A leading London porn actor has thrown his weight behind a community-driven campaign to do something about the rising cases of syphilis.
Leander XXX has joined forces with the PrePster team to run an awareness campaign about the STI. In the past five years, the number of people with syphilis has doubled in the UK. Gay and bisexual men have been most affected by this increase.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection caught when having sex with someone who has it. If left untreated it can lead to serious health complications and spread to the brain or other parts of the body.
PrEPster was the team who ran the massive awareness campaign about the HIV preventative medication, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP).
It decided to put its experience of running essential sexual health campaigns into doing something about the rising numbers of syphilis diagnoses.
‘We have a model for how many people now know about PreP and we want to extend that model to other sexual health issues,’ PrePster cofounder, Will Nutland told Gay Star News.
They chose to focus on syphilis first because of the long-term effects it can have on health. But also, because it’s easy to test for and can be very preventable.
‘We’re seeing people turn up with quite serious health conditions but it’s easy to test for and treat and you don’t pass it on,’ Nutland said.
Long Time, No Syphilis
So, they launched ‘Long Time, No Syphilis’ to help raise awareness about the STI and the serious health impacts it can have if left undiagnosed. But cuts to government funding have forced PrePster to start a crowdfunding page to help pay for the campaign.
‘We’ve made attempts to get funding and they (government departments) say “we know it’s an issue but if we fund a project like this we can’t fund something else”,’ Nutland said.
While the lack of funding is frustrating, Nutland explained why it was important to support the campaign.
‘We shouldn’t have to ask… [but] the crowdfunding is a call to activism, to help and support the community when the government has neglected us,’ he said.
‘The last campaign around syphilis was about 12 or 13 years ago, so we have a whole new generation who don’t know about syphilis.
‘We’re making a point that if the government is neglecting us, we will look after ourselves.’
What do the funds pay for?
The main aim of the campaign is to educate those at risk of acquiring syphilis.
PrEPster hopes to do that by creating a website with everything to know about syphilis. It also wants to plaster bars and venues with information and flyers. PrePster will also send outreach workers out to talk to people about syphilis.
‘Every penny raised through the crowdfunding will go to cover the web build, the photography, print, and design of the program,’ PrePster wrote on the crowdfunding page.
‘We’ll use the funding to ensure that people know how and where to get tested for syphilis.’
Written by: Shannon Power. 29 May 2019. Health. Gaystarnews.com
Vicente Fernández, an iconic Mexican singer, reportedly refused a ‘medically necessary’ liver transplant for fear of the organ donor being ‘gay or a drug addict’.
In a recent interview, Fernández revealed he stopped touring in 2012 when doctors found a cancerous lump in his liver.
‘They wanted to give me a liver from another bastard,’ he said. ‘I do not go to sleep with my wife with the liver of another wey, nor do I know if he was a homosexual or a drug addict.’
People quickly criticized Fernández’s comments and called them out for their homophobia.
Dr. Mario Antonio Cardona, a transplant surgeon at ABC Hospital, called the comments an ‘aberration’ and ‘ignorant’.
‘The only thing that can reject an organ or a tissue is that the donor has an acute contagious infection or has a chronic communicable infection,’ he explained.
Cardona continued, specifically highlighting Fernández’s comments about the donor being gay: ‘It is totally absurd and inhuman to think of homosexuality as if it were an infection. That a person has a certain social behavior does not imply they cannot be a great donor.’
Fernández’s son defends him
Vicente Fernández Jr., Fernández’s son, defended his father against criticisms of homophobia.
‘My father never declared about being homophobic or have a sexual preference of any person,’ he said. ‘The only thing he said is that he never went to sleep with the liver of another bastard.’
Fernández Jr. then questioned whether it’s exclusibely heterosexual people who enjoy the work of his father.
Fernández has since received medical attention and is now doing well and in good health, according to his son.
These comments surfaced just as a photo of LGBTI Mexicans arrested for homosexuality in 1953 went viral online. People praised them for their bravery and how they inspired generations after them.
Written by: Anya Crittenton. 10 May 2019. Entertainment. Gaystarnews.com
The Department of Health and Human Services today announced its final “conscience rule” excusing health care personnel from participating in procedures to which they have religious or moral objections.
Activists have warned that the rule could jeopardize health care for LGBTQ people, such as those seeking gender-confirmation procedures or HIV treatment and prevention services, as well as women seeking contraception or abortion.
