LBGTQ Health Care

LBGTQ Health Care

Thursday’s lecture about health disparities of LBGTQ people was shocking to me. I never knew that after all of these years LBGTQ are still being mistreated, especially by doctors and other medical staff who are supposed to be helping everyone.

What surprised me the most was the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how nobody took action. The entire outbreak could have been minimized if HIV was not written off as the “gay disease.” The government and healthcare professionals didn’t take action because they figured the disease wouldn’t affect them. Their lack of action and sympathy led to an entire epidemic that killed thousands of people.

It also surprised me that people don’t know about the preventative HIV drug that is on the market. Especially after the deadliness of the original epidemic, you would assume everyone should know how to avoid a similar situation. Insurance companies and the drug company cover most of the cost of the drug, yet not that many people are using it. Or the people who are using the drug are at the lowest risk of actually getting HIV. There is a lack of awareness for such a useful drug that could save thousands of lives.

The United States is supposed to be an accepting place where everyone has the opportunity for a better life. But as a country we have a history of forgetting about and mistreating minority populations. My question is what steps do we need to take in order to fix this problem and give equal treatment to everyone?

10 thoughts on “LBGTQ Health Care

  1. As you mentioned, the United States is supposed to be a country that is accepting and allow for all individuals to express who they are. We know this to be untrue, especially in relation to minority populations. This can be seen in examples of all the mistreatment these populations have suffered both in the past and in today’s modern world.

    The use of shock therapy and other methods to “cure” homosexuality is absolutely grotesque. It’s scary to even think that the United States was that ignorant at one point. However, this gives me the hope that the injustices that communities face today will not have to face the same struggles in years to come. Just as women have progressed throughout time, and still are fighting for many things, I believe these communities will progress and not stop fighting until there is truly equality for all. It will definitely take time to eradicate these biases but with each generation brings a new era of progressive minds.

  2. I agree, I was shocked by how little the government or healthcare professionals responded to the HIV epidemic. The president at the time was even reluctant to even say HIV/AIDS. It’s inexcusable that a whole group of people were marginalized and unprotected because of the strong biases in society at the time. Only once it was made aware to the public that it was not a gay disease, action started to take place. Even today, as you mentioned, the people who really need the drug to combat HIV/AIDS aren’t getting it as often as those who are at the lowest risk. This also shows that the biases still are prevalent today. What we can do to right these wrongs is educate others. Educate about biases in our society and healthcare system, HIV/AIDS, the LGBTQ community, and the treatments available. If we accept that these biases do exist, only then can we really make progress in creating healthcare that is suitable for everyone.

  3. Education is key to preventing discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. When people don’t understand something that is different from them they tend to act in these discriminatory ways. Anyone in the health field should have to take a class about the disparities that go on for LGBTQ+ health. Perhaps if they saw the statistics and had to face that reality they would be more inclined to change the problems that are going on. Simply, people need to learn to accept the differences that people have. If we can get past this, change can be possible, and everyone can start receiving that health care that they deserve. We should not have to be shocked that so many LGBTQ+ members are not receiving the best possible health care.

  4. Everything you bring up when it comes to unequal treatment of members in the LBGTQ community shocked me this past week. Even though we have come very far, everyone is still not on the same, level playing field, especially when it comes to healthcare. I think this is partly due to ignorance. People just do not understand the communities that they are suppose to be treating.

    Shock treatment, and chemical sterilization were just wrong ways to treat LBGTQ people. This was not even that long ago. Shock treatment was used as a “treatment” to change a person’s sexuality in the 1920s and chemical sterilization was used during the WWII era in the UK. The world also incorrectly labeled HIV/AIDS as a “gay disease” in the 1980s, possibly extending the outbreak/epidemic by years. While things have most definitely progressed, we still have a long way to go. Education and awareness can make the biggest difference in removing any inequalities directed towards LBGTQ people. For example, I’m sure most people in UC105 are not consciously biased against LBGTQ people but many people learned about unconscious biases they have just by attending Adam’s lecture last Thursday.

