Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health
Among the APA's goals is to expand psychology's role in advancing health and in decreasing health disparities. The introductory summary of the Institute of Medicine's 2011 report, "The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for a Better Understanding," states:
"Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals experience unique health disparities. Although the acronym LGBT is used as an umbrella term, and the health needs of this community are often grouped together, each of these letters represents a distinct population with its own health concerns. Furthermore, among lesbians, gay men, bisexual men and women, and transgender people, there are subpopulations based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, age and other factors."
Compounding this is that there are at present no large scale population data sets that include information about sexual orientation and gender identity, and LGBT people have been the subject of relatively little health research. In addition to these issues, LGBT people face barriers to equitable health care that profoundly affects their overall well-being.
The information and resources provided on this page represent an ongoing effort by the APA's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns Office to bring together recent and ongoing work both in government agencies and the non-profit health care community to address these issues.
Public Policy and LGBT Health
When Policy Gets Under the Skin (In a Good Way): The Case of LGBT Health
Research finds that whether a jurisdiction has non-discrimination policies in place protecting LGBT people impacts health outcomes.
Organizations, Publications and Specialized Websites
The National LGBT Health Education Center provides educational programs, resources, and consultation to health care organizations with the goal of optimizing quality, cost-effective health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The center is a part of The Fenway Institute, the research, training, and health policy division of Fenway Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center, and one of the world's largest LGBT-focused health centers. The center is dedicated to the lifelong learning of those who work in health care and health education.
The Healthcare Guild is a grassroots organization of medical and mental healthcare professionals dedicated to improving healthcare services for gender and sexual minorities. The website serves as a consumer healthcare resource and referral network for consultation, advocacy and education.
The National Lesbian Health Organization
Implementing Curricular and Institutional Climate Changes to Improve Health Care for Individuals Who Are LGBT, Gender Nonconforming or Born with Differences of Sex Development
Association of American Medical Colleges
To reduce health disparities for people who are LGBT, gender nonconforming and/or are born with differences in sex development, all health care providers must learn to address the specific health care needs of these populations, and health care institutions must promote a climate that supports, values and includes individuals in these populations. This publication was developed to serve as a guide to direct curricular and institutional climate changes specific to these populations. It is designed to assist institutions in implementing curricular and climate change in medical educational institutions or programs.
Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community
A Field Guide
From the Joint Commission, urges US hospitals to create a more welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment that contributes to improved health care quality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients and their families. It features a compilation of strategies, practice examples, resources, and testimonials designed to help hospitals in their efforts to improve communication and provide more patient-centered care to their LGBT patients.
Practice Parameter on Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Sexual Orientation, Gender Nonconformity, and Gender Discordance in Children and Adolescents (PDF, 546KB)
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, September 2012
Providing care for GLBTQ patients
Nursing, December 2012
Sexuality, Traumatic Brain Injury and Rehabilitation
NeuroRehabilitation, April 2013
This website serves as a no-cost, open-access clearinghouse for the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data and measures.
The Hastings Center Report
Features numerous Special Reports on LGBT health issues with an emphasis on bioethics.
September - October 2014
This Trust for America's Health report lays out five priority domains important for creating a healthcare system that can meet the needs of young gay men.
Minority Stress and Physical Health Among Sexual Minorities
This article reviews empirical findings related to LGB physical health disparities and argues that such disparities are related to the experience of stress caused by experiences with antigay stigma.
Perspectives on Psychological Science, September 2013
The Affordable Care Act and LGBT Families: Everything You Need to Know
Center for American Progress, Family Equality Council, May 23, 2013
A useful tool for psychologists and students working with health care consumers.
Recommendations for promoting the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adolescents: a position paper of the society for adolescent health and medicine
Journal of Adolescent Health, April 2013
National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: Special Reports 2010
Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010
End LGBT Invisibility in Health Care Now! Do Ask, Do Tell
The Obama administration has taken significant steps to end LGBT invisibility in health care.
Feb. 25, 2013
New LGBT Health Journal Launching in 2013
The journal will assess the healthcare needs of each population that comprises the LGBT community, and identify gaps in knowledge as well as priority areas where policy development and research are needed to achieve healthcare parity for sexual and gender minorities.
Addressing the Health Needs of LGBT Missourians
Foundation report sheds light on LGBT health disparities in the state
The Missouri Foundation for Health
LGBT Health Research and the NIH: Testimony to IOM
Testimony of Clinton W. Anderson, PhD, on behalf of APA before the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science, Feb. 1, 2010.
