#LGBTWellness News: Health Providers – Ask About Our Identities!

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Patients Okay Being Asked LGBT Status LGBT Checkbox

Researchers called for better data collection on LGBT people receiving medical care to help fill gaps in our knowledge on health disparities and provide better care. The authors refute common provider concerns about patients being offended by being asked their sexual orientation or gender identity, pointing to myriad studies that have shown patients do not mind being asked.

Advancing Queer Visibility in Public Health

LGBT HealthLink reported on the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Atlanta, where the theme was “Climate Changes Health.” While the sessions on LGBT health disparities were very well attended, the article recommends increasing their visibility at this and other public health conferences, to combat the marginalization the community still faces.

Sexual Fluidity and Mental Health

Researchers found that fluidity of sexual orientation identity was associated with negative mental health outcomes in transgender men and cisgender women, and was associated with more problems that fluidity in sexual attractions. Additionally, transgender men were more likely than cisgender people to experience such fluidity in sexual orientation identity, putting them at risk.

Birth Certificate Changes Prove Popular

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that transgender people in Oregon are already using a law that took effect on January 2nd that makes it easier to change one’s gender marker on their birth certificate. A transgender woman who updated her certificate noted the need to have it match her true gender to be able to access insurance, gain employment, and avoid discrimination.


Skyping Your Way to Safer Sex

A Seattle-based study tested using telehealth (such as meeting a physician by videoconference) to administer PrEP, the HIV prevention treatment, and found such a system to be a feasible and promising means of increasing uptake of PrEP in hard-to-reach communities. Researchers also found that more work was needed to ensure patients are not lost during follow-up.

State Officials: LGBT Folks a Priority Population

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials released an infographic on how states should be tackling tobacco-related disparities. One of their recommendations: identifying LGBT people (along with people of color and others) as priority populations. The infographic shows the need to tailor interventions and integrate them with services accessible by those populations.

How Harassment Impacts Health

Researchers found that LGBT students in California were more likely to smoke, “vape,” and drink than were their non-LGBT peers; moreover, gender- or sexuality-based harassment was associated with higher odds of using these substances. The results suggest that reducing LGBT-related harassment in schools could help reduce smoking and drinking disparities.

Palm Springs City CPalm Springs Welcomes All-LGBT Council

The Guardian reported on the country’s first all-LGBT government, as the city of Palm Springs seats its new Council in which all members identify as members of the LGBT community. The new councilmembers said that their identities were not even an issue in the queer-friendly city; instead, they focused their campaigns on key topics like homelessness and policing.

Chronic Disease and Sexual Orientation

A study examined chronic disease disparities among sexual minorities and found that how sexual orientation was measured (like by behavior versus how one self-identifies) was an important factor in making sure all the disparities were discovered. They found disparities in areas like asthma, arthritis, and chronic bronchitis among certain subgroups of queer men and women.

Gaps Found in Homelessness Research

A study reviewed research on homelessness among LGBT adults and found that many cities that perform “counts” of the number of people experiencing homelessness do not ask about sexual orientation (much less gender identity); surveys may also undercount LGBT people who want to remain hidden from services and services, out of fear of discrimination. The study also explores the causes and potential solutions to LGBT homelessness disparities.

Exploring Queer, Trans, and Latinx IdentitiesTransLatinx

Wear Your Voice published an essay on “what it means to be a queer and trans person in a Latinx family,” such as the psychological toll that coming out can entail and the risk queer youth face of ending up homeless. The author shares suggestions for what individuals and families can do to make for more welcoming and safe environments for LGBT kids.

Queer Films Tackle Big Issues

The Advocate released its list of the top 10 LGBT films of 2017. They took on big issues beyond just the sexuality and gender identity of their characters, such as the formation of AIDS activism abroad, dealing with the loss of a partner, and facing a cancer diagnosis in the family.


This Week in #LGBTWellness News – an Indian Prince

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Prince Singh

Gay Prince to Open LGBT Center

Gay Star News reported that Prince Manvendra of India, who came out as gay in 2006 and faced significant backlash as a result, is now seeking to open an LGBT center on his family’s royal grounds. The center will feature support groups, a music therapy room, a healthcare clinic, and more, as well as seek to bring visibility to a community that still faces stigma.

New Tools to Stop Smoking

SF Stop Smoking launched a study aiming to help people quit smoking with Spanish-language and English-language resources, as well as a great online guide. Participants will comprise a study that hopes to teach researchers more about tobacco cessation. LGBT people are especially in need of such novel interventions, given that they smokeabout 50% more than others.

