Improving LGBT Health
June 20, 2012 by Robin Maril, Senior Legislative Counsel
Yesterday, HHS released its 2012 LGBT Report outlining steps taken in the past year to improve the health and well-being of the LGBT community, and laying out goals for the work that remains. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has led these efforts to promote equal treatment of LGBT Americans, provide enhanced resources for LGBT health issues, and develop better information regarding LGBT health needs. HHS has worked to promote equal rights for LGBT Americans to visit their partners in the hospital, announced a new National HIV/AIDs strategy to increase access to care and lower the number of new HIV cases in the United States, and has launched a new website aimed at LGBT youth at www.stopbullying.gov.
The key issues addressed in the 2012 report include initiatives to reduce and stop smoking among LGBT youth, continuing to address discrimination, harassment, and violence against all individuals through domestic violence resources and prevention programs, and supporting studies to identify and test innovative ways to reduce obesity in lesbian and bisexual women. Also, for the first time, CDC will release data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey on sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence by sexual orientation.
Secretary Sebelius also joined HRC yesterday to release the 2012 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). The report shows that the number of hospitals striving to treat LGBT patients equally is on the rise. To view yesterday’s event with Secretary Sebelius and to learn more about the HEI please visit www.hrc.org/heilive.
HRC applauds HHS for making these proactive steps toward ending health disparities and improving the health of LGBT people. HRC will continue to partner with HHS to make these goals a reality.
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