Lesbian Health Research
Testimony of Charlotte Patterson, PhD, on behalf of APA on Lesbian Health Research before the Committee on Lesbian Health Research Priorities, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science, Oct. 6, 1997.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Aging
Resources to address the unique disparities facing a growing population of older LGBT adults.
HIV: Know the RISKS. Get the FACTS. Older Adults and HIV/AIDS Toolkit
Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging
Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice
A new report examines the social, economic and service barriers facing transgender older adults, by SAGE and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Caring and Aging with Pride Project report:
Disparities and Resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults (PDF, 3.75MB) from the Institute for Multigenerational Health
A semi-annual publication of the APA Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs
Suicide Prevention and Two-Spirited People
by the National Aboriginal Health Organization
Health and Human Services (HHS)
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Making Improvements for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Americans; an overview of initiatives.
The Office of Minority Health within the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services released its new National Partnership for Action to Eliminate Health Disparities, which includes the LGBT-inclusive National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity. The Partnership welcomes LGBT advocates, organizations, and providers in a wide-ranging effort to eliminate health disparities, including those that affect the LGBT community. Check out the strategy, share your thoughts, and sign up for the Partnership on the Office of Minority Health.
Feedback on The National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health (PDF, 55KB) by Linda A. Travis, PsyD, co-chair, Division 44 Health Initiatives Task Force
May 11, 2012
Medicare finalizes new rules to require equal visitation rights for all hospital patients
New requirements empower patients to designate their own visitors, including a same-sex domestic partner
Nov. 17, 2010
Institute of Medicine (IOM)
Institute of Medicine calls for expanded federal support for LGBT health research
By Howard Kurtzman
Psychological Science Agenda
The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding
A Consensus Report
March 31, 2011
- Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data in Electronic Health Records: Workshop Summary
Dec. 20, 2012
Testimony of Clinton W. Anderson, PhD on behalf of the American Psychological Association to the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities; Institute of Medicine, Washington.
Feb. 1, 2010
National Institute of Health (NIH)
NIH continues implementation of IOM's recommendations for LGBTI health research
Psychological Science Agenda
NIH report in response to the IOM's "The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding"
- NIH Director's statement
- Advancing LGBT health research
- Consideration of the IOM Report (PDF, 659KB)
NIH invites broad range of research on LGBTI health
In the Public Interest
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
ACA Enrollment Assistance for LGBT Communities: A Resource for Behavioral Health Providers
This briefing document is part of a toolkit designed to help behavioral health providers assist lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in enrolling in health insurance plans. Many LGBT people in the U.S. lack insurance coverage for behavioral health services and could benefit from enrollment support. The toolkit also includes a PowerPoint presentation and a consumer oriented Frequently Asked Questions brochure.
- Panel discussion at APA headquarters on Nov. 21, 2014: Addressing LGBT Behavioral Health Disparities by Improving Access to Care.
SAMHSA Promises Creation of New Task Force On LGBT Youth Suicide Prevention
APA member inquiries about this task force's status should be directed to SAMSHA Administrator Pamela Hyde and copied to our office.
Nov. 19, 2010
Veterans Affairs (VA)
APA Office on AIDS
The American Psychological Association's Office on AIDS provides information, training and technical assistance on a wide range of HIV/AIDS-related topics.
Best Practices in HIV Prevention: Translating Innovation into Action
National LGBT Health Education Center
A multi-media educational course that includes videos and slides from a September 2013 summit of experts about implementing strategies for HIV prevention into clinical practice.
When Health Care Isn't Caring: Lambda Legal's Survey on Discrimination Against LGBT People and People Living with HIV
This survey is the first to examine refusal of care and barriers to health care among LGBT and HIV communities on a national scale.
Addressing Mental Health Issues to Improve HIV Prevention Intervention Outcomes (PDF, 1.21MB)
Mental health problems can pose a particular challenge to the effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions. This document outlines ways in which mental health problems can affect the outcome of HIV prevention interventions and how agencies can better address the mental health needs of consumers seeking HIV prevention services.
Ending the HIV Epidemic Among Gay Men in the United States (PDF, 1.3MB) amfAR Issue Brief, September 2012
The brief examines how AIDS continues to pose a grave threat for gay men in the U.S., who constitute the largest proportion of new HIV infections, that young men who have sex with men (MSM) are the only risk group for which HIV incidence appears to be increasing, and that for gay men of color, the crisis is especially dire.
Estimated HIV Incidence in the United States, 2006-2009, Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Summary.
Aug. 3, 2011
A New HIV Prevention Paradigm for Gay and Bisexual Men in the U.S. (PDF, 1.3MB) amfAR Issue Brief, June 2011