A draft of the rule was released in January 2018 so that HHS’s Office for Civil Rights could receive comments from the public on it. Donald Trump announced the finalization of the ruleduring a Rose Garden speech this morning for the National Day of Prayer, and HHS published the final rule on its website.
“To protect this [religious] heritage my administration has strongly defended religious liberty… just today we finalized new protections of conscience rights of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students, and faith-based charities. We’ve been wanting to do that for a long time, right, Mike [Pence]?” Trump said at the event. (Video of his speech is below; his remarks about the conscience rule come at about the 31-minute mark.)
“This final rule replaces a 2011 rule that has proven inadequate, and ensures that HHS implements the full set of tools appropriate for enforcing the conscience protections passed by Congress,” says an HHS press release. “These federal laws protect providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide. It also includes conscience protections with respect to advance directives.” Notably, the Office for Civil Rights is run by Roger Severino, who has a history of anti-LGBTQ activism.
Civil rights advocates have feared that the new rule will allow even those marginally involved in providing health care to opt out because of religious objections, therefore making it more difficult for patients to receive care. This rule could severely affect LGBTQ people living in rural areas where there are few health care options.
“In an attempt to justify more discrimination against transgender people, HHS minimizes the very real pain exemptions like these have caused transgender people,” Gillian Branstetter, media relations manager at the National Center for Transgender Equality, told The Advocate via email.
“I would note the case of Evan Minton, a transgender man who was denied a hysterectomy shortly before the surgery after the religiously affiliated hospital at hand canceled the treatment,” she said. “Notably, the doctors and surgeons actually performing the procedure had no issue with doing so. A very similar case was just filed in California last March and another was filed in New Jersey in January.
“We’re confident this rule will make the lives of transgender people across this country harder. No one should have to check the religious affiliation of a hospital in order to make sure they can get the care their doctors have prescribed them. Religious liberty is a bedrock principle for all Americans — including transgender people — but this regulation is a perversion of that principle.”
Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ rights organization, quickly issued a statement denouncing the rule. “For two years, the Trump-Pence administration has relentlessly attacked LGBTQ people — including transgender service members, children and workers, said Executive Director Rick Zbur. “But today’s attack is one of their most heartless and dangerous yet. President Trump just stood in front of the White House and told millions of LGBTQ Americans that they should be denied lifesaving health care simply because of who they are or whom they love. That is immoral; it is heartless; it is un-American. Someone else’s personal beliefs should never be used as a license to discriminate. Period.”
Louise Melling, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, issued a statement as well: “Once again, this administration shows itself to be determined to use religious liberty to harm communities it deems less worthy of equal treatment under the law. This rule threatens to prevent people from accessing critical medical care and may endanger people’s lives. Religious liberty is a fundamental right, but it doesn’t include the right to discriminate or harm others. Denying patients health care is not religious liberty. Discriminating against patients based on their gender or gender expression is not religious liberty. Medical standards, not religious belief, should guide medical care.”
“Access to health care can be life-or-death,” said a statement sent by Lucas Acosta and Elizabeth Renda of the Democratic National Committee. “But rather than seek to improve our health care system, the Trump-Pence administration is determined to strip away access to health care from women, people with HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQ people, particularly transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. This license to discriminate is unethical and dangerously undermines the health of some of the most vulnerable among us.
“Every individual deserves access to quality health care and lifesaving emergency services. No one should ever be refused medical care because of who they are. It’s clear Republicans still haven’t learned what the 2018 midterm elections mandated — the American people want more access to health care, not less.”
And this from Mary Alice Carter, executive director of Equity Forward: “Religious freedom doesn’t mean carte blanche to discriminate, especially in a health care setting. People should never fear that they’re going to be denied care because of their gender, who they love or their past medical decisions. Today’s rule codifies discrimination and it will result in deep harm to patient care. [HHS Secretary] Alex Azar and Roger Severino should be ashamed. This is exactly the opposite of what our health department should stand for.”
The administration is also expected to soon release the draft of a separate rule that is likely to undermine a portion of the Affordable Care Act providing antidiscrimination protections for transgender people seeking health care. Additionally, the Trump administration Wednesday filed a brief in a federal appeals court arguing that the entire ACA is unconstitutional and should be struck down.
