Each week HuffPost Queer Voices, in a partnership with LGBT HealthLink, a Program of CenterLink, and researcher and blogger 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.
New York to Cover Trans Care for Youth
The state Medicaid plan for New York announced plans to start covering hormone therapy for trans youth, following a similar change it made for adults last year. Advocates say this will help youth receive medically-necessary treatment and prevent changes from happening during puberty that run counter to their gender identity.
LGBT Disparities Come Out of the Closet
The National Institutes of Health officially designated LGBT people as a health disparity population last week, something experts say will increase research and attention paid to LGBT health. NIH said such change is needed as LGBT folks suffer from lack of access to healthcare and higher rates of various forms of cancer, HIV, mental health issues and more.
New Links Between Cigarettes, Race and HIV
Researchers found that among queer, male smokers living with HIV, men of color were more likely to smoke daily whereas white men were more likely to smoke only intermittently, adding to the tobacco burden faced by queer people of color. The study also shows that both daily and intermittent smokers were less likely to adhere to HIV medications than were nonsmokers.
Queer Folks Face “Degrading Experience” While Receiving Care
The Washington Post reports that LGBT people continue facing rampant discrimination in healthcare despite other legal advancements, highlighting the story of a trans boy in San Diego who was harassed by providers and later killed himself. The Post notes that medical students receive almost no training on LGBT health and that 80% express anti-LGBT bias.
Family Support Critical for LGBT Adolescents
Researchers found that LGBT youth who lack family support early in adolescence face increased risk of mental health issues through early adulthood. Youth who lacked family support but had support from others still faced increased risk, but also saw family support increase over time, possibly as families learned from the acceptance shown by others.
E-Cigarettes Likely Harming Queer Community
A prominent medical journal is warning that it is too soon to declare e-cigarettes safe and that the devices likely pose at least some health risks, with more research needed on the many chemicals that users inhale. Past research has found that LGBT adults use e-cigs at double the rate of others and that half of queer youth have tried them.
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