Understanding Trans Men and HIV

Researchers found that 11% of transgender people receiving HIV-related care are trans men, a small but sizable number given that they are often ignored in HIV prevention and care efforts. 47% of these men live in poverty, 23% have depression, and only 60% had sustained viral suppression for the past year, suggesting the population has complex needs and is underserved.

Queer Women of All Races Face Disparities DiverseWomen

Researchers examined data from 14 states and found persistent health disparities for queer women of all races – for example, queer Asian and Pacific Islander women had four times the odds of smoking compared to their heterosexual peers. Results for men were more mixed, with queer men sometimes having better health indicators than their heterosexual counterparts.

HPV, Sexuality, and Smoking

A study of men living with HIV found that 95% of men who have sex with men had anal HPV compared to 59% of other men; queer men were also more likely to have high-risk HPV types and to have abnormal anal cytology. Smoking also proved to be a risk factor, with researchers thus recommending that smoking cessation be encouraged for people living with HIV.

Objections Could Hurt Queer Health

The Fenway Institute released a report explaining how policies that allow companies to exercise “religious objection” to following various laws, including those requiring healthcare coverage, could negatively impact LGBT health. The report examines both state and federal law, and calls on the federal government to protect against discriminatory healthcare practices.

The Deadly Disparity Facing Queer Teens

Researchers found that approximately 25% of queer adolescents had attempted suicide in the past year, nearly four times the rate for heterosexual teens; even more queer teenagers, 4 in 10, had seriously considered suicide during that timeframe. The troubling findings have garnered press coverage, and researchers say policy makers, clinicians, and more should respond to the crisis now.

Exploring the Needs of LGBT Older Adults

LGBT Health published a special edition on older adults, who (as noted in the issue’s opening editorial) face disparities compared to their peers but also show high levels of resilience. One article found that while there were some troubling health indicators for older sexual minority adults, they were more likely than their peers to self-report excellent or very good health.

TransPatientPhysician Calls for Trans Solidarity

Huffington Post published an op-ed from a physician at the New York City Health Department, explaining why she stands in solidarity with transgender people. The author notes the widespread disparities that trans people (especially those of color) encounter, and lists several key steps that health professionals can take to be better allies. Sounds like a great New Year’s resolution to us!

CDC Releases Fact Sheet on Viral Suppression

The CDC released a new fact sheet on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and its role in viral suppression, a topic of interest as studies show that those with suppressed viral loads are very unlikely to retransmit the virus. The fact sheet notes that as of 2014, 58% of people living with HIV were virally suppressed, leaving about 4 in 10 needing more support in reaching that goal.

HPV and Queer Black Men

A study of queer men in Texas found that three out of four had at least one high-risk type of HPV, which can cause cancer, and that those who were living with HIV were at increased risk. Researchers recommended tailored interventions for Black queer men (who comprised most of the study) given their risk for HPV and lower likelihood of completing the vaccine series.

The Health of LGBT Orgs

Movement Advancement Project issued its annual report on the state of leading LGBT organizations. While sexual orientation diversity was strong, people of color were not proportionately represented in senior staff and board roles. Most organizations were advocacy-focused, with those centered on research and education comprising the smallest group.

HL Mem

Keep in touch with LGBT HealthLink by joining our FREE membership. Have access to our library of tools and resources, all free. Join our members-only online networking groups, exclusive webinars just for members, and keep up to date with our Weekly #LGBTWellness Roundup. It’s quick and easy to join, and it’s all free!


Are We Still “Hiding the Gay Away”? A Place at the Table for LGBT Health


By: Kristen Emory, PhD, San Diego State University                            Member of LGBT HealthLink’s Community Advisory Council 


I had an amazing time attending the 2017 American Public Health Association (APHA) IMG_20171109_194129_763annual meeting in Atlanta Georgia, with two of my favorite LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink staff members Dr. Washington and Ana Machado. This year’s theme was “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health”.  As I reflect on the meeting’s theme, I am reminded of the importance of health equity and visibility. Climate is more than just our physical environment. We, each of us, exist within a complex social climate that may contribute positively or negatively to our physical, mental and social health.

