Dr. Randy Martin from Piedmont Healthcare and HealthWatch MD today released a video highlighting the unique health concerns for LGBT persons in light of recent medical reports examining the gay community.
Martin, a former medical correspondent for Atlanta's WSB TV, is a well-known figure in Atlanta medicine and the medical correspondent for HealthWatch MD.
Martin spoke with Dr. Patrick Coleman, an internal medicine specialist at Piedmont Physicians in Atlantic Station, about the lack of research in LGBT healthcare and specific issues facing gay and lesbian patients, including increased risk of substance abuse, cancer in lesbians and depression among LGBT youth.
To better understand the health of LGBT people, questions about sexual orientation and gender identity should be included in federally funded surveys and electronic health records, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine.
The groundbreaking report, considered “historic” by some, is another step in the federal recognition of LGBT people as a population who has its own specific health needs.
“It’s easy to assume that because we are all humans, gender, race, or other characteristics of study participants shouldn’t matter in health research, but they certainly do,” IOM Committee Chair Robert Graham said March 31, when the report was released.
Graham is a professor of family medicine and public health sciences at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati.
The AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta is one of the leading HIV/AIDS research facilities in the nation and is at the forefront of conducting clinical drug trials in the treatment and prevention of the disease.
Dr. Melanie Thompson, ARCA’s founder and principal investigator, says the nonprofit is currently undertaking new studies, including research on drugs not licensed yet for HIV, a drug for lowering cholesterol for those with HIV, a Hepatitis C study and a new research program set to be rolled out soon for African-American men who have sex with men. Another study deals with a single pill that combines three drugs for those who have never taken HIV medicines.
ARCA was also selected last year as the only site for the first therapeutic trial ever conducted using an HIV vaccine candidate from GeoVax. GeoVax vaccines are being studied for HIV prevention, but ARCA is the only facility using the same products for treatment of HIV positive people.
Nicholas Jacobs, 27, started teaching fitness classes when he was a teenager, following in his mother’s footsteps.
“My mom was an instructor for the YMCA and when I was young I started taking classes and then teaching classes myself when I got older,” he said.
Jacobs moved to Atlanta in 2004 and is originally from the “cornfields of Ohio” — or the small town of Lancaster, Ohio. Fitness has always played a major role in his life and led him to teach classes at LA Fitness. Now Jacobs is ready to take his career one step further.
Although he works fulltime as an account executive for Creative Loafing, he is launching his new side business, Sweat Atlanta. The new business kicks off with a free boot camp Saturday, April 16, at the Regal Hollywood 24 on I-85. While this may be an odd location, Jacobs, who is gay, says there is plenty of parking as well as green space. The boot camp will also include movie ticket giveaways for participants.
Last night, Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central's “The Colbert Report,” highlighted recent statements made by The Family Leader's Bob Vander Plaats comparing the health risks of smoking cigarettes to homosexuality.
Colbert called on the Surgeon General to put warning labels on gay-folk, saying “If your gay sex is causing smoke, you may want to slow things down.”
“Smoking is just like being gay. That's why you always see people huddled outside work taking a ten minute 'gay' break.”
Vander Plaats elaborates in an interview with Think Progress:
Tynesha Wells, 39, has not been to a gynecologist in two years although she knows it is important for her health to do so.
As a self-identified stud, Wells said she does not like facing the strange looks that sometimes come when she enters a doctor’s office dressed like a man.
“When I have gone they haven’t been sensitive at all,” Wells said about past experiences at a gynecologist’s office. “I know health wise I need it but do I want to go through the humiliating process to do it. You’re already in a vulnerable situation.”
Wells’ partner is feminine and doesn’t feel uncomfortable going for her annual exam.
More data is needed to understand the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and one way to gather that necessary information is to have federally funded surveys ask this information on forms, such as they do for race and gender, and collected in electronic health records, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine.
The groundbreaking report, considered "historic" by some, is another step in the federal recognition of LGBT people as a population who has its own specific health needs.
"It's easy to assume that because we are all humans, gender, race, or other characteristics of study participants shouldn't matter in health research, but they certainly do," said IOM committee chair Robert Graham in a statement released today. Graham is professor of family medicine and public health sciences and Robert and Myfanwy Smith Chair, department of family medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati.
"It was only when researchers made deliberate efforts to engage women and racial and ethnic minorities in studies that we discovered differences in how some diseases occur in and affect specific populations,” Graham added. “Routine collection of information on race and ethnicity has expanded our understanding of conditions that are more prevalent among various groups or that affect them differently. We should strive for the same attention to and engagement of sexual and gender minorities in health research."
The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative is partnering with several groups to make African-American female health more accessible to women who identify as butch or studs and are not as likely to respond, for example, to pink ribbons to raise awareness about breast cancer.
To promote the Stud Health Project, a spoken word event is slated for this Saturday, March 26, at the Rush Center, from 6:30-9 p.m. The event and health project is a collaboration of the ALHI and the Center for Black Women’s Wellness, the Vision Church, the LGBT Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity that caters to masculine identified females, and Agenda Benda Justice.
Same-sex couples with adopted children living in states with anti-gay adoption laws and attitudes had more mental health issues in their first year of parenthood than couples with adopted children living in more accepting states, a new study has found.
In addition, same-sex couples with adopted children who perceived higher support from their family and workplace and lived in more gay-friendly neighborhoods reported better mental health than those who did not.
While the results may seem like common sense, this is the first study to examine changes in depression and anxiety across the first year of adoptive parenthood in same-sex couples. It is also the first study to examine mental health among new gay male parents, either adoptive or biological.