  5. I found myself completely shocked also by many the things that you mentioned here. Its unbelievable to me that medical professionals would classify someone who did not love the opposite sex as ill. This no doubt played a role in people classifying homosexuality as taboo. Even worse than this was the fact that the proper actions were not taken during the AIDs/HIV epidemic. So many people died simply because the nation failed to respond to this issue. Its scary that this only happened in the 80s which wasn’t that long ago. Even though steps have been made to improve the LGBTQ community since then, there is still a lot of work to be done. It is up to us citizens to not let the injustice that they face go unnoticed. Not doing anything is just as bad as doing something bad. Personally, I think the best place to start improvements is to properly educate people so that they will be able to identify their unconscious biases and work on treating everyone with equality in health care and in life in general.

  6. I was also shocked about the lack of knowledge about medications like PrEP and Truvada. One would think that because of the huge social stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS that more people would be more proactive in protecting themselves and others from contracting the disease, but I think some people may find the subject taboo or embarrassing to talk about with their health care provider in fear of coming across like they have reckless or unprotected sex. I also think one reason is the lack of education of LGBTQ+ history in school. In most cases, one has to seek out the information on their own time, instead of being taught the subject by a trained individual.

  7. In general, the topics that get the most treatment are those that the media makes the biggest deal about.  With the LBGTQ people having more exposure in the media recently, I believe that more of issues that plague them have received more attention.  As HIV was often associated with LBGTQ community, it will get more attention over time.  As a future health care professional, by recognizing these issues, I can impact my co-workers and patients by helping them recognize these issues and help them respond in a more positive way.   A more complete way to help an institution is to require training to deal with those dealing with this issue and to educate the staff on proper responses.   If healthcare professionals were better trained to recognize when the preventative HIV drug should be used based on signs, symptoms, and stages in which the patient was presently in, a team approach could be used to better treat the patient.  This would allow us as a health care community to provide better and equal treatment to everyone.

  8. I wouldn’t say that I was shocked about the behavior of physicians and the United States as whole toward the LGBTQ community; I am frustrated. People in the United States have a hard time excepting new lifestyles that are different from the normality or what they are used to. I guess I am frustrated at the fact that physicians, like others have stated previously, behaved in this manner when the AIDS epidemic came about. Physicians are supposed to aid those who are in need of health care, not neglect nor overlook them. That’s exactly what happened to the LGBTQ community when HIV/AIDS spread. It was already bad enough that the LGBTQ community was not entirely excepted in the United States when epidemic began. But, for physicians to allow their bias to reach a point where they neglect a person in LGBTQ community is absurd.

    Like Gabby stated, the president at the time, Ronald Reagan, barely acknowledge the situation. If the president was behaving this way, what kind of example do you think he set for the country? I think HIV/AIDS would not have spread like it did if physicians, Ronald Raegan, and anyone else, were open to educating themselves on the Queer community and depth of how HIV/AIDS was spread. Although today biases are not as harsh, they are still present. People have to acknowledge their bias, especially physicians, and learn to adapt to different things and people. One step at a time can make a difference in the way people think of others.

  9. Just like you, I too was surprised by how the LBGTQ community was being treated. To be quiet honest, I was not very familiar with this community until Thursdays lecture. To here that in American, the most amazing country, still treats people less than others is very disappointing. With everything occurring in the world, I am not that shocked though. I to found the preventative HIV drug very interesting and surprising. I never knew about it until now and that insurance covers most of the cost, as you mentioned. The downfall is that people are not taking advantage of such a blessing for some people and when they get stuck with HIV you begin to ask how. Your final statement was touching and I can relate very much. America will soon get over this slump of treating minorities of different communities differently. Every nation has a downfall and this may be ours. Equal treatment will soon be sought out throughout the entire nation from minorities of different races to the LGBTQ community itself.

  10. I think that it is interesting and important that you point out that the United States is supposed to be such as accepting place for all. As I have grown I have learned more and more that this is unfortunately not the case at times. The United States has a history of belittling those who are different and struggling to understand new views and cultures, and yet we ironically have been called “the melting pot”.
    This is a problem that is extremely prevalent in health care. Minorities, such as those in the LGBT population, often do not receive the health care they deserve. Although society is progressing and making improvements, there are still areas where the system is lacking in terms of care for those in minority populations. Time and time again we see the health problems of minorities be minimized and this is simply not okay. A huge example of this was presented in the article we were assigned last week, in which the transgender black man was denied proper care because “women of color often have irregular periods”. This type of ignorance can be extremely detrimental to everyone and should not be taken lightly. The stigmas surrounding those of certain populations must be dropped for everyone to get the health care they deserve. These biases are completely unethical and are causing terrible effects on the health of those individuals involved.

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