Homophobia in medical practice is an unfortunate reality. Disclosing information about sexual orientation can be anxiety provoking. We specialize in addressing the unique needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in a culturally sensitive environment.

Overall, the LGBT community generally receives less health care and the quality of this care also suffers. LGBT individuals face financial, personal, and cultural barriers as they attempt to access competent, culturally sensitive health care services. Mistrust of the medical profession and the anxiety produced from facing these barriers prevent some LGBT individuals from receiving the screening and preventive services they need, and may, in fact, cause delays in receiving necessary care for treating acute conditions. There is a general tendency to be guarded or not disclose information about their sexual orientation or gender identity. This may further impede proper health care treatment.

Evidence increasingly suggests that gay men are at increased risk for anal cancer, lung cancer, and Hepatitis A & B. Gay men also have a higher tendency to smoke, abuse substances and suffer from depression. Lesbians are at increased risk for breast cancer, and have a tendency to smoke and abuse substances. There is also a lack of medical education given providers and researchers regarding the unique aspects of LGBT health care, including examination techniques, patient history, and preventive recommendations. Intake forms rarely include the option for providing information about same sex partners. Further complicating proper treatment is restricted access to the same sex partner when making medical decisions. (Healthy People 2010: Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgender Health Companion Guide)

Disclosure of sexual orientation in the health care setting is crucial to the provision of appropriate, individualized quality health care. Please call (713) 830-3000 to schedule an appointment and to get any questions answered.


  
A Public Service Message  
Sponsored by the Mayor's  
Hepatitis C Task Force