Health & HIV/AIDS

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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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    HIV Discrimination in Dental Care: Results of a Testing Study in Los Angeles Study

    By Brad Sears, Christian Cooper, Fariba S. Younai, Tom Donohoe
    June 2012

    This study examines HIV discrimination among dentists in Los Angeles County. For people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), dental care is particularly important because problems in the mouth may be the first symptoms of an HIV infection and can also signify disease progression. This study reveals that 5 percent of dentists in Los Angeles County have a blanket policy of refusing to accept any HIV-positive patient, which is substantially lower than the finding for other health care providers.

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    Stress and Mental Health Among Midlife and Older Gay-Identified Men

    By Richard G. Wight, Allen J. LeBlanc, Brian de Vries, Roger Detels
    January 2012

    Sexual minority stress, along with aging-related stress, jeopardizes the mental health of midlife and older gay men. Legal marriage for same-sex couples may also confer a unique protective effect against poor mental health.

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    PTSD and Sexual Orientation: An Examination of Criterion A1 and Non-criterion A1 Events

    By Ilan H. Meyer, Edward J. Alessi, James I. Martin
    December 2011

    LGB participants reporting one of the qualifying events not currently included in the DSM, such as ending a relationship and unemployment, were more likely than those reporting events currently included to have symptoms diagnosable as PTSD, suggesting that these additional qualifying events should be added for PTSD.

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    HIV Discrimination in Dental Care: Results of a Discrimination Testing Study in Los Angeles County

    By Brad Sears, Christian Cooper, Fariba S. Younai, Tom Donohoe
    December 2011

    This study used trained testers to measure the level of HIV discrimination by dentists in Los Angeles County. The findings suggest the need for more targeted education efforts to ensure equal access to dental services for all PLWHA.

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    “We’d Be Free”: Narratives of Life Without Homophobia, Racism, or Sexism

    By Ilan Meyer, et al.
    August 13, 2011

    This study examined the effects of exposure to everyday experiences of inequality. It finds that stigma and social inequality can increase stress and reduce well-being for LGB people, even in the absence of major traumatic events such as hate crimes and discrimination.

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    Minority Stress and Physical Health among Sexual Minorities

    By David M. Frost, Keren Lehavot, Ilan H. Meyer
    August 2011

    New research shows that lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (LGB) are at increased risk for physical health problems due to prejudice-related stress. Findings from a new report were presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference in Washington, DC on August 5, 2011.

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    Statewide Estimation of Racial/Ethnic Populations of Men Who Have Sex with Men in the U.S.

    January 2011

    Men who have sex with men (MSM) bear the greatest burden of human immunodeficiency virus HIV/AIDS in every state in the U.S., but their populations are poorly defined. Authors of the study estimated and compared populations of MSM in 2007 by region, state, and race/ethnicity.

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    American Bar Association Hearing – Racing the Closet

    By Russell Robinson
    October 2010

    The following presentation and statement is by Williams Institute Faculty Advisory Board Member Russell Robinson on his article Racing the Closet, published in 2009.

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    Still Caught in the Storm

    With Contributions by Gary J. Gates
    October 2010

    With contributions from Williams Distinguished Scholar Gary Gates, “Still Caught in the Storm” is a report released by the Southern AIDS Coalition National Policy Center focusing on the ongoing epidemic of HIV/AIDS among gay and bisexual men in the 16 Southern states and the District of Columbia.

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    HIV Prevalence Rates Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the Southern United States: Population-Based Estimates by Race/Ethnicity

    Co-Authored by Gary J. Gates
    September 2010

    Williams Distinguished Scholar Gary Gates co-authored a paper titled “HIV Prevalence Rates Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the Southern United States: Population-Based Estimates by Race/Ethnicity” that has been published in the journal AIDS and Behavior.

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    Effects of Lifting Blood Donation Bans on Men Who Have Sex with Men

    By Gary J. Gates, Naomi G. Goldberg
    June 2010

    The Food and Drug Administration prohibits the donation of blood by any man who has had sex with another man (MSM) since 1977. This research brief uses data sources to estimate the size of the MSM population and apply those estimates to blood donation patterns in the US to predict the impact of lifting the ban on the nation’s blood supply.

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