About LGBT Health
People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are members of every community. They are diverse, come from all walks of life, and include people of all races and ethnicities, all ages, all socioeconomic statuses, and from all parts of the United States. The perspectives and needs of LGBT people should be routinely considered in public health efforts to improve the overall health of every person and eliminate health disparities.
In addition to considering the needs of LGBT people in programs designed to improve the health of entire communities, there is also a need for culturally competent medical care and prevention services that are specific to this population. Social inequality is often associated with poorer health status, and sexual orientation has been associated with multiple health threats. Members of the LGBT community are at increased risk for a number of health threats when compared to their heterosexual peers [1-5]. Differences in sexual behavior account for some of these disparities, but others are associated with social and structural inequities, such as the stigma and discrimination that LGBT populations experience.
These pages provide information and resources on some of the health issues and inequities affecting LGBT communities. Links to other information sources and resources are also provided. Some of this information is designed for members of the general public. Other information has been developed for health care providers, public health professionals, and public health students.
- Mayer KH, Bradford JB, Makadon HJ, et al. Sexual and gender minority health: What we know and what needs to be done. American Journal of Public Health. 2008:98; 989-995.
- Wolitski, RJ, Stall, R Valdiserri, RO. Eds. Unequal Opportunity: Health Disparities Affecting Gay and Bisexual Men in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
- Clements NK, Marx R, Guzman R, Katz M. HIV prevalence, risk behaviors, health care use, and mental health status of transgender persons: implications for public health interventions. American Journal of Public Health. 2001;91:915-921.
- Meyer IL, Northridge ME. Eds. The Health of Sexual Minorities: Public Health Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Populations. New York: Springer. 2007.
- Solarz, AL. Ed. Lesbian Health: Current Assessment and Directions for the Future. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1999.