LAS VEGAS — A new Harvard study with the Movement Advancement Project shows that COVID-19 has negatively impacted LGBTQ+ households more than non-LGBTQ+ households, especially if they are Black or Latinx.
“There tend to be worse outcomes in general,” explained Dr. Ryan Cox, behavior health director at the LGBTQ Specialty Clinic at Truman Medical Center.
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“Part of that is a lack of primary care,” he said. “So people often in this community, particularly the transgender community, don’t already have established relationships with medical providers.”
Healthcare workers say they are seeing these study results reflected in the community.
“They would rather skip their medical appointments rather than come out and expose themselves to COVID,” said Nurse Care Manager Kim Tilson, also with Truman Medical Center.
“It is definitely having an impact,” she continued. “So if you can’t come in for doctor’s appointments, if we can’t follow up, it’s hard to make sure we can refill your medications and still stay safe.
The study says 64% of LGBTQ+ households have lost a job due to the pandemic, and if you’re Black that number is 95% compared to less than half of non-LGBTQ+ households.
A quarter of LGBTQ+ households couldn’t get needed prescriptions.
Experts say the providers who are inclusive of LGBTQ+ people need more support to make these stats go down.
“They run on government dollars, they run on grants,” said KC Center for Inclusion’s Inoru Wade.
“If your starting point is ‘these people don’t really exist,’ then we’re not getting the same level of funding either,” Wade explained, “which means we’re just getting the short end of the stick on all angles.”