Various topics in medicine relate to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Besides HIV/AIDS, issues related to LGBT health include breast and cervical cancer, hepatitis, mental health, substance use disorders, alcohol use, tobacco use, depression, access to care for transgender persons, issues surrounding marriage and family recognition, conversion therapy, refusal clause legislation, and laws that are intended to “immunize health care professionals from liability for discriminating against persons of whom they disapprove.”
LGBT people may face barriers to accessing healthcare on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression. Many avoid or delay care or receive inappropriate or inferior care because of perceived or real homophobia or transphobia and discrimination by healthcare providers and institutions; in other words, negative personal experience, the assumption or expectation of negative experience based on knowing of history of such experience in other LGBT people, or both.
It is often pointed out that the reason of this is heterosexism in medical care and research:
“Heterosexism can be purposeful (decreased funding or support of research projects that focus on sexual orientation) or unconscious (demographic questions on intake forms that ask the respondent to rate herself or himself as married, divorced, or single). These forms of discrimination limit medical research and negatively impact the health care of LGB individuals. This disparity is particularly extreme for lesbians (compared to homosexual men) because they have a double minority status, and experience oppression for being both female and homosexual.”
Especially with lesbian patients, they may be discriminated in three ways:
– Homophobic attitudes;
– Heterosexist judgements and behaviour;
– General sexism – focusing primarily on male health concerns and services; assigning subordinate to that of men health roles for women, as for service providers and service recipients.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
We believe all patients have the right to high-quality, patient-centered health care that is equal and unbiased. We offer culturally competent care in a judgement-free setting. We are committed to providing the best care for the LGBTQ community in a safe and friendly environment.
(Source: Penn Medicine Program for LGBTQ Health)
The list below gives information about common health and wellness topics within the LGBTQ community. While these may not affect everyone, these are important health concerns:
The LGBTQ community experiences some cancers more often. Lesbian women have a higher chance of getting breast cancer and some gynecological cancers. Gay and bisexual men have anal cancer more often, more so if HIV-infected. Tests can be done to check for cancer. Talk to us about how and when to check for cancer.
LGBTQ individuals should take care of their heart health, particularly if they smoke or use certain hormones. Talk to us about ways to be heart healthy.
Some LGBTQ individuals may experience depression, anxiety, heavy drinking, tobacco use and drug use. If you are struggling with mental health concerns or addiction issues, there are resources to help.
– iUN-HOOK from Smoking: Program provides help for patients trying to quit smoking. To request an appointment you can contact us.
Preventative care is an important part of maintaining your health, and may include immunizations, vaccines, screenings, and regular check-ups. The Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines are recommended for most gay and bisexual men, while the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is recommended for women and most gay and bisexual men through age 26. Speak to us about receiving these vaccinations.
To reduce the risk of contracting HIV, STIs, certain types of hepatitis always practice safe sex by using condoms and dental dams. Men who have sex with men, transgender women and bisexuals are at increased risk for viruses that cause Hepatitis, a serious liver disease. Talk us about receiving the Hepatitis A and B vaccine and being screened for Hepatitis A, B and C. If you have Hepatitis C, there are new, effective treatments with fewer side effects. Men who have sex with men are more likely to contract HIV than other groups. However, anyone who is sexually active is at risk and should be tested annually for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you are HIV-infected, we can connect you with skilled providers. If you are in a relationship where one of you is HIV-infected, talk to us about options for HIV prevention.
(Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, which prevents HIV infection if you are exposed to the virus. This is done by taking one pill every day. When taken every day, PrEP can greatly reduce the risk of HIV infection)