Press Room

March 17, 2004

Category: HIV & AIDS

HRC Celebrates National LGBT Health Awareness Week

Coalition Committed to Addressing the Unique Health Needs of LGBT Americans

WASHINGTON - Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans face unique health concerns as well as financial, personal and cultural challenges in accessing health care in this country. Accordingly, the Human Rights Campaign is proud to celebrate National LGBT Health Awareness Week, which is designed to draw attention and understanding to the health issues facing the community.

"It is easy for people to forget in today's society that many health care professionals still don't receive the proper training to address the unique health care challenges of the GLBT community," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "We are proud to work as part of the National Coalition for LGBT Health to address a variety of health care challenges that still confront the community every day."

The week began Monday night as HRC hosted a kick-off event that honored Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., for her record of advocacy on LGBT health issues, including co-sponsoring the Early Treatment for HIV/AIDS Act (ETHA), a bill that would allow low-income people with HIV to access treatment through the Medicaid program before they are diagnosed with full-blown AIDS.

Some of the specific health challenges facing the LGBT community include an increased risk for certain forms of cancer including lung, cervical, breast, and colon cancer. The mental health needs of the community also continue to be insufficiently addressed by medical professionals.

"Obviously, HIV/AIDS continues to impact our community at an alarming rate, but we also need to remember that there are other important health care concerns that we need to address with our families and our legislators," said Jacques.
For more information on the National Coalition for LGBT Health Awareness please visit:

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that GLBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.