Where Does Fear Stop PrEP?

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.

Minorities Face Barriers to PrEP Access

Researchers found that queer members of focus groups in Mississippi, who were mostly black, expressed more medical mistrust and skepticism about the safety of PrEP than did participants in Massachusetts, who were mostly white. Mississippi participants also noted fear of the anti-HIV and anti-queer stigma they face as sexual minority black men as potential barriers to using PrEP to prevent HIV infection.

Don’t Be Misled on Cancer Screenings

The BBC reported that queer women are often erroneously told that they do not need cervical cancer screenings, making “blanket statements” that dismiss their risk. In fact, queer women (and anyone with a cervix) should get screened under the same recommendations of other women as all types of sex can transfer the HPV virus that can cause cervical cancer.

Queer Latinos Face Almost Double Smoking Burden

A national study found that sexual minority Latino adults were 1.93 times more likely than heterosexual Latinos to be current smokers. Queer Latinos were 1.83 times more likely have had more than 15 days of poor mental health in the past month, and faced disparities on a wide range of STIs, including being 46.75 times more likely to be living with HIV.

Troubling Trend Allows Adoption Discrimination

MAP reported that three states are considering “religious freedom” laws to allow adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT adoption applicants (as well as anyone who supports LGBT rights and opposes conversion therapy). Four states already have such laws, despite the fact that 103,000 children in the U.S. need adoptive parents..

Youth Kick Butts Across the Country

Hundreds of events marked National Kick Butts Day on March 15, designed to empower youth to reject cigarettes and encourage their peers to do the same. The issue is near and dear to our hearts, given that a recent study found 19.2 percent of LGB youth are active smokers, nearly double the rate of heterosexual youth.

Free HIV Testing (Unless You’re Gay)

Queerty reported that San Francisco State University has a program offering free HIV and STI testing to its students – unless they’re queer men. The testing is offered through a government-funded program that gives free STI tests for purposes of “family planning,” which apparently excludes men who have sex with men. Queer men account for 82 percent of San Francisco’s new HIV infections.