The good news is there was an amazing turnout for each of the LGBT health sections I attended! So much so, in fact, that it was largely standing room only for the vast majority.  The less than great news is that each of these sessions were hidden away, down a long, lonely alleyway at the very end of the conference, in such a small room we could not all fit in! As I was waiting outside in the hallway during one particularly well-attended session, trying to catch a few words here and there, there was a general mood of unrest. As one conference goer standing next to me said “Hiding the gay away” in reference to the odd, small and hidden room we were all desperately trying to enter. And in fact: It. Felt. Like. It.

roomPlease do not get me wrong, I do not believe APHA necessarily intended to hide away these LGBT Health Disparities sessions…but APHA did not really highlight our sessions either, nor make these sessions easy to get into. In the current climate of political unrest and heightened visibility of overt discrimination against various SOGI and racial or ethnic minority groups, it is increasingly essential that we do not further marginalize the marginalized. That we do not hide our populations or our issues away in some dark corner, not to be seen or acknowledged by the general public. We, in public health and other disciplines advocating for the visibility and rights of underserved populations, must stand up and have all of our voices heard. As advocates, academics and human beings; we should all be asking ourselves how we use our voices to ensure that we are not “hiding the gay away”.

There are some potentially powerful next steps that we might take to make sure that future generations do not feel further marginalized, whether that be in academia, public health, or the mass media. In the future, APHA and other conferences can help set the stage for inclusion of health disparities topics relevant to LGBT and other underserved populations by having our LGBT sessions share the same spaces that others health topics freely take up (not hidden in some far away corner). As my dear friend Dr. Francisco Buchting indicated in regards to the MPOWERED report “If we are not counted, we do not exist.” Being included sends a message that we matter, that we are a part of the bigger picture of public health and that, our needs should be both addressed and met. This is particularly important because despite the growing evidence that LGBT populations appear to be at increased risk for a wide variety of health concerns, our work is still being marginalized and pushed aside. Until there is acknowledgement of these issues, this marginalization will likely continue to occur, further widening the gap. We can all take steps by speaking out when we see this happening. There is no better time than the present to address these issues head on, so that future generations do not have to face the same challenges and do not have to fight as hard to have a place at the table.
Related: Keep an eye out for our upcoming White Paper on SOGI data collection methodology to help address health disparities concerns in LGBT data collection!


#LGBTWellness: Reducing Barriers To Better LGBTQ Healthcare

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

RainbowMedicalTeaching Professionals About Health Equity

Researchers explored how to integrate principles of LGBT health into undergraduate medical education. Among their suggestions: delve into the complexities involved in coming out and forming an identity related to sexual orientation and gender identity, and incorporate discussions on intersectionality (such as race and socioeconomic status) whenever possible.

Another Reason to Protect LGBT Kids

A study explored the relationship between negative childhood experiences (like bullying and abuse) and psychological distress among adults – all problems for which queer men are at higher risk than other men. They found that there was, in fact, a potential relationship, suggesting that improving the wellbeing of queer kids could translate all the way through adulthood.

Insurer Continues Blocking PrEP Access

NewNowNext reported that UnitedHealthcare has thrown up another barrier to folks accessing PrEP, the HIV prevention treatment that has been proven effective. Previously its doctors were denying access for those engaging in “homosexual behavior;” now they are refusing to allow coupon cards, which many rely on for the pricey med, to count towards one’s deductible.

Nondiscrimination Laws Critical for Health

Researchers found that a friendlier climate for LGB people is associated with better self-rated health, but only when that friendly environment is coupled with nondiscrimination laws, and only for gay and lesbian (versus bisexual) people. The results suggest that nondiscrimination laws are key to health, and that even more work is needed to support bisexual individuals.

New Resources on HIV Testing CDC HIV

The CDC launched new resources, including a factsheet and infographic, on the importance of getting tested for HIV. Among the facts: 29% of queer men with “high risk” for HIV were not tested in the past year. The materials also highlight the fact that many people who should have gotten tested but did not were not offered an HIV test when they saw their doctor.

When Finding Therapy Isn’t Easy

Vice reported on the challenges that queer and transgender people of color can encounter in finding a therapist who is knowledgeable about the intersectional issues these populations face. The article provides resources, but also explores people’s stories, and provides helpful tips from queer and trans people of color who have successfully navigated mental healthcare.

Gay Apparel

LGBT HealthLink wishes you all a healthy and happy holiday season! Learn more about us and how you can be a part of reducing LGBT health disparities. 


Researchers Find Camping Is Really Good For LGBTQ Youth!