Written by: Trudy Ring. 02 May 2019. Health. Advocate.com
The term “death grip” should never be associated with a penis, but according to our always trustworthy friend the internet, that’s the term for when you choke the chicken so often that it’s actually difficult to ejaculate. “Penis Death Grip Syndrome” also has its very own Urban Dictionary entry:
A condition in which frequent masturbation by hand desensitizes the nerves in the cock, thus lessening the pleasure of jerking off. The best cure for Death Grip Syndrome is a fleshlight! (by The Jizz Wiz March 13, 2010)
That’s the problem with Death Grip Syndrome — it’s one of those internet ideas that have yet to be proven with any scientific backing, but people still take it seriously. Just check out the website CureDeathGrip.com.
The website tells you what to do, how to seek help and even which Fleshlight is best for you, though it does provide a short disclaimer:
“Death Grip Syndrome” is not a recognized medical condition and the ideas presented here are not meant to be and do not constitute medical advice. It is only based on personal experience. Results may vary. Problems enjoying sexual pleasure may have many causes. Especially if you are experiencing difficulty maintaining an erection in addition to trouble reaching an orgasm, be sure to consider any health, stress, or relationship factors that may be affecting you. Even slightly elevated blood pressure can have substantial effects on your sexual performance and health. Seek medical help from your doctor.
While Death Grip Syndrome may not be a real medical syndrome (CureDeathGrip.com is little more than a site for selling jerk-off toys), penile desensitization can affect males between the ages of 13 and 23.
In 2003, sex advice columnist Dan Savage even gave advice to a teenager to vary his self-pleasuring style in order to maintain his sensitivity.
Even without Death Grip Syndrome, there’s a number of reasons someone might have difficulty ejaculating, according to Dr. Richard Santucci, Chief of Urology at Detroit Receiving’s Center for Urologic Reconstruction. He told VICE that men suffering from delayed ejaculation should possibly consider “diabetes, medications, low testosterone, anxiety, all that other stuff.”
If you’re a perfectly healthy, able-bodied man with none of the problems listed above, then, according to Savage, “maybe that’s just the way your dick works.”
Did you know about Penis Death Grip Syndrome? What do you do to change things up while getting it on with yourself?
Written by: Terri Washington. 05 April 2019. Original Publication: 15 August 2013. Health. Hornet.com
Residents in the UK are the most likely to combine drugs with sex, compared with the US, other European countries, Australia and Canada, a new research shows.
Researchers at University College London surveyed 22,000 people as part of the Global Drug Survey.
Respondents answered online questions about whether they use drugs specifically to enhance their sexual experience. Moreover, they specified which drugs they used in combination with sex.
Bi and gay men more likely to take sex-enjhancing drugs
The Journal of Sexual Medicine study highlights alcohol, cannabis, MDMA and cocaine are the drugs respondents most commonly take when having sex.
Respondents further revealed MDMA increased ’emotionality/intimacy’ the most, while GHB/GBL increased ‘sexual desire’ the most.
Gay and bisexual men were more likely to have used substances to enhance their sexual experience, especially those typically considered as chemsex drugs, such as methamphetamine, mephedrone and GHB/GBL.
Particularly, gay men were 1.6 times as likely as straight men to have used drugs with the specific intent of enhancing the sexual experience in the last year.
Taylor harm-reduction message is crucial
However, people of all genders and sexual orientations reported engaging in substance-linked sex.
‘While using drugs in combination with and to specifically enhance the sexual experience tends to be associated with gay and bisexual men, we found that in our sample, men and women of all sexual orientations engaged in this behaviour,’ the study’s lead author, Dr. Will Lawn, said.
‘However, differences between groups did emerge.’
‘Harm reduction messages relating to substance-linked sex in general should therefore not only be targeted towards gay and bisexual men, as they are relevant to all groups,’ he also said.
Senior author Professor Adam Winstock, founder and director of the Global Drug Survey added: ‘Our study is by far the largest to date to investigate the relationships between sex and drugs. Previous studies have rarely compared men and women, and people of different sexual orientations.
‘Furthermore, by appreciating how different drugs affect sex we can tailor our harm reduction messages. These pragmatic messages can save lives.’
People in the UK more likely to take drugs
Survey respondents were self-selecting rather than a representative sample.
Therefore, the researchers say their estimates of prevalence will be substantially larger than the general population. Nonetheless, relative differences between groups are expected to be reliable.
While respondents didn’t need to clarify their country of residence, currency was used as a proxy.
This revealed that those from the UK were more likely to have combined all substances except for cannabis, with sex. This trend was particularly relevant for mephedrone.
