Health care disparities are preventable gaps in the access to and quality of health care. For the LGBTQ community, these disparities include:
- Less access to health care
- Little or no access to preventive care and health screenings
- Higher rates of discrimination from health care providers
Access to quality health care is especially important for LGBTQ individuals. They are at higher risk for mental health issues, suicide, drug and alcohol use, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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Why Do LGBTQ Health Care Disparities Exist?
People who identify as LGBTQ may be less likely to access quality medical care for a variety of reasons that often form a vicious cycle:
- Fear of stigma, discrimination, or poor treatment, and/or prior negative experiences with health providers
- Higher rates of poverty, making it more difficult to afford health insurance or care
- Lack of culturally competent providers with knowledge of LGBTQ health
- Refusal of care due to gender identity or sexual orientation
- For transgender and many nonbinary individuals, lower rates of health insurance coverage
Resources to Help Address LGBTQ Health Care Disparities
Many local and national resources exist to address these gaps in care and support the health needs of our LGBTQ community.
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UPMC Health Plan: Our member services support team is trained and dedicated to explaining coverage to all individuals no matter their gender orientation or health needs.
Pittsburgh AIDS Center for Treatment: Through the Pittsburgh AIDS Center, we provide HIV treatment and social support services to more than 1,700 adults infected with HIV.
UPMC Children’s Gender and Sexual Development Program: We serve children and youth through age 26 with questions around gender and sexual identity and transgender care.
Additional local resources
Persad Center: A human service organization whose mission is to improve the well-being of the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities.
PFLAG Pittsburgh: Built on a foundation of loving families united with LGBTQ people and allies who support one another.
We are dedicated to providing inclusive, quality health care for our LGBTQ community members and their families. Learn more about UPMC Children’s Gender and Sexual Development Program or call 412-692-6677 to make an appointment.
A $21 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates more than 90,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 3.8 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.4 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid more than $500 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial, and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to UPMC.com.