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

When Queer Campers Are Happy Campers Camp

Researchers evaluated a camp for LGBT youth aged 12-20 and found that campers on average had an increase in identity affirmation and hope by the end of their adventure; they also showed lower symptoms of depression. The researchers note that experiences such as this may help to combat the lower health outcomes and higher rates of depression that queer youth tend to face.

Queer People Face Violence, Fear Getting Help

51% of LGBT people said they or a person close to them have experienced violence related to their identity in a major new study from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard University. Many also reported harassment, slurs, and threats, but due to fear of discrimination, 18% avoided necessary healthcare and 16% did not call the police when in need.

Centers Less Prepared for Trans Patients

The Fenway Institute assessed the readiness to serve LGBT patients of 17 health centers that are specially designated to serve vulnerable populations. Among the findings were that clinical staff felt less sure that they could meet the needs of transgender patients (64% agreeing) than LGB patients (78% agreeing), with lack of experience cited as the most top reason for discomfort.

STDCDC Program Launches STD Curriculum

The CDC announced the launch of the National STD Curriculum, giving professionals free education credits and providing handy reference guides that include information on disparities that LGBT people face. For example, the HPV guide notes the high rate of HPV-related anal cancer among queer men, while the syphilis guide reports that queer men accounted for 58% of cases last year.

Isolation Among LGBT Older Adults

Movement Advancement Project released an infographic exploring how social isolation can impact the lives of LGBT older adults, who are twice as likely to live alone than are others. MAP notes that many older adults will be dependent on their families of choice and broader communities for support during this holiday season, and also links readers to resources.

Including Trans Folks in HIV Research

Researchers published an article explaining that while transgender and gender-nonconforming people are at elevated risk for HIV, they are often not given due consideration or properly considered as unique populations in HIV-related studies. The paper shares how researchers can more equitably execute studies and understand the issues of special importance to this group.https___www.tobaccofreekids.org_assets_images_content_CorrectiveStatement_Quote_1

Finally! Some Tobacco Ads We Like

ABC News reported that after a decade of delays, tobacco companies are finally being forced to advertise on TV that – yes – their products kill people. The industry was ordered to run such ads 11 years ago, but until now they have used legal maneuvers to avoid compliance. Hopefully LGBT people will be watching, as they smoke at about a 50% higher rate than do others.

Half of Trans Youth Skip Care

A study of transgender youth in Canada found that 47.2% of those aged 19-25 had skipped necessary healthcare for reasons such as costs, negative past experiences with providers, and a sense that providers were not competent on transgender issues. Being comfortable with one’s provider and having providers know one’s transgender status tended to correlate with better health.

Refusal of Service Harms Queer Community Duff

The Center for American Progress published a report on how being refused service because of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity can negatively impact health. This includes the immediate emotional harm that comes with facing stigma and rejection, and the long-term harm that results from dealing with stress and discrimination over the course of a lifetime.

HIV Care After Incarceration

The Lancet published an article on how incarcerated persons who are living with HIV are often not connected to care following release, facing risk of viral rebound. This has negative health consequences for the individual and increases their chances of transmitting the virus and has a disparate impact on African American men due to their higher rate of incarceration.

GaymingStudy Explores Gaymers’ Experiences

A study explored the experiences of Black lesbian women who play Xbox online (and are thus part of what is affectionately known as the “gaymer” community). Among other things, the study looks at how these women navigate a space that can sometimes be heterosexist and homophobic, but at the same time can provide a community space for people who might otherwise be isolated.

New Effort to Aid Cessation

The Washington Post reported that the FDA will form a new steering committee to evaluate and improve the way the agency handles tobacco cessation treatments. The FDA says it wants to do more to encourage development of products that will help people quit smoking. Hopefully, the changes will help LGBT people, who are more likelyto smoke but may be less likely to get help.


3 Days in Alaska – A Whole Lot of Warm

Anchorage Mon AM

For three days in October, LGBT HealthLink’s Community Advisory Council (CAC) held our annual in-person meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.  This meet up was the perfect opportunity for these hard-working, volunteer innovators to learn more about LGBT HealthLink, LGBT health disparities, and the incredible work being done in Alaska and other states to reduce those disparities.

The CAC is an active, multi-sector committee of LGBT HealthLink, a program of IMG_4787 CenterLink, with demonstrated success implementing culturally appropriate LGBT policy, system and environmental change strategies. The CAC members promote the use of science-based, culturally competent strategies for addressing tobacco-related and cancer health disparities experienced by the LGBT community.  LGBT HealthLink’s CAC serves as one method of communication and feedback between LGBT HealthLink and LGBT communities nationally.  The CAC members provide LGBT HealthLink the opportunity to hear directly from stakeholders on the impact of the program’s work in addressing LGBT health disparities.

