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In 2018, threats to LGBTQ health care are increasing – even at the hands of the United States Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) – while troubling health disparities within the bisexual population persist.
As reported in Lambda Legal’s groundbreaking 2014 report on LGBTQ health care issues, “When Health Care Isn’t Caring,” a survey of nearly 5,000 LGBT people and people living with HIV, the majority of respondents experienced discrimination in health care, ranging from being denied care to being subjected to abusive conduct or language, including cases in which health care professionals refused to even touch their patients who are LGBT or living with HIV.
This month marks the fifth annual Bisexual Health Awareness Month.
In its fifth year, this campaign is more important than ever.
While suffering disproportionately high rates of physical and mental health problems, bisexuals conversely are able to obtain health care at disproportionately rates.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Statistics Reports document that bisexuals are less likely to have health insurance than gay and straight people, and as a result, are more likely to have foregone necessary health care treatment.
While the LGBTQ community in general faces such terrible hurdles in many contexts, bisexuals (already the largest group within the LGBT community) struggle with health problems at even greater rates than lesbians and gay men.
In January, the federal government announced the formation of a new “Conscience and Religious Freedom” division of HHS, and issued corresponding new delegations of power and a proposed rule that will result in the government helping facilitate refusals of medically necessary care for individuals who are living with HIV, transgender, and/or in a same-sex relationship, as well as the full range of reproductive health services and any other services to which an employee or a licensed health facility might object.
The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) report Invisible Majority: The Disparities Facing Bisexual People and How to Remedy Them details the same disparities, while also documenting that, even as compared to lesbians and gay men, bisexuals face disproportionately higher rates of eating disorders, suicidal ideation, cardiovascular disease, substance use, and some forms of cancers and sexually transmitted infections.
The HRC report Health Disparities Among Bisexual People similarly concludes that bisexual people “face striking rates of poor health outcomes ranging from cancer and obesity, to sexually transmitted infections to mental health problems,” and are far more likely to exhibit self-harming behavior.
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She’s best known for her challenge style videos, where she does things like cut her own hair; go through the drive through in a toy car; and kiss her girlfriend and have her guess the chapstick flavor.