Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Positive LGBTQ Self Images Save Lives

LGBTQ + positive self-images matter and save lives

Dr. Bill Buffie, an Indiana interrnist and a gay-rights supporter, tells the terrible story of a lesbian young woman who refused to see a doctor, because she was terrified of coming out to one, even a woman. Indiana is conservative country and this woman was raised to live in shame about her sexuality.

Having missed routine breast care screenings, she developed a large metastatic breast tumor. It quickly became untreatable and she died at age 32.

What are barriers to health care for LGBTQ people?

Access to care. LGBTQ+ people have less access to the health care they need. They are:

  • Less likely to have health insurance.
  • More likely to delay getting care, especially in older LGBTQ+ adults.
  • More likely to report lack of cultural competence by health care providers.
  • More likely to report poor quality of care and unfair treatment by healthcare providers.

What causes these disparities?

There are many causes of the health disparities faced by LGBTQ+ people. These include:

  • The minority status of LGBTQ+ people
  • A lack of specific education and training for health care workers
  • A lack of clinical research on LGBTQ+ health-related issues
  • Restrictive health benefits
  • Limited role models
  • Fear due to stigma, discrimination, and institutional bias in the health care system.

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