20171024_095841_1508867994544Our diverse CAC members live in different geographic locations around the country and getting together at least once a year for a face-to-face interaction is a bonus.  At the meeting, LGBT HealthLink’s Program Director, Dr. Regina R. Washington, discussed LGBT HealthLink’s program strategies, critical activities, and key workplan deliverables for 2017-2018.  Also, CAC initiated the development of the framework for LGBT HealthLink’s E-Summit anticipated in May 2018 through the facilitation of CAC’s co-chairs, Shor Salkas and Adrian Shanker. We also had the opportunity to talk with key program leads from the Alaska Department of Health in tobacco and cancer programs. Additional guest speakers included Dr. Ray Troche who spoke of BRFSS data collection for lesbian, bi-sexual, and gay individuals and tobacco use in Alaska, and Dr. Gary Ferguson, the CEO of RurAL CAP, who spoke on the intersectionality of LGBT and Alaska Native health.

Much was accomplished during the long Alaska days and nights. Workgroups were imagejpeg_zformed to focus on advancing LGBT health equity in the areas of tobacco use and cancer prevention and control.  More topics identified and adopted into the workplan included increasing sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data collection at the national, state, and local levels, and addressing LGBT rural and people of color health issues.  Time was carved out to IMG_4799meet with Identity Alaska, a community-based organization advancing Alaska’s LGBT community through advocacy, education and connectivity.  During some discussions, it was agreed that healthcare systems have an opportunity to collaborate with LGBT community centers to advance efforts to improve LGBT health.


One of the major goals of the meeting was to strategize and begin planning our annual E-Summit.  The E-Summit offers many webinars and panel discussions over a period of 3 days. E-Summit features presenters who work in the areas of public health, community-based organizations, and health care systems to share evidence-based approaches to addressing LGBT health disparities, advances and insights into best and promising practices for LGBT health, patient navigation, cancer screening, the tobacco quitline, and much, much more. Stay in touch with LGBT HealthLink to get more information on dates and session topics, www.lgbthealthlink.org.

Of course, the best part of this annual CAC meeting is the personal bonds formed and shared experiences. Below are a few reflections from this year’s meeting some of our members posted on Facebook.


Adrian Shanker

As I’m sitting in the airport awaiting my midnight flight home from Anchorage, I’m reflecting on the power and magic of the last week. My reason for being here was to co-chair the LGBT Healthlink Annual in-person Meeting – Our meetings with leaders at Alaska Department of Health and Identity (LGBT Center in Anchorage), as well as hearing from a Alaska Native health leader about intersectional health challenges for LGBT, Alaska Native, and rural communities, gave power to our strategic work to plan for LGBT Healthlink’s final CDC grant year. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to A and Aspend the rest of the week exploring interior Alaska with friend and colleague, Anthony. It’s hard to quantify the most magical moments: looking up to see a bald eagle perched on top of a tree, witnessing Alaska’s fierce sunrises, relaxing in the Chena hot springs, learning about the cultural significance of dog mushing and meeting some retired Iditerod racing dogs, touring a geothermal power plant, staying up half the night to see Lightsthe Aurora, experiencing Alaskan art and history at the Museum of the North, visiting with moose, elk, and reindeer… This was truly an unforgettable week. It was also a week with its challenges. I drove more than 1200 miles this week. Vegetarian food wasn’t easy here, and Alaska’s hunting/trapping culture (complete with dead animals on display all.over.the.place.) caused me to consider my discomfort with a lens of cultural humility. Driving through Snowy treesDenali State Park in a blizzard was dangerous even in my rented Durango. And I made a decision to not wear my Kipah in interior Alaska because I didn’t feel comfortable wearing it with the socio-political milieu in the region. As I return to Pennsylvania, I am feeling a gentle mix of gratitude, exhaustion, and adrenaline. Alaska, it’s been real and I’ll be back!

