#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.



#LGBTWellness News Celebrates World Cup Soccer

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


Queer Community Scores at World Cup

NBC News reported on the impact of more “out” lesbian women in this year’s Women’s World Cup, in which the U.S. team alone has five out players as well as a lesbian coach. In total, the number of queer participants doubled from the 2015 to 2019 Cup . Experts say that this visibility is important for queer youth, who still have few role models in athletics and of whom only 24% play a sport, compared to 68% of youth overall.

More than 8 in 10 Trans Youth Bullied

Researchers found that 86.5% of transgender and nonbinary youth aged 16-25 had experienced bullying, and that the most common setting for this treatment was in school. Transgender and nonbinary youth who were assigned female at birth were more likely than those who were assigned male at birth to experience bullying, which had significant mental health effects.

HIV-HPV Data Inconclusive

A study explored the intersection between HIV and HPV, in which people living with HIV are at higher risk for HPV as well as for the cancers that HPV can cause. Unfortunately, the report found that evidence is inconclusive on how best to provide HPV vaccination to people living with HIV, and concludes that clinical studies testing various vaccine regimes are needed.


Scientific American explored how to tackle unconscious bias towards LGBT folks in science and technology (STEM) fields, which are critical in addressing LGBT health disparities. The article cites studies finding that LGBT people are underrepresented in STEM jobs and as research grantees, and that 70% of out STEM faculty report being uncomfortable in their environment.

School Hopes to Be Leader in South

Texas A&M announced that they will try to be the first institution in Texas to formally incorporate an LGBT health curriculum into its health degrees, an initiative led by its new Center for LGBT Health Education. The university said that given the high level of disparities facing the community, more is needed than just isolated research and sharing of best practices.

Best Practices for Improving Trans Care TransBandaid

A new study reviewed best practices on providing care for transgender patients, including providing hormone therapy, understanding options for surgery, and inclusively collecting data on gender identity in medial records. The lead author said that increasing competency widely in the medical field will reduce the need for transgender people to need highly specialized providers.

Beware of This Cancer Myth

BBC reported on what health experts are saying is a “dangerous myth” – that sexual minority women are not at risk for cervical cancer and do not need to get tested. The British healthcare system is warning women to get tested after a survey found that 29% of queer women falsely felt they were at reduced or no risk for the disease, which also impacts transgender and nonbinary people with cervixes.

More Than Half Haven’t Been Tested

The CDC recognized National HIV Testing Day with a theme entitled “Doing It My Way” that highlighted personal motivations for getting tested and options for doing so, including the growingly popular option of home testing. They also released a study finding that 60% of the population has never had an HIV test, and that 70% of those at higher risk had not had a test within the past year.

Parent-child Talks Are Complicated

A new study examined the experiences of gay and bisexual young men in talking about their identities and sexual health with their parents. The study found that even when parents tried to have affirming discussions, they were complicated by factors like siblings, the media, and religion.

LGBT Report Updated

LGBT organizations led by Movement Advancement Project published a second edition of the report, Understanding Issues Facing LGBT People in the U.S., to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. They share that not only do LGBT people score lower on an overall wellbeing index than do others (average score of 58 versus 62, respectively), but they score even lower on factors including physical health (26 versus 33).

How We Can Address Disparities

Futurity published an interview with Professor Julia Raifman, a leading LGBT health researcher, on how disparities in the community can best be addressed, including by addressing discrimination as an underlying cause for many health problems. Raifman says that increasing data on LGBT disparities inspired her to get involved in this work.

AOU Pride Poster


Do you want to inspire researchers and reduce inequities, too? Check out the All of Us initiative, with which LGBT HealthLink is proud to serve as a partner, and help contribute to a groundbreaking effort to increase health data on our communities.


Improving Women’s Health by Reforming Healthcare

Center for American Progress published a report on how reforming the payment and delivery system in the U.S. healthcare market could improve health outcomes for women. This includes sexual and gender minority women, who they note may especially benefit due to higher needs for mental healthcare in particular, and their increased likelihood of facing discrimination.



LGBTQ Youth Mental Health Survey Results Are In – #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.