Written by: Stefania Sarrubba. 02 April 2019. Chemsex. Gaystarnews.com
Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rosselló has announced he will issue an executive order banning “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors in the Commonwealth.
Rosselló told reporters that the discredited attempts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity have “zero scientific bases and causes significant damage.” He did not give a timeline for when he would issue the order.
“As a father, as a scientist and as the governor for everyone in Puerto Rico, I firmly believe that the idea that there are people in our society who need treatment because of their gender identity or whom they love is not only absurd, it is harmful to so many children and young adults who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” Rosselló said in a press release.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz echoed Rosselló’s concerns on social media the next day, tweeting, “Conversion therapies are inhumane and intend to strip the human being of their dignity. Love is love. It is a simple concept. Our countrymen from the LGBTT community love, period. And love will always, always win over hate: Always.”
Bans on the psychologically harmful pseudoscience are rapidly gaining steam across the nation.
Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have already banned the practice.
Written by: Bil Browning. 22 March 2019. lgbtqnation.com
Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds has pleaded with religious leaders to denounce ‘gay cure’ therapy.
The pop star, both straight and Mormon, is vocal in his support to the LGBTI community.
He established the Love Loud music festival which benefits LGBTI suicide charities.
Dan Reynolds urges religious leaders to denounce ‘gay cure’ therapy Reynolds said: ‘I plead with our religious leaders across the world to stand up for equality together.
‘True equality – not empty words of love – but statements and actions thats show our LGBTQ youth that they are “sinless” and perfect just as they are.'
‘Until these changes are made within the doctrines of orthodox faith, we will continue to see increased rates of suicidality and depression/anxiety amongst our LGBTQ youth.’
He continued: ‘It is a false notion that LGBTQ youth are more likely to have emotional vulnerabilities because of who they are/how their brains are programmed.'
‘The truth is that the leaders of our communities have created societal rules that leave no room for our LGBTQ youth to be healthy.
‘It is a flawed system, not a flawed individual.'
‘Until the leaders of all orthodox faiths denounce conversion therapy and accept our LGBTQ youth into full fellowship I believe we will continue to see a great exodus from all orthodox faith.'
‘We are not a generation that will stand for intolerance, homophobia or racism.’
Reynolds concluded: ‘And to those that say the simple answer is for our youth to just leave religion – it isn’t that simple.'
‘Many of these LGBTQ youth will be kicked out of the home and put into a more dangerous situation if they denounce the faith of their family.'
‘Also many find peace in their faith. They love it.'
‘It brings them comfort in a sad and oftentimes scary world.'
‘It is now up to our leaders to LEAD. How many more children will be lost before we practice true love in our churches?’
Written by: Joe Morgan. 21 March 2019. gaystarnews.com
Japan should stop forcing transgender people to be surgically sterilized, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday (20 March).
The rights group released an 84-page report detailing the harm caused by Japan’s Gender Identity Disorder Special Cases (GID) Act.
According to Japan’s law, two ‘respected medical professional’ must first diagnose a trans person with ‘gender identity disorder’ before they can apply to change gender.
They must also be over 20 years old, unmarried, not have any underage children.
Importantly, the law forbids them to have functioning genitalia.
‘Japan should uphold the rights of transgender people and stop forcing them to undergo surgery to be legally recognized’ said Kanae Doi, Japan director at HRW.
The law is based on an outdated premise that treats gender identity as a so-called ‘mental illness’ and should be urgently revised.’
Medical procedures are lengthy, expensive, invasive, dangerous, and irreversible, the report says.
The practice is also contrary to international human rights law and international medical best practices.
What’s more, Japan’s Supreme Court recently upheld the law.
‘It is humiliating’
HRW spoke to 48 transgender people, as well as with lawyers, health providers, and academics from 14 prefectures in Japan.
They painted a picture of how the law infringes on their rights.
Some of the trans people included in the report said they felt forced to undergo surgery.
‘I don’t want to [have surgery], to be honest’ one transgender man told HRW. ‘I feel pressured to be operated on – so terrible.’
Another transgender man said he felt ’severely insulted’ and that his human rights had been neglected. ‘It is humiliating.’
‘The surgery requirement itself feels wrong. It feels a lot like a surgery to maintain order. Why do we have to put a scalpel through our healthy bodies just for sake of the country’s order?’
