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Addressing Health Care Disparities in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Population

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Check out our interactive infographic to see progress toward the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Health objectives and other Healthy People topic areas. Improve the health, safety, and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT individuals. LGBT individuals encompass all races and ethnicities, religions, and social classes. Sexual orientation and gender identity questions are not asked on most national or State surveys, making it difficult to estimate the number of LGBT individuals and their health needs. Research suggests that LGBT individuals face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of their civil and human rights.

Discrimination against LGBT persons has been associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, 1 substance abuse, 2 , 3 and suicide. The LGBT companion document to Healthy People 7 highlighted the need for more research to document, understand, and address the environmental factors that contribute to health disparities in the LGBT community. As part of this work, we need to increase the number of nationally-representative health-related surveys that collect information on sexual orientation and gender identity SOGI. At the beginning of the decade, the following 6 national data systems collected sexual orientation data:.

Addressing LGBTQ+ Health Care Disparities

Since the beginning of the decade, 2 additional national surveys have begun collecting sexual orientation data:. The many benefits of addressing health concerns and reducing disparities include:. In order to effectively address LGBT health issues, we need to securely and consistently collect SOGI information in national surveys and health records. This will allow researchers and policy makers to accurately characterize LGBT health and disparities. Understanding LGBT health starts with understanding the history of oppression and discrimination that these communities have faced.

For example, in part because bars and clubs were often the only safe places where LGBT individuals could gather, alcohol abuse has been an ongoing problem. Social determinants affecting the health of LGBT individuals largely relate to oppression and discrimination. Examples include:. LGBT health requires specific attention from health care and public health professionals to address a number of disparities, including:. A number of issues will need to continue to be evaluated and addressed over the coming decade, including:.

Responses to discrimination and psychiatric disorders among black, Hispanic, female, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals.

Health Care Disparities and the LGBT Population -

Am J Public Health. Sexual risk, substance use, and psychological distress in HIV-positive gay and bisexual men who also inject drugs. Sexual orientation and mental health. Annu Rev Clin Psychol.

The relationship between suicide risk and sexual orientation: Results of a population-based study. Pervasive trauma exposure among US sexual orientation minority adults and risk of posttraumatic stress disorder.


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  • Healthy People Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexual orientation and health among U. Sexual orientation and estimates of adult substance use and mental health: results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health [Internet]. LGBT Health. Public Health Nursing. Health Priorities. Federal Government. Health and Medicine Division. Health Behavior. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Health Policy.