TrevorSurvey.JPGNational Survey Explores Mental Health

The Trevor Project released its inaugural, national survey of LGBTQ youth mental health. They found that almost four in ten (39%) LGBTQ youth had seriously considered suicide within the past twelve months. The number was even higher for transgender and nonbianry youth, of whom more than half expressed such thoughts. Slate delved into the results and some of the causes for the disparities, including conversion therapy and discrimination.

New Recommendations on HIV, PrEP

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force published updated recommendations on HIV screening, which noted the significant decrease in risk of transmission among those who test positive and get on treatment. They also released recommendations for the provision of PrEP, for which they said evidence was strong that it can help prevent transmission among those high at risk.

Policies Could Mean Discrimination

JAMA published an article exploring how the expansion of religious conscience policies, which allow healthcare providers and facilities to object to providing services they find immoral, could impact the LGBTQ community’s access to healthcare. The author says that LGBTQ people could be completely turned away, which might be especially problematic in rural areas with few options.

LGBTQ Wellbeing in U.S. Territories LGBTPolicySpotlight.JPG

Movement Advancement Project released a report on the status of LGBTQ rights in the U.S. territories. Puerto Rico scored relatively well on having LGBTQ-inclusive policies, with a similar score to the state of Maine, while the territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands all faired poorer; for example, only Puerto Rico was above average when compared to U.S. states in terms of LGBTQ healthcare equality.

Supportive Families Mean Healthier Youth

LGBTQ Nation reviewed the latest research on family rejection and acceptance of LGBTQ youth, and found new evidence to support the idea that engaging with families is key for health and human service providers to best assist LGBTQ youth. They also explore how the Family Acceptance Project has broken new ground by training 92,000 family members on LGBTQ inclusion.

Celebrate Pride By Learning More

The National LGBT Health Education Center announced a series of new webinars coinciding with the conclusion of Pride Month. Topics include caring for sexual and gender minority women, the latest developments regarding PrEP and STI prevention, and improving sexual health among youth.

(webinars are available on demand)

LBG Folks at Risk for Diabetes

A new study found that people who had same-sex attraction, orientation, or behavior as adolescents and adults, or just as adults, were at higher risk than their heterosexual peers for diabetes. This association was even stronger for sexual minority women than it was for sexual minority men. Interestingly, individuals who expressed sexual minority identity as adolescents but not as adults were not at higher risk for diabetes as adults.

Queer Girls and Substance Use

Researchers found that sexual majority female adolescents were 400% as likely to engage in substance use as were their heterosexual peers, with disparities present even at age 13. The authors say that the results reaffirm the need to have targeted interventions to prevent substance use initiation among this group, as well as to decrease substance use over time.

Where to Retire Well

Senior Advice reported their take on the best places for LGBTQ folks to retire, based on factors like LGBTQ-inclusive local policies, LGBTQ-friendly community spaces for older adults, and overall cost of living. The cost of living issue in particular may give older LGBTQ adults entering retirement reason to look beyond famously queer hotspots like New York and San Francisco.

Scaling Up HPV Vaccine

A study examined the potential impact of scaling up HPV vaccination among young men who have sex with men from the current vaccination rate of 13% to numbers as high as 80% (the federal government’s goal under Healthy People 2020) or even 100%. Not surprisingly, they found that this would lead to major decreases in oral and anal HPV rates among sexual minority men. Vaccination (compared to condom use) was especially important in preventing oral HPV.

Trans Athlete Profiled

CNN reported on a transgender bodybuilder from Texas who is looking to inspire the trans community by finding success as an athlete, despite the discrimination and stigma he often finds at the gym. He says that getting into fitness helped him feel more affirmed in his identity as a transgender man.

HIV Care Beyond ART

Researchers examined the various ways in which scientists are attempting to achieve sustained HIV remission without the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), which – while increasingly successful – still means patients have to take costly pills daily for life. They say more research and innovation will still be needed to make any of the alternative therapies a reality.


#LGBTWellness and 50 Years of Stonewall Pride

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.Stonewall.png

Happy Pride! As Pride Month wraps up, LGBT HealthLink brings you a special edition of our Wellness Roundup focused on the history and importance of Stonewall and LGBT pride.

