Health & HIV/AIDS

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    Profiles of Resilience and Psychosocial Outcomes among Young Black Gay and Bisexual Men

    By Patrick A. Wilson, Ilan H. Meyer, Nadav Antebi-Gruszka, Melissa R. Boone, Stephanie H. Cook, and Emily M. Cherenack
    April 2016

    This study explores different profiles of resilience factors in 228 Young Black gay/bisexual men (YBGBM) in New York City and compares profiles on psychological distress, mental health, and other psychosocial factors. Results suggest that self-efficacy and hardiness/adaptive coping may play a more important role in protecting YBGBM from risks compared to social support and should be targeted in interventions. The findings show that resilience is a multidimensional construct and support the notion that there are different patterns of resilience among YBGBM.

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    Meeting the Legal Needs of People Living with HIV: Effort, Impact, and Emerging Trends

    By Ayako Miyashita and Amira Hasenbush
    April 2016

    This report analyzes archival client services data from fourteen legal services providers dedicated to serving people living with HIV (“PLWH”) in the ten Metropolitan Statistical Areas with the largest number of HIV-positive residents. Those areas included New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas. This report includes data from 2010 through 2012 on legal needs addressed by each agency, eligibility criteria, funding, client demographics, target populations, and emerging trends in practice.

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    LGBT in the South

    By Christy Mallory, Andrew Flores and Brad Sears
    March 2016

    Christy Mallory, Andrew Flores and Brad Sears head to Asheville, North Carolina, to the LGBT in the South Conference to discuss the Williams Institute’s research on LGBT demographics and discrimination in the Southern states. Thirty-five percent of the LGBT population in the United States lives in the South, where they are more likely to lack employment protections, earn less than $24,000 a year, and report that they cannot afford food or healthcare.

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    Social Support Networks Among Diverse Sexual Minority Populations

    By David M. Frost, Ilan Meyer, and Sharon Schwartz
    February 2016

    Gay and bisexual men tend to rely on other gay and bisexual men for major needs, whereas heterosexuals, lesbians and bisexual women rely more on family, according to a new report published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. The study differentiated between support for major needs – such as borrowing a large sum of money or help when one is sick – and everyday needs – such as small favors, social activities, help with small chores or discussing worries. For everyday needs, all groups relied more on others, like friends and coworkers, rather than family or their partners. LGB people relied primarily on other LGB people of the same race or ethnicity as themselves. Patterns were similar across all racial and ethnic groups.

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    Internalized gay ageism, mattering, and depressive symptoms among midlife and older gay-identified men

    By Richard G. Wight, Allen J. LeBlanc, Ilan H. Meyer, Frederick A. Harig
    December 2015

    In this paper published in Social Science and Medicine we introduce the construct of “internalized gay ageism,” or the sense that one feels denigrated or depreciated because of aging in the context of a gay male identity, which we identify as an unexplored aspect of sexual minority stress specific to midlife and older gay-identified men. We find that internalized gay ageism can reliably be measured among these men, is positively associated with depressive symptoms net of an array of other factors that may also influence symptomatology (including depressive symptom histories), and mattering partially mediates but does not moderate its effect on depressive symptoms.

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    HIV Criminalization in California: Penal Implications for People Living with HIV/AIDS

    By Amira Hasenbush, Ayako Miyashita, and Bianca D.M. Wilson
    December 2015

    Given the lack of comprehensive data on the use of HIV criminal laws in California, Williams Institute researchers obtained criminal offender record information (CORI) data from the California Department of Justice. CORI data record any contacts an individual may have with the criminal justice system, from every event beginning at arrest through sentencing, so these data provide a full chronological record of how four state laws that criminalize people living with HIV are being utilized from the time of their enactment to June 2014.

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    The Legal Needs of Transgender Women Living with HIV: Evaluating Access to Justice in Los Angeles

    By Ayako Miyashita, Amira Hasenbush, and Brad Sears
    November 2015

    This report summarizes findings of the Legal Assessment of Needs Study (“LeAN Study”) – an online survey with 387 respondents who identified as people living with HIV/AIDS – for transgender women living with HIV in Los Angeles County. We describe respondents’ legal needs, respondents’ experiences getting assistance for identified legal needs from both legal and non-legal sources, and barriers respondents faced in accessing assistance from both legal and non-legal sources. We describe differences and similarities between transgender women and all other respondents. Finally, we discuss how these legal needs may relate to health access and health status.

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    Williams Institute Scholars Provide Legal Analyses to Obama Administration Regarding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Healthcare

    By Adam Romero
    November 2015

    Williams Institute scholars—joined by over 40 professors of law, public policy, and public health—submitted detailed legal analyses to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in support of protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in healthcare.

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    The Legal Needs of People Living with HIV: Evaluating Access to Justice in Los Angeles

    By Ayako Miyashita, Amira Hasenbush, Bianca D.M. Wilson, Ilan Meyer, Sheila Nezhad, Brad Sears
    April 2015

    This report summarizes findings of the Legal Assessment of Needs Study (“LeAN Study”) – an online survey with 387 respondents who identified as people living with HIV/AIDS (“PLWH”). We describe respondents’ legal needs, respondents’ experiences getting assistance for identified legal needs from both legal and non-legal sources, and barriers respondents faced in accessing assistance from both legal and non-legal sources. We describe differences and similarities among subpopulations that are traditionally underserved and understudied, including gay and bisexual men (“GBM”), people of color, and cisgender and transgender women. Finally, we discuss how these legal needs may relate to health access and health status.