Anthony and dog

Anthony Howard Crisci

Full day of discussing best practices for community based organizations when working with state health departments to improve the health of the LGBT community! #lgbthealthlink #tobaccofreequeers

imagejpeg_4 (1)

Earl Nupsius Benjamin-Robinson

Over the past few days I have had the distinct pleasure of convening with trans, gender-fluid, two-spirit, same-gender loving, bisexual, lesbian, gay, cis gender persons that are community leaders, public health experts, program directors, marketing experts, practitioners, professors, and research scientists. We convened to discuss, brainstorm, and develop equitable strategies to combat cancer and tobacco disparities effecting sexual and gender minorities. My take-aways from the HealthLink advisory board meeting are 1) I am my sisters and brothers’ keeper, 2) What I’ve overcome will not be undone, and 3) I AM!

Gil Kristen Shor Larry

Kristen Emory

Alaska 💗

We were so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to share this day together. Thank you, Larry, Kairaiuak Apacuar for everything! Today ended in the most wonderful way possible, and we will never forget it.


Shor A Salkas

Feeling so grateful to Kairaiuak Apacuar for helping LGBT HealthLink host an incredible Community Advisory Council meeting and time for community building in Alaska this week. There is nothing more special than a person inviting you to their home and whole-heartedly sharing their culture with you. We learned so much about tobacco and cancer work in Alaska, and about the intersectionality of indigenous and native health and LGBTQ health.

This is how we build community, understanding, and lay strong foundations for health equity and social justice in our intersectional work.

thank you thank you thank you to a beautiful community

#LGBThealth #NativeHealth #intersections #LGBTHealthLink #socialjustice#healthjustice #communityishealing


Keep in touch with LGBT HealthLink by joining our FREE membership. Have access to our library of tools and resources, all free. Join our members-only online networking groups, exclusive webinars just for members, and keep up to date with our Weekly #LGBTWellness Roundup. It’s quick and easy to join, and it’s all free!


Focus On #MyRightToHealth in This Week’s #LGBTWellness

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Preparing for World AIDS Day

UNAIDS launched a new campaign on the human right to health ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1. The campaign focuses on connecting the right to “the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,” which has been part of international law for 50 years, to the needs of people living with HIV today. The campaign includes action items for readers to get involved.

New Study Confirms Queer Smoking Disparity Smoking Infographic-rev03-2016-printer

A major study found that LGB adults smoked at a 38.8% higher rate than heterosexuals adults, with 27.8% – more than one in four – reporting that they are current smokers, compared to 20.1% of heterosexual adults. The authors believe that the stigma and discrimination faced by queer adults, plus intentional targeting by the tobacco industry, help explain these high rates.

Marking Transgender Awareness Month

Fenway Health marked Transgender Awareness Month with an infographic showcasing sobering facts about trans health. It notes that one in three transgender people have delayed needed care out of fear of mistreatment and that one in five transgender people has been outright denied care by a healthcare provider. The graphic also explores topics like economic disparities and violence.

Prostate Cancer and Gay Men

U.S. News published an article exploring how prostate cancer affects gay men, a disease that experts and patients say can present different challenges to queer people even though the diagnosis itself is the same. The article also notes that cancer surveys often omit asking sexual orientation and that there is a dearth of resources specifically for queer cancer survivors.

HIV RiskLinks Between Financial Status and HIV Risk

A study examined the relationship between facing financial hardship and engaging in higher-risk sexual practices among queer men. It found that high levels of sexual hardship were associated with 1.28 times the risk of engaging in condomless intercourse and 2.36 times the risk of engaging in transactional sex, both of which are risk factors for contracting HIV.

Barriers to Gender-Affirming Care

Researchers surveyed 364 transgender adults in Massachusetts and found that 23.6% were unable to access gender-affirming care within the past year. Factors associated with having difficulty included having lower income and education levels, being younger, and having private insurance (suggesting state insurers like Medicaid were better than the private market).

Huge Cancer Disparity Linked to HIV

Researchers studied the cases of almost half a million people living with HIV in the U.S., and found that their anal cancer incidence rate was much higher than that of the general population. Queer men had even higher rates than others living with HIV, and those who had been diagnosed with AIDS rather than only HIV had a fourfold increase in anal cancer incidence.

Remembering Victims of Violence

NBC News reported on events happening around the world to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20. The founder of the occasion – which began after violence in Boston in 1999 – stressed the ongoing importance of naming violence against transgender people, which remains on the rise and disproportionately affects transgender women of color.

Journal Explores Queer Families

The Journal of Homosexuality published a special issue on LGBT families, noting in its introduction the need for “a useful framework” to explore topics like parenting and family units in the community. Articles include an examination of adult children of same-sex male parents, and a study on how microaggressions often question the validity of queer families.

