Each week LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink and researcher and blogger Corey Prachniak bring you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit the page dedicated to the topic here.
Telemedicine Aids Trans Patients
The San Francisco Chronicle reported an uptick in popularity for TransLine, a service that allows doctors nationwide to ask clinical experts for help with trans patients. The volunteer-run service is helping trans individuals get quality care when their local doctor may not have experience in trans health.
More Evidence of Queer Smoking Disparities
Government researchers found that while national smoking rates declined from 21% a decade ago to 15% today, rates among LGB individuals remain high. 19.8% of lesbian and bi women smoke cigarettes, compared to 13.4% of heterosexual women, while 21.5% of gay and bi men smoke, compared to 16.6% of heterosexual men. Factors like being uninsured and having higher levels of psychological distress were also associated with smoking, and are more common among the LGBT community.
Trans Stress, Resilience Following Election
A leading crisis hotline for trans individuals reported "a record number of calls" following Tuesday's election, amid uncertainty as to what would happen to recent Obama administration policies prohibiting trans discrimination in healthcare and schools. Trans advocates, however, vowed to push forward on equality measures with the new administration.
4 in 10 Experience Stigma – and Have Higher HIV Risk
A study of men who have sex with men found that 41% had experienced at least one, two or all three of the enacted stigma - discrimination, harassment, or assault - based on their sexual orientation in the past year. Moreover, all these experiences were associated with having higher risk factors for HIV infection, such as having condomless sex and more sexual partners, suggesting stigma may contribute to HIV risk.
Minority Stress Linked to Partner Violence
A study found that among gay and bi men in Atlanta, experiencing intimate partner violence was correlated with encountering homophobic discrimination, internalized homophobia, and racism. Young men aged 18-24 were most likely to both experience and perpetuate partner violence, with rates dropping considerably among older age groups.
Bisexual Older Adults Face Worse Health
Researchers found that bisexual older adults face worse health than their lesbian and gay peers. The differences were explained by factors like more internalized stigma, less social support, and lower socioeconomic status, suggesting that improving the health of bi older adults may require addressing underlying social stigma and discrimination.