The right to a healthy and happy life is an LGBT equality issue. Apicha Community Health Center firmly believes that every person deserves access to the health care services that allow will them to live the fullest life possible.
March Declared LGBT Health Month
In line with that belief, last week Empire State Pride Agenda launched its sixth annual LGBT Health Month,a month-long campaign to bring awareness to the unique health needs and disparities of New York’s LGBT community.
This year New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate passed resolutions declaring March Official LGBT Health Month. Senator Neil D. Breslin and Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried presented the resolutions to Empire State Pride Agenda leadership, along with members of some of the 50+ Network organizations that provide direct health and human services to roughly 1.5 million LGBT New Yorkers.
Throughout this month LGBT organizations are actively lobbying in the halls of the Capitol for increased funding for LGBT health and human services and runaway and homeless youth.
Are you looking for a non-discriminatory LGBT health care provider? Request an appointment
Our Bodies, Our Health
Staying healthy has many great benefits that include avoiding preventable diseases, enjoying more energy, and living longer. When one looks at data, it’s clear that that there are areas where LGBT people experience some health problems at higher rates than other people.
Members of the LGBT community are at increased risk for a number of health threats when compared heterosexual people due to factors such as lower rates of health insurance coverage, persistent harassment, stigma, marginalization, homophobia, transphobia, and a lack of cultural competency in the health care system.
Here’s a list of some of the some of the health problems LGBT experience:
- Requesting the Tests You Need: 47% of gay and bisexual men have never discussed their sexual orientation with their doctor. Not discussing sexual activities means doctors don’t know they should be testing for things that affect gay and bisexual men’s health like Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS.
- HIV Testing: 56% of all gay or bisexual men report that their doctors have never suggested a HIV test.
- Mental Health: LGBT people are much more likely to experience mental illness such as depression and anxiety.
- Health Insurance: The transgender community has more health disparities but is less likely to have health insurance than heterosexual or LGBT people.
- Substance Abuse: LGBT populations have the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use, which put them at higher risk for cancer and other diseases.
- Eating Disorders: 1 in 5 gay males have vomited or used laxatives for weight control in the past 30 days.
All of the problems listed above are things that can be addressed by regularly visiting a doctor who understands the needs of LGBT individuals. Community Health Centers that specialize in LGBT care, like Apicha Community Health Center.
These centers are an important part of the solution to staying healthy and to fixing some of these health problems. So for LGBT Health Month, keep this in mind!
If you haven’t been to the doctor lately for a checkup, now may be the time! You can schedule an appointment here.