Stonewall50 Years of Fighting to Improve Health

The Lancet published an editorial on how 50 years of activism since Stonewall have advanced LGBT health , especially efforts toward addressing the HIV epidemic, but also noted the many challenges that still remain. For example, they note that there will be 7 million LGBT people aged 50-plus in the U.S. by 2030, but cultural competency among older adult service providers remains very limited. Also after exploring the disparities facing LGBT youth and LGBT people of color , there is a great need to keep up the fight to truly achieve equity!

Despite Progress, Bi Visibility Remains Limited BiVis

A new study found that bisexual individuals were far less likely to be fully “out” about their sexual orientation (with 19% reporting this) than were their gay and lesbian peers. Researchers note that while visibility for the bisexual community has increased, many do not come out due to stigma and different feelings and experiences with coming out.

Organization Apologies for Psychoanalytic History

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the American Psychoanalytic Association apologized to the LGBTQ community for its role in the pathologization of LGBTQ identities. Homosexuality and transgenderism were labeled as mental illnesses for decades, and the association says apologies can be important in addressing trauma.

ProudParent.JPGParents Need Time to Take Pride

U.S. News reported on a new study that found it can take time for parents of LGB youth to take pride in their children’s identities. The study found that on average, parents of youth who came out two years prior were still struggling as much as were parents of youth who had just come out. Parents of youth who had come out at least five years ago reported being most comfortable.

How Hiding Identities Impacts Health

Psychology Today published an article on how having to hide a part of your identity, including your sexual orientation or gender identity, can take a toll on your mental health, including by requiring “emotional labor” that can easily grow straining. While combating stigma can be hard, they say that slowly overcoming this and making your identity known to others has a big benefit.

Carrying the Mantle of HIV Advocacy AIDSActUp

Slate explored how the LGBTQ community can carry on the legacy of what HIV advocates have accomplished, beyond ending new HIV transmissions. For example, they say that working towards comprehensive sexual health education for all could help address the rising rates of other STIs, and the community could also help improve health access for other marginalized groups.



CenterLink Partners to End the HIV Epidemic






Janelle Taveras PhD, MPH, Project Administrator LGBT HealthLink at CenterLink

CenterLink’s LGBT HealthLink continues to expand its’ capacity to improve LGBTQ health by focusing on ending the HIV epidemic and reducing HIV-related disparities that affect our diverse communities. HIV is a consequence of intersectionality of multilayered factors which include race/ethnicity, immigration, sexual orientation, gender identity, and others. Knowledge of HIV status and the health of people with HIV vary widely across the US, with Southern states generally behind other regions in some key indicators across the HIV care continuum.  As such, the highest rates of HIV diagnosis in the US are found in its’ Southern region, particularly among Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana (24.9, 22.9 and 22.9 diagnoses per 100,000 people). By the end of 2015, Southern states accounted for approximately 46% of all people with HIV, including an estimated 86% (960,351) of people aware of their infection by the end of 2015.  By 2017, most of these new diagnoses (74%) in the southern US region were people of color. Blacks/African Americans followed by Hispanics/Latinx account for the highest proportion of both new HIV diagnoses and people living with HIV. Blacks/African Americans and Hispanic/Latinx communities accounted for 43% and 16%, respectively, of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas (N= 38,739). Members of sexual or gender minority groups, in addition to racial/ethnic minority groups, result in multilayered factors of HIV susceptibility. Gay and bisexual men account for the largest portion, 67% of new HIV diagnosis in the US and an estimated prevalence of HIV among transgender individuals ranging from 7% to 44%, with increasing estimates among racial/ethnic minorities.

