of public health data nationwide revealed that .53% of the population is transgender, representing about 1 in 200 U.S. adults. Trans individuals are more likely to be non-white, living in poverty, and without a college degree than are other adults, suggesting the potential for intersectional discrimination based on minority and low-income statuses. Additionally, trans people were just as likely as others to live in rural areas, as well as to be married.


LGB Folks Face Incarceration Disparities

Researchers found that the proportion of LGB people who are incarcerated is three times that of the overall adult population, with queer women facing particularly stark disparities: 42.1% of women in prison were sexual minorities. LGB sexual minorities were also more likely to be sexually victimized while incarcerated as well as to face solitary confinement.



Fertility Preservation Triggers Dysphoria in Trans Men

A study of Swedish trans men found that freezing one’s eggs to preserve fertility could be a stressful experience and negatively impact gender dysphoria, as the procedure is closely tied to a female identity. The procedure, which is also sometimes used by trans patients with cancer to preserve fertility, was manageable with social supports and other coping strategies.


Demand Surges for Care for Trans Youth

STAT reports that demand is rising for gender identity-related care for transgender youth, including everything from counseling to hormone therapy to surgery. Lack of research, discrimination, and insurance policies were all cited as barriers for youth seeking care.


vanderbiltBig Study Coming on Impact of LGBT Laws

Vanderbilt University announced a $400,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the impact of LGBT-related laws and policies, including marriage equality, on queer health. The project is expected to last two years.


See What’s Cookin’ in This Week’s Wellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.



A Look Inside Queer Women’s Kitchens

A long-running study of nurses nationwide found that lesbian and bisexual women have higher diet quality than heterosexual women, despite previous research showing they are more likely to be overweight. Lesbian women also had lower caloric intake than did heterosexual women. This may mean that factors besides diet (such as exercise level) account for sexual minority women having higher rates of being overweight.


wadRacial Disparities Highlighted on World AIDS Day

On World AIDS Day, NBC News reported that a national nonprofit launched a training platform for healthcare providers to improve services for black men who have sex with men – half of whom are expected to get a positive HIV diagnosis during their lifetime. Relatedly, a qualitative study of black men who have sex with men found that a majority miss the opportunity to discuss safe sex with new partners, and that many had these talks only after becoming involved.


States Seek to Punish People Living with HIV

Meanwhile, the Movement Advancement Project released a report showing 38 states have laws that criminalize the potential transmission of HIV – or activities thought to pose a risk of transmission but that don’t, like spitting. Another six states do not have a specific law, but have nonetheless prosecuted people living with HIV under other laws for risking transmission.


Trans, Bi Folks Have Unmet Mental Health Needs

Researchers found that trans individuals were 2.4 times more likely, and bi- and pansexual women 1.8 times more likely, to have an unmet need for mental healthcare than were cisgender, heterosexual women. Lesbian and other queer women, in contrast, did not have a significant difference with heterosexual women. Trans people also reported more untreated depression.


Making Paid Leave Policies Queer-Friendly parents

The Center for American Progress published a guide how to make policies allowing paid leave from work fair for LGBT people. While LGBT people are more likely to need such policies due to health disparities, they are less likely to benefit if policies are narrowly aimed at nuclear families or apply only to those with legal relationships.



Weekly Wellness News – Surgeon General Says LGBTQ Youth Should Be A Priority. We Think So, Too.

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.


Surgeon General: E-Cigs a Risk for Queer Youth sgr

The U.S. Surgeon General released a report finding that e-cigarettes have become the number one tobacco product among youth, and suggesting that LGBT youth should be a priority in research and monitoring. Previous research has shown that LGB youth are 25 percent more likely to use e-cigarettes than are other youth, a scary fact as little is known about their long-term dangers.


At-Risk Black/AA Men Favor Riskier Vids

A study found that 78.7 percent of queer, HIV-negative Black/African American men prefer to watch sexually-explicit material with condomless versus condom-inclusive sex. Men who had a low perception of the risks involved in sex and those who themselves engaged in risk behaviors (including alcohol and drug use) were more likely to hold this viewing preference. Other research has shown that what queer men view in explicit videos impacts how they behave in real life.


nashvilleCountry Music TV Joins Fight for Equality

NBC News reports that nearly 200 businesses in Tennessee are uniting to oppose anti-LGBT legislation, and that the businesses include Country Music Television among other local and national heavy-hitters. The movement is a response to a bill passed earlier this year that will, stunningly, allow mental health providers to refuse to treat queer patients.



Trans Iowans Struggle to Access Care

The Des Moines Register reports that transgender Iowans have seen progress but still face major hurdles in accessing care in a state that has banned Medicaid from covering gender-affirming surgery and that has allowed insurance companies to exclude transgender-related care. Planned Parenthood and the University of Iowa are named as those leading the way for trans patients.


A Safer Cigarette? It’s a Trap!

Researchers found that most smokers of Natural American Spirit cigarettes – which brand themselves as “natural” and “organic” –erroneously believe the brand is healthier than other cigarettes. Furthermore, LGB people were more than twice as likely to smoke this brand as were others, suggesting queer smokers may be especially susceptible to the brand’s implied and shady claims.


