The Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the United States are faced with various barriers in accessing health services, which can have adverse effects on their health outcomes. Some of these barriers include discrimination, prejudice, stigma, rejection by family, friends and communities. Other barriers include inequality in the workplace, in health insurance and providers sectors, and just blatant denial of services and care based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation has shown disparities in health outcomes in the LGBT community compared to their heterosexual and non-transgender counterparts.
Some keys findings were:
- LGBT individuals were more likely to rate their health as poor, have more chronic illnesses, and have higher prevalence and incidence of disabilities compared to heterosexuals.
- Also, the LGBT community has higher diagnoses of asthma, headaches, allergies, osteoarthritis, and gastro-intestinal problems compared to heterosexual communities.
- Within the LGBT community, lesbian and bisexual women reported poorer physical health and higher rates of urinary tract infections, Hepatitis B and C, and asthma compared to heterosexual women.
Adedotun Ogunbajo, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health