This Week's Wellness Roundup: Good News and Bad
LGBT HealthLink, 4/6/2017
Good News and Bad News on HPV
Researchers found some good news for queer women regarding HPV: lesbian women seem to be getting vaccinated at about the same rate as heterosexual women, and bisexual women are getting vaccinated most of all. The bad news? The numbers are still below targets among all women, with about 27% of bisexual women and only 17% of other women having been vaccinated.
Youth Face Barriers Coming Out
US News and World Report explored the challenges for LGBT youth in coming out to their providers, noting that parents generally have access to medical records until children turn 18. The American Academy of Pediatrics nonetheless recommends that doctors avoid informing parents of a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity to ensure the patient can safely access care.
Relationship Between Victimization and Smoking
Researchers found that lesbian and bisexual women were 3.5 and 2.4 times more likely, respectively, to experience childhood victimization than were heterosexual women. Moreover, they found that women victimized as children were more likely to be victimized as adults, and that adult victimization was associated with a higher likelihood of being a smoker, suggesting an indirect link between victimization of sexual minority youth and lifetime smoking habits.
Policy Changes Could Hurt Community
The Center for American Progress reported that repealing the Affordable Care Act could hurt LGBT Americans, many of whom have gained insurance since the law began to take effect (despite still having double the uninsured rate of non-LGBT people). CAP also reported that the government is rolling back data collection on LGBT health, which could eliminate evidence of disparities and needs.
Health Risks for Sexual Minority Transwomen
A study found that sexual minority transwomen were 2.3 times as likely to have had a heavy drinking episode in the past six months than were heterosexual transwomen, and were also 3.6 times as likely to have illicitly used prescription drugs. The results suggest that this understudied subgroup of trans individuals faces unique risks that warrant further research.
New Initiative Launching at HBCUs
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced a partnership with the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions to promote best practices and programming for LGBT students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The initiative will include disseminating information on LGBT health and wellness to HBCUs around the country and in developing programs to foster inclusion and empowerment.