If You Are Still Smoking with HIV – You Are Not Alone. Weekly Wellness Right Here.

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak, bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.



Smoking, Poverty, and HIV

Researchers found that queer men living with HIV were more likely to be persistent smokers over a two-year period if they were low-income, suggesting that smoking is related to intersectional disparities based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and economic position. Men whose partners were smokers were also more likely to be persistent smokers themselves.


Trans Survey Shows Serious Disparities

The National Center for Transgender Equality released a report based on its survey of 27,000 trans people, and found that in the past year 23% had put off healthcare out of fear of transphobia while 33% had at least one bad experience with providers. HIV remained a major problem in some subgroups, with almost 1 in 5 black trans women reporting that they are living with HIV. Meanwhile, 40% of all respondents had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.


rainbowhhsHHS Highlights Health Advancements

The Department of Health and Human Services released a report highlighting its work to advance health equity for LGBT individuals, including implementing the nondiscrimination provision for trans individuals, creating a new Senior Adviser for LGBT Health, and naming LGBT individuals as an official priority population with NIH.


Preventing Cancer in Queer Patients

Researchers published a guide on preventive and primary care for LGB patients, and pointed out that while there is limited data on things such as cancer rates, the fact that queer folks have higher risks like smoking and depression should put providers on notice. They also note that lower rates of cancer screenings and HPV vaccination may increase the queer cancer burden.


Arkansas Court Permits Same-Sex Exclusion arkansas

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the state Department of Health could continue denying same-sex partners from both getting listed on the birth certificates of their children, which are currently limited to a “mother” and a “father.” The case could now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in a test of how far their previous marriage equality ruling should extend.


Protecting LGBT Folks from Discrimination

Relatedly, the Center for American Progress published a report on how advocates can continue to pursue equality across the country, and why it matters for improving the lives (and health) of queer individuals.


Weekly Wellness Roundup – There’s An App For That!

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit the page dedicated to the topic here.


Should HIV Testing Be Offered At Schools?

A study of young queer men of color found that nearly two-thirds would get tested for HIV in school if it was offered, and one-third said that this option would increase their overall likelihood of getting tested. In-school testing could remove barriers that the youth identified, like having the time and money to travel to a clinic, and keeping testing hidden from parents.

Queer Men Unaware of HPV Risk

A study of queer young men found that even those who had been vaccinated for HPV knew little about it, thought it was mostly for women and underestimated the risk of HPV. Some worried that seeking the vaccine would make them look promiscuous or out them as queer. “If there was more education about it,” one participant suggested, “it won’t be as taboo.”

Youth Keen on Cessation App smokefree3

Queer Canadian youth said in a new study that they would like a culturally-tailored phone app to help them quit smoking, especially if it was tailored to the LGBTQ community and connected to social media like Facebook. Participants also said they would like the app to have distractions to keep them from smoking and offer rewards to keep them motivated.

Here in the U.S., smokefree.gov offers text messaging programs tailored for all individuals. Check it out here

Four in Ten Miss Mammography Guidelines

A Seattle nonprofit found that only 60 percent of LGBT people age 50-74 had their recommended mammogram in the last two years, compared to 76 percent of the overall population. Eighty-three percent of trans men and 67 percent of gender-nonconforming people cited lack of cultural sensitivity from providers as a reason for avoiding screenings, while half of trans women cited not knowing the guidelines.


pcnaPediatrics Journal Highlights Queer Health

A special LGBT issue was released from the journal Pediatric Clinics of North America, featuring lots of great research on caring for queer youth. For example, one article seeks to educate providers about how to diagnose and treat gender incongruence, while another explains the role that clinicians can play in addressing anti-LGBT bullying.

New Laws Something to Spit At?

HIV advocates in Australia condemned recent laws (which also appear in many U.S. states) in which people who spit at police officers have to undergo mandatory HIV testing. Advocates say that spitting presents “practically zero” risk of HIV transmission, and that the laws perpetuate unfounded stereotypes.


Beauty Tips from Miss Alyssa Edwards and More from this week’s LGBT Wellness Roundup

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit the page dedicated to the topic here.



Drag Queen Schools Public on Smoking

This Free Life, the anti-smoking campaign for LGBT youth, launched a series of web videos on beautology – that is, “the science of everyday pageantry” – taught by drag queen Alyssa Edwards. Viewers are urged to maximize their flawlessness by avoiding the physical damage caused by smoking, which queer youth do at a 33% higher rate than their peers.


What Protects At-Risk Youth from HPV?

A study of at-risk youth, about half of whom were LGBT, found that only 8% of males and 30% of females had initiated the HPV vaccine, which can prevent cancer. Youth were more likely to do so if they had an annual medical exam, another vaccination, or (among women) a Pap or STI test, which shows the importance integrating HPV vaccination into routine visits.


Bad News, Good News on Gender-Affirming Care mn

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced it was canceling recent plans to cover gender-affirming surgeries for transgender veterans, citing concerns over funding. On the other hand, a Minnesota court overturned that state’s ban on gender-affirming surgery for participants in its Medicaid program, saying it violated equal protection of the law.