Many transgender Japanese people have to decide between being legally recognized and having the body they want.
Japanese law rushes them into making life-changing and irreversible decisions about their bodies.
Written by: Rik Glauert. 20 March 2019. gaystarnews.com
Health care for women has been a challenge for thousands of years. It's even been a point of celebration as depicted in images of a woman giving birth in a barn, iconic of the holiday season.
But at the last IAS International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) there were no stars shining over Bethlehem in the Amsterdam horizon for tens of millions of HIV-positive women. Instead, studies at last year's AIDS 2018 show that women living with HIV are experiencing significant barriers to comprehensive treatment, statistical representation, and the retention in care needed to prevent and treat co-morbidities.
In fact, co-morbidities are increasingly becoming the most complex, expensive, and serious manifestations of HIV in the antiretroviral era.
In a thought-provoking presentation at AIDS 2018, David Malebranche MD, MPH, from Morehouse School of Medicine, demonstrated how the HIV continuum of care is failing key population often overlooked. A key point of Dr. Malebranche’s presentation was to stop solely blaming patients for difficulties existing in their maintaining consistent treatment and care, and examine how the biases of the medical community are contributing to these inconsistencies.
This failure is also driving single HIV-positive mothers living below the poverty line, who are experiencing co-morbidities relating to their HIV, to fall through the cracks of the current treatment paradigm. These women experience extreme difficulty getting into and staying retained in clinical studies and maintaining medical appointments. In many cases, this is due to clearly defined barriers: transportation, lack of childcare, conflicting schedules, and a lack of support from an economy allotting just enough to survive but not the dignity needed to surpass mere existence.
Continued lack of support for key populations of people living with HIV (PLWHA) and the unique obstacles they face, only hinder efforts to meet challenges to delivering treatment, particularly of HIV associated co-morbidities.
Data presented at AIDS 2018, as well as in peer reviewed literature, indicates HIV-positive single mothers living below the poverty line have a high incidence of long-term economic and personal challenges that are counterproductive to treatment. As a demographic, women and many of the diseases that affect them remain unrepresented in recent studies by The AIDS Clinical Trial Groups (ACTGs), ANRS, and other publicly sponsored research networks.
A recent study showed that HIV-positive women with chronic depressive symptoms are twice as likely to die, even after adjusting for mortality predictors such as CD4 count and age. Also identified was the importance of mental health issues on factors of co-morbidities like cardiovascular disease and co-infections.
Without HIV exposure, women show greater predisposition for CVD, IBD, and parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis has been shown to facilitate the progression of HIV along with other diseases including CVD, as well as facilitate the permissiveness of co-morbidities. Taken together, these clinical concerns are undermining the premise of HIV being a chronic manageable condition in neglected key populations.
There’s a library of literature substantiating that women generally present high risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease, and unsurprisingly, CVD is the leading cause of mortality in HIV- positive women. HIV exacerbates inflammation and compounds traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors. HIV is associated with a 50 percent increased risk of AMI beyond that explained by recognized risk factors.
Additionally, drugs like Maryzime’s MB103 for AMI may offer a significant advancement in the treatment of HIV associated AMI. The success seen in the REPREIVE study, where Patavastatin showed benefit in the prevention and treatment of HIV-related CVD, show the need for more research on interventions such as MB103 to address the various forms of CVD in women, and all PLWHAs, are experiencing CVD.
Studies on ARV adherence and poly-pharmacy at AIDS 2018 demonstrated the absence of focus on clinical challenges HIV-positive single mothers experience in navigating the complexity of treatment landscapes. And while studies addressing drug resistance are plentiful, correlations of resistance and co-morbidities in HIV-positive single mothers, remain unaddressed.
A study published in the June online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes examining poly-pharmacy in HIV-positive people, reported that half of people over 50 were at risk of drug interactions between ARVs and other medications.
Studies at the conference focused on Immune dysfunction due to elevated inflammation- which drives co-morbidities and contributes to cancers that disproportionately affect HIV- positive women -was sparse. We know seven out of 10 women develop an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s and IBS — comorbidities that occur more frequently in the context of HIV.
We also know that low CD4 lymphocytes affect severity in both HIV and IBD. The incidence of ulcerative colitis in HIV is about double that of what is expected in a normal population. Use of several drugs for autoimmune diseases that affect women most, such as IBD and Crohn’s, are known to increase risk of lymphoma. Two of the leading drugs approved for such conditions, Remicade and Humira, are immune suppressive and a third, Entyvio, increases risk for Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML).