Under the leadership of Dr. Regina Washington, Director of LGBT HealthLink and Development Officer, CenterLink, along with three (3) additional core partners, My Brother’s Keeper, Inc (MBK), University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), Express Personal Health (EPH) Black AIDS Institute (BAI), are the co-recipients of new CDC funding for HIV capacity-building. This funding is aimed at the provision of technical assistance that supports clinical HIV testing and prevention for persons with HIV in the US southern region. Dr. Washington states, “To lead this effort in addressing the HIV epidemic for our national network, CenterLink has on-boarded HIV expert, Dr. Janelle Taveras, as the LGBT HealthLink Project Administrator.” Her more than 13 years of experience in the field of HIV include program planning and implementation, project coordinating, research and evaluation work for several CDC funded HIV/AIDS programs and projects within the Florida Department of Health. She has also been heavily involved in both the local and state Integrated Planning process since 2013 (Broward County and Florida, respectively). Through her work, Janelle has practiced knowledge of HIV epidemiology and surveillance, research and program development and coordination, biomedical interventions, HIV patient care systems, quality improvement, and multifaceted monitoring and evaluation methods. In addition, Janelle has participated in several studies at the AIDS Prevention Program at Florida International University designed to reduce HIV risk behaviors among vulnerable populations of adolescents, severely mentally ill adults, and recovering drug abusers. She has been a guest speaker on the topics of Behavioral Epidemiology, Public Health Surveillance, HIV and Millennials, and Health Equity. Janelle is a double graduate from Florida International University with both a Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology, where her dissertation work was focused on HIV risk behaviors, previous HIV testing, and positivity among Hispanic women tested for HIV in Florida.

As a coalition of over 220 LGBTQ community centers across the United States, CenterLink is well positioned to respond to the HIV epidemic by supporting these centers and addressing the challenges faced by the communities they serve. CenterLink’s mission is to develop strong, sustainable LGBTQ community centers and build a thriving center network that creates healthy, vibrant communities. Providing technical assistance and capacity building around HIV will require the consideration of comprehensive needs of the LGBTQ community. In the provision of holistic services to communities that are at significant risk of acquiring HIV, three issues will be emphasized: 1.) Increased attention and funding to these priority populations, 2.) meaningfully engaging these communities to be a part of the decision-making process, and 3.) utilizing appropriate evaluation indicators to measure progress. The work of this project will support the HIV prevention efforts in serving HIV-negative persons at greatest risk for HIV infection which includes blacks/African Americans; Hispanics/Latinos; all races/ethnicities of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM); people who inject drugs (PWID); transgender persons and other vulnerable populations. CenterLink’s role in this project is imperative in reaching LGBTQ communities that may be at significant risk of acquiring HIV and ensuring equity in HIV prevention services for these respective populations.

For more information:













New Findings on Pan and Trans Smoking – This Week in #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.

RainbowMentalHealthHelp End Mental Health Stigma

HRC explored three ways that anyone can help end the stigma around mental health that often prevents LGBTQ people from getting treated. They suggest providing support for LGBTQ folks who experience bias or bullying, supporting policies that end discrimination, and sharing your story if you have been personally affected.

Trust Deficit in Queer Health

Researchers found that LGB individuals were more likely than their heterosexual peers to seek information about health-related topics, but less likely to do so first with a doctor, and were also less likely to trust health-related information from family or friends. Unfortunately, LGB people were also 2.3 times as likely to be worried about getting cancer, underscoring the need for more trusted sources of information in the community.

New Findings on Pan, Trans Smoking

A new study found that pansexual youth have higher rates of smoking than their gay and lesbian peers, and that pansexual boys in particular reported a high smoking prevalence of 21.6%. Transgender boys also faced disparities, including starting smoking at a younger age than others.

Experiencing Care as a Nonbinary Patient

Rewire published an essay exploring a nonbinary person’s experience getting a Pap smear. The author examines how things like being misgendered by staff and not being able to select one’s gender identity on intake forms impacted their experience. The article also offers recommendations for how providers can improve nonbinary-inclusive care.

HIV Self-test Kits Explored

A study examined the impact of HIV self-test kits – which have been available for years, but are still unpopular among public health programs – in the lives of men who have sex with men. It found that in the months when men used the self-test kit versus going to a clinic to be tested, they reported lower levels of social support, but also seemed to be engaging in more healthy activities. Researchers say this may mean self-test kits can help empower sexual minority men.