Bisexual Stress Compounds Disparities

A study found that stress related to being bisexual predicted poorer physical health, “above and beyond” that caused by sexual minority stress in general. The discovery may help explain why bisexual folks tend to have worse health than other queer individuals. Surprisingly, bisexual cisgender men had less bisexuality-related stress than did their trans and cisgender female peers.


savetatasQueer Women Have Heightened Breast Cancer Risk

Researchers found that while there is insufficient data on whether sexual minority women have higher breast cancer incidence, there is ample evidence that they are at increased risk. Higher rates of smoking, obesity, and alcohol use all point to higher breast cancer risk, and lower rates of healthcare use which may hinder effective screening. Stay healthy and get screened!


Key Differences Found in LGBT Asylum Seekers

A study found that compared to others seeking asylum, LGBT asylum seekers were more likely to have experienced sexual violence, childhood persecution, and persecution by their own family, as well as to have suffered from suicidal ideation. Queer asylum seekers may need tailored interventions to heal from these particular kinds of trauma.


Fresh LGBT Wellness News for your Holiday Week

Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit the page dedicated to the topic here.


Telemedicine Aids Trans Patients

The San Francisco Chronicle reported an uptick in popularity for TransLine, a service that allows doctors nationwide to ask clinical experts for help with trans patients. The volunteer-run service is helping trans individuals get quality care when their local doctor may not have experience in trans health.


More Evidence of Queer Smoking Disparities  stopsmoking

Government researchers found that while national smoking rates declined from 21% a decade ago to 15% today, rates among LGB individuals remain high. 19.8% of lesbian and bi women smoke cigarettes, compared to 13.4% of heterosexual women, while 21.5% of gay and bi men smoke, compared to 16.6% of heterosexual men. Factors like being uninsured and having higher levels of psychological distress were also associated with smoking, and are more common among the LGBT community.


Trans Stress, Resilience Following Election

A leading crisis hotline for trans individuals reported “a record number of calls” following Tuesday’s election, amid uncertainty as to what would happen to recent Obama administration policies prohibiting trans discrimination in healthcare and schools. Trans advocates, however, vowed to push forward on equality measures with the new administration.


stress4 in 10 Experience Stigma – and Have Higher HIV Risk

A study of men who have sex with men found that 41% had experienced at least one, two or all three of the enacted stigma – discrimination, harassment, or assault – based on their sexual orientation in the past year. Moreover, all these experiences were associated with having higher risk factors for HIV infection, such as having condomless sex and more sexual partners, suggesting stigma may contribute to HIV risk.


Minority Stress Linked to Partner Violence

A study found that among gay and bi men in Atlanta, experiencing intimate partner violence was correlated with encountering homophobic discrimination, internalized homophobia, and racism. Young men aged 18-24 were most likely to both experience and perpetuate partner violence, with rates dropping considerably among older age groups.



Bisexual Older Adults Face Worse Health

Researchers found that bisexual older adults face worse health than their lesbian and gay peers. The differences were explained by factors like more internalized stigma, less social support, and lower socioeconomic status, suggesting that improving the health of bi older adults may require addressing underlying social stigma and discrimination.


New Tobacco Infographic Shows Impact on Disparity Populations

Regina R. Washington, DrPH, Director, LGBT HealthLink

Facts at a glance from Achieving Health Equity in Tobacco Control


Fort Lauderdale, FL, November 16, 2016 – LGBT HealthLink worked in collaboration with our Sibling National Disparity Networks to create a tool that would provide a fast way to convey how tobacco, the cause of one third of all cancers, has a disproportionate impact on disparity populations. The resulting infographic will aid health officials, health providers, as well as decision makers to highlight pertinent information on the key tobacco related disparities, broaden understanding, and promote ideas for action.

“We hope that this tool will empower our stakeholders to draw attention to key tobacco disparities about each of these priority populations around the nation” stated, Regina R. Washington, LGBT HealthLink Director.

Our Collaborators: National African American Tobacco Prevention Network, National Native Network, The RAISE Network, Nuestras Voces, National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco and Cancer, Geographic Health Equity Alliance, and SelfMade Health Network.

Please feel free to contact LGBT HealthLink for more information, and to share this infographic widely to motivate your grantees to build disparity population engagement in their daily activities.

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LGBT HealthLink, a program of CenterLink, links people and information to spread LGBT wellness best practices across state departments of health, federal decision makers, and community organizations. We are one of 8 CDC-funded tobacco and cancer disparity networks. www.lgbthealthlink.org.

LGBT HealthLink is supported by Grant Number 5 NU58DP004996-03-00 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

CenterLink was founded in 1994 as a member-based coalition to support the development of strong, sustainable LGBT community centers. A fundamental goal of CenterLink’s work is to help build the capacity of these centers to address the social, cultural, health and political advocacy needs of LGBT community members across the country. CenterLink continues to play an important role in addressing the challenges centers face by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity, access public resources and engage their regional communities in the grassroots social justice movement. http://www.lgbtcenters.org/