LGBT Wellness Round Up For July 7, 2014

Controversial New Guidelines Mean Queer Women Could Opt Of This Procedure

Each week HuffPost Gay Voices, in a partnership with bloggersLiz Margolies andScout, brings you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit our page dedicated to the topichere.

1. Please Remove Your Hands From My Vagina, Now
On Monday, the American College of Physicians issued controversial new guidelines, removing the dreaded pelvic exam from the list of required routine GYN care for most healthy women. This does not take away the need for regular cervical pap tests and examinations for women experiencing unusual symptoms. For healthy women, they understood that the pelvic exam can cause “unnecessary and avoidable harms, including anxiety, embarrassment and discomfort, and may even prevent some women from getting needed medical care." For lesbian and bisexual women who have a greater tendency to avoid GYN care, this may be relieving news.
2. Keep Your Rosaries Out of My Ovaries
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LGBT people may have felt little immediate impact from last Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that for-profit corporations with sincerely held religious beliefs do not have to provide a full range of contraceptives at no cost to their employees under the Affordable Care Act. And, while Justice Alito’s decision was “very specific”, the door has been opened to allow business to attempt to deny health care to transgender people, or withhold coverage of HIV/AIDS medications or refuse to pay for pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PReP, for gay men. The future consequence of this decision for us are truly unknown.
3. The Invisible and Fictitious Bisexual
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A bisexual man fears for his life after being denied asylum due to “dishonesty”: he has a child and has lived with a woman in the UK. This sort of erasure and stigma of bisexuals are core to the poorer health outcomes they report compared to lesbians and gay men; luckily The Fenway Institute has begun the Bisexual Research Collaborative on Health (BiRCH) to study these very problems.
4. The Budding Purple Rose of Texas
Texas might be leaning more purple than red these days. Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, and LGBT Democrats have called for a ban on reparative therapy, saying: “#WeDontNeedFixin.” State Republican Party chair, Steve Munisteri, has also repealed his party’s endorsement of the practice. The 2016 Democratic platform will reflect more on LGBT rights, Women’s rights, sex education (LGBT inclusion).
5. Shhh: Queer and Resident Danger
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Researchers at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, reported that LGB surgery residents experience stigma in several ways: feelings of discomfort with discussing their relationship at or bringing their partner to work, 30% omitted their LGB identity during application fearing it would hurt their admissions, and over half actively concealed their sexual orientation to other residents fearing rejection, and to attending physicians fearing poor evaluations; they also witnessed homophobic comments from both nursing staff and attending physicians in startling high numbers. How much better could medicine be practiced if there weren’t these sorts of institutional homophobia?

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