Celebrating LGBT Athletes Outsports

Outsports launched a series of articles on LGBTQ athletes, with a new profile out every day in June in celebration of Pride. First in the series: Dr. Tom Waddell, a track athlete who (after competing in the Olympics and getting injured) went on to form the Gay Games in San Francisco in 1982. Today, the Gay Games still support LGBTQ athletes around the world.

Queer Cancer Survivors Face Disparities

Researchers found that female sexual minority cancer survivors had more deficits in access to care than did their heterosexual female counterparts. Among those who faced such problems accessing care, sexual minority women had worse overall physical and mental quality of life. Additionally, sexual minority men who were cancer survivors were more likely to have poor mental quality of life than their heterosexual peers. Read more about cancer survivorship from LGBT HealthLink here.

 What We Know about Transgender Medicare Beneficiaries

A new study found that the number of transgender Medicare beneficiaries, as identified through insurance claims codes, increased from 2,088 individuals in 2010 to 10,242 individuals in 2016, a 390% increase. The biggest spikes were in 2015 and 2016, which coincided with a change in diagnostic codes that allowed more transgender beneficiaries to be identified.

NHTD CDCPreparing for HIV Testing Day

The CDC announced plans to recognize June 27th as National HIV Testing Day, which it says is an important part in ending the HIV epidemic. The CDC has guidelines for organizations that want to plan an event to participate in the day, and also has a searchable map where prospective participants can find a related event near them.


Please join LGBT HealthLink for a very important conversation: Addressing HIV in People of Color Communities: Tips and Tots for LGBTQ Community Centers. Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 12 noon – 1pm ET. Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3556076089623218179

Cyberbullying and Loss of Sleep, Depression

Researchers found that teenagers who experience cyberbullying are more likely than others to experience troubles sleeping, which in turn is associated with increased levels of depression. The results should be of concern to LGBTQ health advocates, given that other research has found higher levels of cyberbullying victimization among sexual and gender minority youth.

 World Health Organization Changes Trans Guidelines

Human Rights Watch reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) has now removed “gender identity disorder” as a mental illness from its guidelines, which has led (intentionally or not) to stigma and discrimination against the transgender population. Instead, “gender congruence” will now be listed underneath the section of the guidelines on sexual health.

How a Legal Defense Can Impact Victimization

Movement Advancement Project published a new map showing the status of laws relating to the “gay/trans panic defense,” which is a legal claim that an attack on an LGBTQ person was justified because the attacker panicked out of homophobic and/or transphobia. LGBTQ advocates say the allowance of such a defense exacerbates the level of hate crimes facing the community.



#LGBTWellness News – How Happy Are We?

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.

RainbowSmilyFaceStudy Assesses Queer Happiness

UNAIDS and the LGBT Foundation announced a new international study on the happiness, quality of life, and sexual practices of LGBT people. They hope that the first-of-its-kind survey will help advocates for LGBT health and equality. The survey is now live for participants to take online.

Low Knowledge on Anal Cancer Risk

Researchers found low levels of awareness of anal cancer and HPV risk among gay and bisexual men, including those living with HIV, despite higher risk in these populations. Fifty-two (52%) of queer men living with HIV and 68% of HIV-negative queer men thought (falsely) they had the same or lower risk than the general population, and few had discussed risks with their doctor.

Time to Talk about Trans Parenthood

NBC News reported on the challenges that transgender people face in getting accurate information about their fertility options. The article profiles a transgender couple in which a man was told he would have to go off hormones for at least 18 months and may never be able to get pregnant – but who was able to do so after 3 months. Transgender health in general, including with respect to fertility, is seldom given attention in medical education.

Cervical Cancer Guidelines Missed

A new study found that sexual minority women had less than half the odds (0.457) of being current with cervical cancer screenings, which facilitates early detection and thus can save lives. Interestingly, the study found that how sexual minority women were identified, for the purposes of collecting the data, played an important role in observing this disparity.

Turning IT into Better Data and Health AOU Pride Poster

NIH announced new research on how to leverage health information technology (IT) to address health disparities, including those faced by sexual and gender minorities. Improving data on our community’s health has been a focus of LGBT HealthLink’s partnership with the national All of Us campaign.

