HHS report spells out steps to improve health of LGBT population

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 9, 2012

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The federal government plans to help primary care physicians better care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients by making sure physician training includes curricula designed to increase skills in delivering integrated health services to that population.

A Dept. of Health and Human Services report, issued June 20, details this and other steps HHS is taking to promote the health of LGBT people. Among goals are funding pilot studies to identify ways to reduce obesity in lesbian and bisexual women, and continuing to call for federally funded health and demographic surveys that report sexual orientation and gender identity data (link).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to release data on sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence by sexual orientation for the first time this year, the report said. The Food and Drug Administration will launch advertising programs aimed at reducing smoking among at-risk populations, including LGBT youth.An estimated 8.8 million Americans (3.8% of the population) say they are LGBT. Experts say the actual figure probably is higher. In general, LGBT people have an increased risk of developing cancer and contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, experts say. They also are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke, use drugs, be overweight, attempt suicide and engage in other risky behaviors than heterosexual counterparts, according to physicians who specialize in treating LGBT individuals.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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