Hep A Outbreak Grows in California  Hep A

The Los Angeles Times reported on a disturbing outbreak of Hepatitis A than began in San Diego, mostly among that city’s homeless population, and has now spread to many queer men in Los Angeles. Queer men are generally at higher risk for Hepatitis A (and homelessness), and with 14 cases already reported outside of Southern California, the outbreak could yet spread.

Impact of Heterosexism on People of Color

A study examined the role of socioeconomic status in how heterosexism impacted queer people of color. Interestingly, the results suggested that those with higher socioeconomic statuses were more likely to have a negative mental health impact from heterosexism, suggesting they may need assistance in dealing with discrimination’s impact on their mental health.

GASO 2017

The Smokeout Turns 40 

The National Behavioral Health Network reported on the 40th anniversary of the Great American Smokeout, and highlighted the ways in which smoking disproportionately impacts people with mental illnesses and substance use issues – both of which disproportionately impact LGBT people. This may help to explain why LGBT folks smokeat about a 50% higher rate than others.


Now There’s An HIV Prevention App Specifically For Trans Women

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

AppHIV Prevention App for Trans Women

MobiHealthNews reported on the development of an HIV prevention app specifically for transgender women, in a project happening in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health. The developers say they are seeking to fill a gap in which most prevention services are not tailored to transgender individuals, despite the high rate of HIV the community faces.

Queer Group Carries Critical Message

The Washington Blade reported on the efforts of Out2Enroll, an education initiative founded by a coalition of nonprofits to encourage queer folks to sign up for healthcare plans. The Blade notes that Obamacare has led to a 35% drop in the number of LGBT people who are uninsured, but that this year, its healthcare marketplace is only open for enrollment until December 15.

Support for Breast Cancer Survivors

Researchers examined the experiences of sexual and gender minorities who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and found “a dearth of appropriate social supports,” including providers who to whom they felt comfortable disclosing their identities and support groups that were LGBT-inclusive or specific. The researchers recommend more competency training, support, and study.

Discrimination (Not Queer Parents) Hurts Kids Kids

A review of scientific research concluded that children of same-sex parents do not fare worse than other children on the basis of their parents’ sexual orientation. However, the discrimination that these children and their parents face can have a negative impact on family wellbeing. Researchers recommend the medical community help end stigma by speaking out on the real facts.

Call to Action on Trans Folks and HPV

Researchers published a review of the HPV risks faced by transgender individuals, and argued for better research on the burden of HPV in trans communities and the barriers that trans people face in getting care. They say that more research is needed for comprehensive recommendations on HPV vaccination, as well as screening and preventing HPV-related cancer.

GenerationsInclusive Leave for Families of Choice

The Center for American Progress reported on the need for paid leave policies to include families of choice. 42% of LGBT people have taken time off to care for someone other than a “traditional” family member, higher than the 31% of non-LGBT individuals who have done so. Many of these individuals went without pay to provide that care, which researchers say should change.


#LGBTWellness Roundup Asks: How Does Your State Rank In Trans Equality?

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Trans map

Trans Equality, State by State

The National Center for Transgender Equality expanded its library of state-by-state reports following the release of the national U.S. Transgender Survey last year. The reports are especially useful as states consider moves to advance transgender health equity – for example, New Hampshire, which just ended its ban on gender-affirming care for those on Medicaid.

Trans Senator Highlights Health Inequities

Reuters reported on the election of a transgender senator in Uruguay, a nation of 3.5 million people in which violence against transgender people is common. The newly-minted senator spoke eloquently about the compounded inequities faced by transgender people, and how factors like limited employment options and sexism work together to deprive them of good health.

All Students Are Safer in Inclusive Schools

A study of Minnesota schools found that programs to protect LGBT students – like discussions on bullying, gay-straight alliances, and having an LGBT staff liaison – actually made schools safer for all students, not just those who are LGBT. These schools reported lower levels of bullying and harassment, which can mean better health and educational outcomes.

Panel Explores Domestic Violence It happens

The Daily Free Press reported on a panel hosted by Fenway Health on domestic violence in the LGBT community. Panelists discussed research showing that transgender people are frequently denied care after domestic violence because of their gender identity, as well as stats showing that LGBT people of color are more likely that other queer folks to face domestic violence.

What PrEP Users Say about Stigma

Researchers interviewed 38 queer men who use PrEP, the HIV prevention treatment, and found that experiencing stigma from both providers and other queer men was a fairly common experience. The men also said that accessing PrEP required them to have a high degree of “health literacy” and advocacy skills, suggesting that education is needed to increase uptake.