Recognizing Older Adults Month

Movement Advancement Project marked Older Adults Month by sharing research and resources for LGBT older adults. These include a report outlining the needs of the 1.1 million LGBT people aged 65-plus in the U.S. today, and a special analysis of the growing population of bisexual older adults. Yahoo also reported on National LGBT Elders Day.



Higher Risks at School for Trans Teens – #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.

AllGenderDiscrimination Puts Trans Youth at Risk

NBC News reported on findings that transgender and gender-nonbinary youth were more likely to experience sexual harassment and assault if their school did not let them use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding with their gender identity. Thirty-five percent (35%) of students experiencing this discrimination at school had been sexually assaulted or harassed compared to 26% of those who had been permitted access to facilities.

Marriage Equality and Employment

A new study found that as same-sex marriage was implemented across the U.S., same-sex couples were increasingly likely to have both partners employed, and having full-time employment. In total, the author estimates that 160,000 people may have gained employment through cultural and opportunity changes that came with marriage equality.

State Updates Health Education CA BOE

Ed Source reported that the California State Board of Education has approved new health education guidance for teachers that is more LGBTQ-inclusive and scientifically-based. California could now be a leader on inclusive health curricula, although the sexual health components did prove controversial among those who oppose comprehensive education.

HPV and Queer Men

NewNowNext called on queer men to pay more attention to HPV, which is more prevalent among queer men than their heterosexual peers and helps explain why men who have sex with men are at much higher risk for anal cancer than are other men. Vaccination efforts have traditionally targeted girls and young women, but both those gender and age limitations are starting to change as the benefits of the vaccine for adults of all genders are better understood.

Unpacking Sexual Fluidity

ScienceAlert reported on a new study which found high levels of sexual orientation fluidity in adults (especially women) through their twenties. The author suggests that simplistic labels like “gay,” “bisexual,” and “straight” do not truly capture the experience of the large percentage of the population who experiment or question their orientation before settling more permanently.

Dermatology and Trans Health

Healio reported on a new viewpoint piece in JAMA Dermatology that advised dermatologists on how they can contribute to gender-affirming care, specifically through hair reduction services. The authors note that such services are hard to access for many transgender people due to limited coverage by insurance, a lack of transgender healthcare protections, and limited research.

“Treatment as Prevention” Confirmed Successful

Reuters reported on a landmark study of 1,000 same sex, HIV-serodifferent, male couples. Findings demonstrated that persons living with HIV, who followed an HIV treatment regimen, did not transmit the virus to their partners, even without using condoms. The report was heralded by organizations such as UNAIDS, which said the results should decrease stigma and encourage early testing and treatment.

AAFPPhysicians Call for Trans Education, Inclusion

The American Academy of Family Physicians called for more inclusion of LGBT health issues in medical education and residencies. They said that gender-affirming care services, in particular, “are in the scope of family physicians without specialist consult based on informed consent and patient-centered care models.” Supporters highlighted that transgender people should be able to receive all of their standard care “under one roof” and not have to search for a second doctor for their trans-related care needs.

New Findings on Bisexual Youth

A new study found complex disparities related to bisexual youth, when broken down by race and ethnicity. For example, black bisexual youth were actually less at risk for several issues relating to mental health, substance use, and bullying than white bisexual youth. The results suggest the need for varied interventions to support the diversity of the bisexual community.

Transgender Folks and Pap Tests

Researchers examined the motivations and barriers of transgender and genderqueer people, assigned female at birth,  in seeking Pap tests, which screen for cervical cancer. The main facilitating factor was their relationship with a provider, while major barriers included the availability of competent care, distress they experienced in seeking sexual health services, and characteristics of the health care setting.


Marking Mental Health Awareness Month

HRC observed Mental Health Awareness Month, which takes place in May. The goal is to reduce stigma byencouraging more discussions about mental health, especially with LGBTQ youth. HRC noted that while the LGBT community in general is more impacted by mental health issues, subpopulations such as bisexual youth, gender-nonconforming folks, and LGBT people of color are at particularly high risk.

Another New Tobacco Product Approved

CNBC reported that the FDA approved iQOS – a heated tobacco product – for sale in the U.S. Philip Morris International also requested that the FDA deem the product “safer than cigarettes,” a decision the agency has yet to make. LGBT adults and youth are already disproportionately impacted by other tobacco products.