Lodonal, a formulation of low-dose Naltrexone in phase IIB/III development by Immune Therapeutics, demonstrated significant improvements in symptom relief in Crohn’s, reduction of inflammation, and could be an option for these women and many conditions that disproportionately affect them.
HIV-related diarrhea was reported at AIDS 2018 to still be occurring at the same rate as it was 17 years ago. According to a poster presentation, a review of 38 ARV focused clinical trials found that the rate of non- infectious diarrhea has remained at 17-18 percent despite the widespread use of ARVs. Mytesi, the only FDA approved treatment for HIV-related diarrhea, continues to be under-prescribed. This troubling condition is linked to ARV non-adherence, malnutrition, depression and isolation conditions many HIV-positive women struggle with.
The AIDS 2018 and HIV Glasgow 2018 conferences demonstrated how far we’ve come over the course of the epidemic in advancements of ART and the HIV prevention toolbox.
Atreca published data on their BNAB immune capture platform showing exceptional activity directed against HIV from individuals with serum activity capable of potently neutralizing genetically diverse strains of HIV. So, while we’re waiting in the purgatory of balancing the marginal, incremental advances of small molecule antiretroviral drug development for therapeutic vaccines like the phase 2B Vacc-C5 from Bionor Pharma, early stage BNABS by Atreca, and with long acting ARV’s just on the horizon, that could transform the course of epidemic, poz patients continue to die from preventable co-morbidities driven by elevated inflammation.
The HIV pandemic is changing and the community needs to support prioritizing agendas at the ACTG’s, MHRP, and the CTN to address the emerging risks of GI co-morbidities like Crohn’s and IBS, HIV-related CVD manifestations of AMI and A-Fib. Not to mention, accelerated aging with HIV along with the concerns that co-infection with toxoplasmosis, HPV, and other pathogens represent to morbidity — not just for women and single HIV-positive mothers, but on a global scale.
AIDS 2018 should have been a turning point for a new scientific agenda that created room at the table for overlooked HIV key populations. The upcoming 2019 HIV Science Conference in Mexico City in July is our next best chance to make that priority a reality.
Written by: Jennifer LeAnne & David Miller. 01 March 2019. plus.com
Sarah Spiegel, a third-year med student at New York Medical College, is pushing for more comprehensive LGBTI health training.
Tell me more!
After being disappointed in the brief information about LGBTI health given to her in her first year of med school, Spiegel decided to make a change.
By her second year, she became president of the school’s LGBT Advocacy in Medicine Club. Spiegel and a group of peers approached the administration about the lack of LGBTI content in the curriculum.
According to Spiegel, the administration was ‘amazingly receptive’ to the idea. Thus, the school went from an hour and half of LGBTI-focused content to seven hours. Spiegel does not think this change would have happened had the school’s LGBTI group not pushed for it.
Spiegel went on to join The American Medical Student Association’s Gender and Sexuality Committee as the LGBTQ Advocacy Coordinator. Her job in this role was to bring curricular change to other medical schools in the New York area.
Med schools and LGBTI health
Numerous studies have shown that medical schools do a poor job of training future doctors to understand the LGBTI population’s unique health needs. This is especially true when it comes to transgender and intersex people. A 2017 survey of students at Boston University School of Medicine found their knowledge of transgender and intersex health to be less than LGB health.
However, LGBTI people, especially transgender individuals, face a disproportionately high rate of mental illness, HIV, and other intersecting issues. A poll conducted by NPR found that 1 in 5 LGBTI adults have avoided medical care out of fear of discrimination.
‘The health of disparity populations is something that really should be the focus of health profession students,’ Dr. Madeline Deutsch, an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco, tells NPR.
‘Sexual and gender minorities have historically been not viewed as a key population. That’s unfortunate because of the size of the population, and because of the extent of the disparities that the population faces.’
While the amount of time medical students spend on LGBTI-related issues varies, a 2011 study found the median amount of time spent on the topic was a mere five hours. Topics most frequently addressed were safe sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. However, topics like gender transitioning weren’t often spoken of.
‘There’s not really a consistent curriculum that exists around this content,’ says Deutsch.
Activists doing the work
But with activists like Sarah Spiegel, LGBTI health is being spoken about more and more.
Written by: Rafaella Gunz. 20 January 2019. Gaystarnews.com