Improving Clinical Care for Older Adults

A journal of the American Medical Association published an article on how providers can improve care for LGBT older adults, including the use of inclusive language, understanding the inequalities that queer folks face, and learning the healthcare needs of transgender people. It also pointed out that LGBT people may have different support structures and caregiver support.HL Mem

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#LGBTWellness: New Study On HPV Has Bad News For Queer Folks

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 seven days. For more LGBTQ Wellness, visit a page dedicated to the topic here.

Bad News for Queer Folks Re: HPV

A national study found that both men and women who had same-sex partners were at increased risk for oral HPV infection, especially those with a higher number of lifetime and recent same-sex partners. Smoking was also associated with higher HPV risk, and LGBT folks smoke more than others. Researchers say the study suggests increased cancer risk for the LGBT community.

FDA Hacks E-Cigs in Historic First RealCost

The FDA launched a new adverting campaign against e-cigarettes, the first such expansion of its popular The Real Cost campaign. The FDA had announced back in August that it would soon begin this expansion, in recognition of the growing dangers that e-cigs have been found to pose. The ads may pose a big benefit to queer youth, a stunning half of whom have tried “vaping.”

How Inequalities Impact Breast Cancer

Fenway Health released a new infographic for Breast Cancer Awareness Month that explains barriers queer and transgender folks face in accessing screening and treatment, including discriminatory attitudes, denial of care, and fear of opening up to providers. The infographic also shows that women of color live several years less on average than white women after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Black menHIV Prevention Disparities for Bi Black Men

A study of Black men who have sex with men in Atlanta found that those who were bisexual and not publicly “out” were 55% less likely to report being tested at least every six months for HIV compared to out, gay men. The bisexual men studied were also 59% less likely than their out, gay peers to know about PrEP, the HIV prevention treatment, suggesting targeted outreach is needed.

Kids’ Wellbeing on the Line?

Movement Advancement Project published a report and video delving into the dangers posed to children when state agencies designed to protect them, like those that manage foster care and adoption, permit discrimination against LGBT or LGBT-friendly parents. The Child Welfare League of America and the National Association of Social Workers joined in publishing the report.

UK to Collect Better LGB Data Rainbow UK

The BBC reported that UK health facilities will begin to collect data on whether patients identify as LGB, a move heralded by queer advocates as one that will provide greater data on LGB health needs. While some doctors protested by claiming that most conditions do not vary by sexual orientation, countless studies have shown widespread LGBT health disparities.

CA Passes Protections for Seniors

McKnight’s reported that California passed an LGBT Seniors Bill of Rights, which (among other things) will ban discrimination based on LGBT identity or HIV status in long-term care facilities throughout the nation’s most populous state. Facilities will be required to post new anti-discrimination notices, which will hopefully combat hostile cultures and inform residents.


Ban on Tobacco Samples Detailed

The FDA released new guidance on the federal ban on free samples of tobacco products. The FDA justified the policy in part because of the predatory practices used to lure youth into using tobacco products by first giving out free samples. The policy has the potential to improve queer health, given the significant tobacco disparities LGBT people generallyand youth especially face.

Incarceration and Queer Mental Health

Teen Vogue reported on the impact that incarceration – which disproportionately affects LGBT people, especially those of color – has on the mental health of queer youth. They cite data that up to 20% of incarcerated young people are LGBT, and that queer people in prisons are at higher risk for sexual assault and other forms of violence, as well as mental health issues.

Disbelief in Discrimination Proven Dangerous

A study at a U.S. college found that heterosexual individuals who did not believe that LGB people still face societal discrimination were less likely to perceive a situation in which another person was called a gay slur as being dangerous or serious. They were also felt less responsible to intervene to stop the bullying, and were more likely to engage in victim-blaming.

Trans Teen Discusses Insurance Struggle

The ACLU published the story of a transgender teenager who is suing his insurer, PeaceHealth, for refusing to cover medically-necessary care because it is gender-affirming. The author discusses his journey in accepting and understanding his identity, and his family’s inability to pay $10,000 out-of-pocket for the care he needs. The ACLU is leading the discrimination suit.

Advocates Call for Inclusive History

US News reported on a push by activists to have history curriculums be inclusive of LGBT history, including the struggles and successes the community has seen in recent decades. They cited research showing that LGBT students are more likely to feel ostracized and face mental health challenges, and that inclusive curricula can help them feel supported and included.