Health Care Disparities in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) Community
It is important to identify at risk populations who suffer from health care disparities in order to decrease these disparities. Health care disparities can result in negative health outcomes when at risk populations are not afforded proper health treatment. According to Ranji, Beamesderfer, Kates, and Salganicoff (2014) health concerns and risk factors affecting the LGBT community include HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), drug abuse, mental health issues, and sexual and physical violence. The LGBT community is an at risk population due to barriers in health care linked to discrimination, prejudice, social stigma, and lack of access to health insurance especially for same-sex couples. (Healthypeople.gov 2013). It is important to identify community resources in the city of Houston for LGBT people in order to improve the health, safety, and well-being of these individuals. In an effort to promote the health of LGBT people, a health and wellness plan should be targeted within the LGBT community in the city of Houston.
Risk Factors Causing Health Disparities in the LGBT Community
HIV/AIDS is a major risk factor affecting a large portion of the LGBT community, especially gay men. CDC.gov (2013) found that gay and bisexual men of all races continue to be at high risk for developing HIV. According to Krehely (2009) the drug and substance abuse risk factor, as well as mental health issues in the LGBT community often occur and are related to high rates of stress due to the lack of family acceptance of the LGBT lifestyle, systematic discrimination, and the lack of cultural competency in the health care environment. Sexual and physical violence are also risk factors affecting the LGBT community. Carvalho, Lewis, Derlega, Winstead, and Viggiano (2011) found that sexual and physical violence among same-sex couples is a serious problem and is estimated to occur in 25-50% of gay and lesbian relationships.
Barriers to Health Care in the LGBT Community
Barriers to health care occur in many at risk populations. According to Blais and Hayes (2011) barriers to integrating culture and care in the health care environment include stereotyping, discrimination, and prejudice. These barriers often occur in the LGBT community. Barriers in the LGBT community such as discrimination and social stigma can lead to LGBT individuals not receiving culturally competent and quality medical care. According to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) (2012) recent evidence suggest that the LGBT community face a variety of barriers in accessing quality medical care such as the limited ability to access health insurance from employers for same-sex couples. This problem exists because many employers do not recognize same-sex unions. Other barriers in accessing quality health care include as disrespectful behavior from health care providers and the...