“The LGBTQ + community is very diverse, and for community members who are also members of other marginalized groups, such as people of color, people with disabilities and those living in rural communities, the results are exponentially worse,” John D. Evans, chairman of the AMA Foundation scholarship committee, said in a statement.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted inequalities in health care for LGBTQ + people of color and other marginalized communities, as these groups have received inconsistent and inadequate care and representation throughout. pandemic, ”Evans said.
Petty said studies show that LGBTQ + people experience higher rates of depression, increased risk of suicide and more smoking and drug addiction, often linked to stigma, discrimination or lack of support from families. Some who have had negative experiences with doctors avoid necessary medical attention.
“There are significant health disparities due to the stressors many members of the community face,” said Petty, who is a lesbian. “It can impact their preventive health care, from cancer screenings to heart screenings.”
Doctors have become more sensitive to the needs of patients in recent years, but some still harbor stereotypes that can affect care, she said. They might think lesbians don’t need Pap smears to find cervical cancer, mistakenly assuming that the HPV virus can’t be passed between women or that lesbians have never had one. sex with men, she said. They might think there is no point in discussing safe sex with gay men, believing that most will be unsafe and promiscuous anyway.