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    Generations: A Study of the Life and Health of LGB People

    By Ilan H. Meyer, Stephen Russell, Marguerita Lightfoot, David M. Frost, Phillip Hammack, Bianca D.M. Wilson, Mark Handcock

    The “Generations” study is the first long-term, five-year study to examine the health and well-being across three generations of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (LGB). The study explores identity, stress, health outcomes, and health care and services utilization among LGBs in three generations of adults who came of age at different historical contexts.

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    Human Services for Low-Income and At-Risk LGBT Populations: An Assessment of the Knowledge Base and Research Needs

    By Andrew Burwick, Gary Gates, Scott Baumgartner, Daniel Friend
    December 2014

    This report discusses what is known about low-income and at-risk LGBT people and their interactions with human services, especially services funded by ACF, and identifies important areas for further research. To provide context for the needs assessment findings, the assessment begins by describing the scope and estimated size of the LGBT population in the United States as well as factors that may contribute to social and economic disadvantages for LGBT people. The assessment then presents the framework and methods for the needs assessment and ultimately recommends potential areas for future research to enhance the knowledge base surrounding the human service needs of low-income and at-risk LGBT populations.

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    UPDATE: Effects of Lifting Blood Donation Bans on Men who Have Sex with Men

    By Ayako Miyashita, Gary J. Gates
    September 2014

    If the current FDA blood ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) were lifted, an estimated 360,600 men would likely donate 615,300 additional pints of blood each year. Lifting the ban would increase the total annual blood supply in the U.S. by 2 to 4 percent and could be used to help save the lives of more than 1.8 million people. If MSM who have not had sexual contact with another man in the past twelve months were permitted to donate, the report estimates that 185,800 additional men are likely to donate 317,000 additional pints of blood each year.

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    The Role of Help-Seeking in Preventing Suicide Attempts among Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals

    By Ilan Meyer, Merilee Teylan, Sharon Schwartz
    June 2014

    Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals (LGB) who sought help from religious or spiritual sources were more likely to commit suicide than those who sought treatment from a health care provider or who did not seek treatment at all. Only about 16 percent of LGB people who made a serious suicide attempt sought mental health treatment from a health professional prior to the attempt; about 13 percent sought religious or spiritual treatment prior to the attempt.

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    LGBT People Are Disproportionately Food Insecure

    By Gary J. Gates
    February 2014

    2.4 million (29%) LGBT adults experienced a time in the last year when they did not have enough money to feed themselves or their family. LGBT people experience disproportionate levels of food insecurity and higher participation rates in the SNAP program, especially those raising children, a risk that persists despite possible differences in demographic characteristics between LGBT and non-LGBT individuals like gender, age, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment.

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    Minority Stress and Physical Health Among Sexual Minorities

    By David J. Lick, Laura E. Durso, Kerri L. Johnson.
    October 2013

    LGB individuals are at heightened risk for a range of negative health outcomes as a result of stress caused by anti-gay prejudice. Poorer general health, increased risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are some among many conditions where disparities exist between LGB and heterosexual individuals. This paper reviews current empirical findings related to LGB physical health disparities, highlights gaps in the literature, and outlines necessary steps researchers must take to understand how social experiences ultimately harm LGB physical health.

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    Minority Stress Experiences and Psychological Well-Being: The Impact of Support from and Connection to Social Networks Within the Los Angeles House and Ball Communities.

    By Carolyn F. Wong, Sheree M. Schrager, Ian W. Holloway, Ilan H. Meyer, Michele D. Kipke
    August 2013

    African American young men who have sex with men (AAYMSM) from the House and Ball communities are at high risk for HIV infection. Because these communities are not only sources of risk but also support for AAYMSM, researchers must also consider the resources these communities possess. This knowledge will assist in the formulation of more effective prevention strategies and intervention approaches.

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    Prejudice events and traumatic stress among heterosexuals and lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals

    By Edward J. Alessia, James I. Martin, Akua Gyamerah & Ilan H. Meyer
    July 2013

    This study examines the association between prejudice events and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With respect to sexual orientation and race, White LGBs were more likely than White heterosexuals to experience a prejudice-related qualifying event that lead to PTSD. Among LGBs, Black and Latino LGBs were no more likely than White LGBs to experience this type of event. Participants in the study included 382 lesbians, gays, and bisexuals (LGB) and 126 heterosexuals.

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    Demographics and LGBT Health

    By Gary J. Gates
    March 2013

    New article published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, examines recent studies documenting health disadvantages for same-sex couples compared with different-sex married couples that cannot be fully explained by differences in socioeconomic status. The 2012 U.S. presidential election saw, for the first time, the election of a major party candidate who publicly supported same-sex couples’ right to marry. Exit polling from that election found that 49 percent of voters supported legal marriage for same-sex couples in their states, compared with 46 percent who opposed.

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    Same-Sex Legal Marriage and Psychological Well-Being: Findings from the California Health Interview Survey

    By Richard G. Wight, Allen J. LeBlanc, and M.V. Lee Badgett
    December 2012

    Psychological distress is lower among lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who are legally married to a person of the same sex, compared with those not in legally recognized unions. The study also has implications for understanding mental health disparities based on sexual orientation: There were no statistically significant differences in psychological distress between heterosexuals, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons in any type of legally recognized same-sex relationship.

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    Patterns and Predictors of Disclosure of Sexual Orientation to Healthcare Providers among Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals

    By Laura E. Durso & Ilan H. Meyer
    December 2012

    New research shows that bisexual men and women are less likely than gay men and lesbians to disclose their sexual orientation to healthcare providers. The study found that concealment of sexual orientation from healthcare providers was related to poor psychological wellbeing. The study found that LGB individuals with greater internalized homophobia were less likely to disclose their sexual orientation to healthcare providers than individuals with lesser internalized homophobia.

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