Pentagon Approves Gender-Affirming Surgery for Troops

Your weekly Queer Wellness round-up.

Each week HuffPost Queer Voices, in a partnership with blogger Scout, LGBT HealthLink and researcher Corey Prachniak, 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 topic here.

Pentagon Approves Gender-Affirming Surgery for Troops

The Pentagon announced that active duty troops are eligible to have gender-affirming surgery if recommended by their physician and approved by senior officials. It is a change from recent Pentagon statements that such surgery is “elective” and therefore generally ineligible for coverage, and is welcome news for trans troops, who could number as high as six thousand.

Bisexuality Beyond the Binary

NBC News celebrated Bisexual Awareness Week with an article and video on how to understand bisexuality in a way inclusive of all genders and different sexualities. Lack of understanding and stigma surrounding the bi community has been linked to many negative health effects.

When Are Trans Folks More Likely to Be Refused Care?

A study found that among transgender adults, factors associated with having been refused care included being lower-income, Native American or mixed race, trans-feminine, and being older. The states with the highest rates of discrimination were mostly Southern or rural Western states.

Queer Men Living with HIV Face Unmet Health Needs

CDC researchers found that men who have sex with men and who are living with HIV have many unmet health and wellness needs, with 23% needing dental care, 19% needing eye care and smaller percentages needing mental health and substance abuse treatment. Those needing care were disproportionately young men of color, and often did not know how to access services.

Tackling Disparities as a Healthcare Professional

Med student Tyler McKinnish wrote a great article explaining how physicians can address LGBT disparities – for example, by knowing that LGBT people have high rates tobacco use and understanding cancer risks among trans people. Beyond being knowledgeable, providers have to feel comfortable and put their patients at ease too.

Queer Latinos Face Barriers in Healthcare Decision-Making

A review of research on how LGBTQ Latinos engage in healthcare decision-making found that major obstacles include language barriers, immigration status, stigma and different cultural beliefs on healthcare. Making clinics knowledgeable of and friendly to intersecting queer and Latino identifies could improve care outcomes, the authors say.

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