More Data = Better Health Outcomes 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.

Oncologists Report on LGBT Needs CaBPP

Oncology experts presented findings on the need to improve cancer care for LGBT patients. Among the themes: increasing data to improve both for systemic and individual patient outcomes and more resources for cancer survivors. LGBT HealthLink has resources on cancer survivorship and best practices for cancer care, and is partnering with All of Us to increase data.

Study Shines Light on Trans Health

A national study found that transgender folks were more likely than cisgender folks to use cigarettes (19.2% versus 16.3%) and be physically inactive (35% versus 25.6%), and less likely to have health insurance (79.9% versus 85.4%). NBC News covered the study, which its author says is evidence of the need for nondiscrimination protections and broader social acceptance.

Understanding Bi Mental Health

Psychology Today explored new research on bisexual individuals and its implications for mental health practice. For example, addressing internalized biphobia is particularly important, especially for those currently in a heterosexual relationship, while one major study did not show that having LGBT friends (a frequent suggestion of mental health providers) improved mental health.

RainbowTwitterWhat Tweets Say about HPV

Researchers studied social media posts relating to HPV among queer men, who are more at risk than heterosexual men but often not targeted for vaccination. While the messages were mostly positive, they did encounter some negative tweets, a lack of focus on prevention, and a generally low amount of outreach given the potential positive impact of the vaccine in queer communities.

HIV among Marginalized Populations

The CDC reported on an outbreak of HIV in King County, Washington, among women and heterosexual men who inject drugs – a group that is increasingly at risk for the virus, even as LGBT individuals remain disproportionately impacted. Researchers say the outbreak highlights the difficulty in treating marginalized populations, such as those who inject drugs and are experiencing homelessness.


Addressing Insurance for Trans+ Individuals

The Fenway Institute announced a new webinar entitled, “Insurance Considerations for Gender Diverse People.” It will cover the rapidly-developing landscape of insurance options (and potential pitfalls) for transgender and gender nonconforming patients, for whom quality and inclusive insurance is often critical for receiving gender-affirming care.

Weight Status and Risk for Queer Men

Researchers found that while gay and bisexual men had lower average body mass index (BMI) than did heterosexual men, their weight status was more strongly correlated with negative health outcomes like heart disease and diabetes. This means that gay and bisexual men who are overweight face heightened health risks compared to heterosexual men, which may have to do with factors like minority stress.

Supporting Testing for Transgender Individuals

The CDC marked the fourth annual National Transgender HIV Testing Day by releasing social media materials and infographics. They say that 14% of transgender women are living with HIV, however this number is disproportionately comprised of Transgender women of color with 26% being Latinx transgender women and 44% Black transgender women compared to only 7% white transgender women. They also include materials on the negative impact of internalized HIV stigma.

How Pharmacies Can Address Disparities

Chemist & Druggist published a guide on how pharmacy staff can help address LGBT disparities, using such practices as putting up inclusive signs, holding staff trainings on LGBT health, and making sure that customers are not misgendered, as that can contribute to stigma. The article also discusses progress being made in the UK on this issue.

Conversion Therapy Ban Survives SCOTUS Challenge

The Journal News reported that the Supreme Court declined to take up a challenge to the New Jersey law banning so-called conversion therapy on minors. New Jersey was the first state to ban the practice, and as over a dozen states have followed suit, opponents have tried to strike the law as unconstitutional. LGBT health advocates say the practice amounts to child abuse.

Barriers to Fertility Treatment in Trans Youth TransFertility

A new study examined how transgender youth and young adults think about preserving their fertility options. It found that healthcare costs and experiences with gender dysphoria were often barriers to youth who might otherwise want to preserve their ability to pursue biological parenthood in the future. Only 33% of the youth in the study had undergone such treatment.

“Don’t Say Gay” Law Nixed

Care2 reported that Arizona has repealed a law that prevented LGBT health topics from being taught in public schools. LGBT advocates say that the law prevented effective education on topics like HIV and increased stigma facing LGBT students. Only four states actually require LGBT-inclusive health education, with two states also requiring inclusive history curricula.


