Recent moves by the Biden administration to prohibit health care discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity were widely applauded by civil rights groups. But health officials are still fighting a battle when it comes to making sure all LGBTQ individuals receive adequate health care.
Dr. Jonathan Appelbaum, professor and chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences in the Florida State University College of Medicine, researches health disparities in the LGBTQ population. He also is the Laurie L. Dozier Jr., M.D, Education Director and a professor of internal medicine, as well as a practicing physician.
“The discrimination, social stigma and denial of their civil rights that LGBTQ individuals face contribute to poorer health outcomes,” Appelbaum said. “Research shows us that they face a higher rate of bullying, suicide, substance use disorders and various cancers. These health outcomes don’t happen for biological reasons. A shortage of gender-affirming health care keeps people from accessing the services they need.”