Around 3.5% of Americans identify themselves as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender.
The LGBT youth are at a higher risk for substance use, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), cancers, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, bullying, isolation, rejection, anxiety, depression, and suicide as compared to the general population.
LGBT youth receive poor quality of care due to stigma, lack of healthcare providers’ awareness, and insensitivity to what the LGBT community needs are.
Young LGBT individuals find it difficult to report their sexual identity to their health care providers and families. Some health care providers are not well trained in LGBT issues.
A study conducted in Washington DC showed that 68% of sexual minority youth reported about not discussing their sexual orientation, and 90% reported reservations about reporting them to their clinicians. The lack of training can strain the therapeutic relationship between the providers and patients. Therefore, it can influence the quality of care and appropriate delivery of health care.
If you add special health care needs in with LGBT issues it will be hard for youth to open up to a health care provider about his or her sexuality, medical diagnosis, and daily symptoms.
- Make sure Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs are comfortable with their health provider to share anything with them, it will only help aid in the care for them.
- Have them write things down before they go into the office to make sure everything is being discussed.
- Ask the health care provider how they feel about LGBT topics to see if this is the health care provider for you.
It’s important to make sure you and your health care provider are on the same page when it comes to your health care and you can be open about who you are to better your treatment options.