Our Rural Family – #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.

MAPRuralWe’re Here, We’re Queer – in Rural America

Movement Advancement Project published a report and recommendations on the three million-plus LGBT people who call rural America home. Their recommendations for health providers include collecting data on LGBT status and advocating that the public health system do the same, since data is limited on LGBT folks outside of major cities. They also note that since not everyone can reach an LGBT-specific service, al services must strive to be more inclusive.

New Attempt to Reduce Conversion Therapy

Rolling Stone reported on a bill just filed in Congress that would ban government funding under Medicaid for so-called “conversion therapy” for youth. The widely-discredited practice seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT people, and has been found to cause severe mental health problems. 30 million children nationwide are covered by Medicaid.

Internalizing Invisibility

USA Today published an opinion piece on the dangers of bisexual invisibility and the internalization thereof, which continues despite bisexual folks comprising 5.5% of women and 2% of men aged 18-44. For example, this invisibility may explain why bisexual folks are more likely to experience loneliness and be less likely to utilize LGBT safe spaces.

Better Health for Drug Users Remains Distant Goal

UNAIDS published a new report on improving the health of people who inject drugs, of whom more than half are living with Hepatitis C and one in eight with HIV. A 2016 global UN agreement called for more decriminalization of drug use and better access to services, but the vast majority of countries worldwide are falling short of these goals.

Latinx Health Program Tackles Intersectionalities LaQ

The Austin-American Statesman reported on a new initiative led by AIDS Services of Austin called “La Q.” This program is specifically for Latinx youth ages 18-29 and seeks to address issues of intersectional stigma and discrimination the community faces, such as how to navigate one’s gender identity while also dealing with immigration issues. Bien hecho, Austin!

Women in Health Profession Earn Less

A perspective published by the American Medical Association explored the staggering gender pay gaps in the healthcare profession, in which women physicians and surgeons earn only 71% of what their male counterparts earn nationwide. It’s bad news for LGBT people, both for queer and trans women in the profession and those being served by female professionals, whom one recent study found were much more trans-friendly than their male counterparts.

More Trans Youth Using Military Care

Researchers examined utilization of gender-affirming care among youth receiving military healthcare benefits because of a family member’s service. They found that the number increased from 135 youth in 2010 to 528 youth in 2017, by which time military insurance was covering such care. Interestingly, almost two-thirds (65.1%) of these youth were identified female at birth.


Trevor Project Reports on Bisexual Youth

Trevor Project published a report on bisexual youth, who they say comprise 7% of youth nationwide, compared to just 2% who are gay or lesbian and 4% who are questioning. In the past year, almost half (48%) seriously considered suicide and two-thirds (66%) felt sad and hopeless for at least two consecutive weeks, both higher rates than for gay, lesbian, or heterosexual youth.

Assumptions and Gender Gap in Trans Care

A study of healthcare providers in West Virginia found that more than three in four (76.45%) assumed that they did not have transgender patients, and four in ten (40%) said they would need more education to properly treat transgender patients. There was a big gap between providers who identified as male and female, with male doctors having much more negative opinions of transgender people.

Details on Plan to End HIV

Washington Blade published an exclusive interview with the director of the CDC, who said he is “totally confident” in achieving the recently-announced goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030, which he explains would mean having less than 1 new infection per 100,000 people. $291 million was proposed for the first year of the initiative, with unknown funding moving forward.

New Study on LGBTQ Mental Health

Bay Area Reporter detailed a new statewide survey in California exploring the mental health of LGBTQ adults statewide. It is part of a new project funded by a state mental health commission that was formed by a voter referendum in 2004. Given the size and diversity of California’s population, the results could be of use for addressing LGBTQ mental health nationwide.

MicroAgressMicroaggressions a Workplace Hazard

Forbes explored the dangers to health and well-being of workplace microaggressions: subtle comments that are often unintentional but that reflect a discriminatory bias. For example, misusing someone’s gender pronouns can be a microaggression (or an outright aggression) against a transgender person. Experts say these microaggressions increase stress and anxiety.