HIV Among LGBTQ Community

Sexual transmitted infections have affected our society to enhance their technology and improve medicine to better help those infected but as well as those who are are not infected. In particular, Chlamydia has had the highest diagnosed rate in bacterial sexual infections, affecting our young adults the most.  Sexually transmitted infections are related to sociology, gender roles, health sciences and what medicine information is provided to our society.  Furthermore, HIV plays a huge role in the LGBT community. LGBT stands for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. It is known that the LGBT community is more diverse.  In the US, homosexual men are 67 percent more likely to contract HIV than heterosexual men. Members of the homosexual (LGBT) community are at an increased risk of a number of health threats, including sexually transmitted diseases, compared to their heterosexual peers.

Though young women are the highest infected by Chlamydia, gender does not discriminate and it is one of the most diagnosed sexual bacterial infections in general and highly infects men as well. Like in women, men minorities, specifically African American and Hispanics, are at a higher risk to be infected but in particular homosexual men have more of a chance to get Chlamydia (Mizuno, Borkowf, Millett, Bingham, Ayala, & Stueve, 2012). Mayer stated that anal sexual activity has a higher rate in sexual transmitted infections like Chlamydia, this was correlated with homosexual men having a high infection rate (Mayer, Bekker, Stall, Grulich, Colfax, & Lama, 2012). Homosexuality was seen as a big factor in infections and diseases, it was later known that heterosexual couples are easily infected.

Health equity is a basic principle of public health. This states that all people have a right to health. Differences in the incidence and prevalence of health conditions and health status between groups are commonly referred to as health disparities. Most of these disparities are marginalized because of a variety of reasons. Sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race and gender are a few examples. Unfortunately, LGBT community members are suffering greatly by these disparities. People in such groups/ communities not only experience worse health but also tend to have less access to the social determinants or conditions that support health. This discrimination has yielded the LGBT community to attain their full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their social position or other socially determined circumstances. According to the CDC, In 2014, adult males who identify as homosexual men were 50% less likely to have visited a doctor in past 12 months compared to those identified as heterosexual males. In 2016, homosexual men were approximately 1.3 times more likely to visit the emergency room in the past 12 months then heterosexual men.

The health disparity has many consequences on the community and the individuals who suffer. The first is the impact that the doctor has towards homosexual individuals. LGBT patients find it difficult to disclose their sexual identity or preference to their doctor due to judgment. According to the Health Quality Index, 30% of LGBT adults do not seek health care service or attend a regular healthcare provider, compared to 10% of age-matched heterosexuals. In 2015 56% of LGBT adults and 70% of transgender individuals experience discrimination in health care setting. Other barriers are decreased access, lack of awareness and insensitivity to their unique health needs and inequitable health system policies and practices.

 The root causes of this disparity can be summarized by differences in opinion as well as differences in sexual behavior. Those with a less progressive attitude towards multiple sexual partners are accounted for some of the disparities. These disparities are associated from social inequalities and the stigma that the LGBT population faces everyday. In addition to opinions by others, LGBT members have been victimized and experience violence at higher rates than the general population and acceptance or lack of acceptance by our families of origin impacts these individuals mental and physical health.

Another root cause would be historically discriminating policies affecting health behavior and individual behavior regarding cultural norms in the homosexual community. Discrimination against LGBT individuals and families in housing, employment, marriage, adoption, retirement and health insurance means that the playing field is uneven to start. Therefore, the LGBT community has faced many obstacles especially in healthcare and caring for themselves. The Health Equity Promotion Model is aimed to eliminate disparities in the homosexual population by considering more inclusive research oriented towards LGBT people. The model would promote heterogeneity and intersectionality within the community and would help to positively influence structural and environmental context on a global scale.

According to The National Health Initiative, the model highlights a heterogeneity and intersectionality within LGBT communities; the influence of structural and environmental context; and both health-promoting and adverse pathways that encompass behavioral, social, psychological, and biological processes. It also expands upon earlier conceptualizations of sexual minority health by integrating a life course development perspective within the health-promotion model. By explicating the important role of agency and resilience as well as the deleterious effect of social structures on health outcomes, it supports policy and social justice to advance health and well-being in these communities. Important directions for future research as well as implications for health-promotion interventions and policies are offered.

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