Please Note: this page has two sections, Programs & Opportunities and Publications.
Research Programs & Opportunities
The UNITE initiative was established to identify and address structural racism within the NIH-supported and the greater scientific community. With representation from across the NIH Institutes and Centers, UNITE aims to establish an equitable and civil culture within the biomedical research enterprise and reduce barriers to racial equity in the biomedical research workforce. To reach this goal, UNITE is facilitating research to identify opportunities, make recommendations, and develop and implement strategies to increase inclusivity and diversity in science. These efforts will bolster the NIH’s effort to continue to strive for diversity within the scientific workforce and racial equity on the NIH campus and within the extramural community. Learn more
Building the Next Generation of Physicians (BNGAP)
April 21 and April 22, 2021 | New York City
Target Audience: Early-career researchers along the MD, DO, DrPH, and PhD career pathway, particularly faculty at the Assistant Professor or Instructor levels who have limited SGM cancer research experience but are in process of developing and launching their unique research agendas for their professional careers. Senior researchers, post-doctorates, residents, and fellows will have second priority for attending the workshop, if space permits. Applications are due November 30, 2020.
Due date: August 25, 2020
Purpose: The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to encourage research focused on Black child and adolescent suicide, including Black youth who are LGBTQ. Recent data suggest that Black youth, especially those under age 13, appear to be at higher than average risk for suicide and suicide-related behaviors.
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
June 30, 2020 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex | Click here to Register!
Health disparities among young people based on sexual orientation and gender identity are not going away. Recent studies have shown the size of the disparity in suicide attempts has not shrunk over the past 20+ years. HIV diagnoses have been continuing to increase among young men who have sex with men (MSM), while they decline in many other groups. Research examining multi-level drivers of health disparities among young MSM and that uses community-engaged methods will be discussed. The talk, by Brian Mustanski, Ph.D., Director of the Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, will conclude with a model of the multilevel changes that will be necessary to allow sexual and gender minority youth to have an opportunity to attain their highest level of health.
Target audience for this webinar is researchers interested in working on differences of sex development (DSD) and with intersex populations. The goals are to increase understanding of the NIH structure and processes, enhance capacity, and provide researchers with the opportunity to interact with NIH staff and established researchers in Sexual & Gender Minority (SGM) health, with a focus on DSD and intersex populations.
Research and Publications
Sexual & Gender Minority Health Disparities Research Framework
National Institutes of Health
LGBTQ People in the US: Select Findings from the Generations and TransPop Studies
June 25, 2021
Full Report contains information on health care access and outcomes
This report provides a representative sample of SGM health- and research-related activities and initiatives that occurred across the ICOs in FY 2020. This report is organized around the four goal areas of the NIH FY 2016–2020 Strategic Plan to Advance Research on the Health and Well-being of Sexual and Gender Minorities.
This FY 2019 Portfolio Analysis describes the SGM-related research portfolio at the NIH and aims to highlight various gaps and needs for additional SGM-related research in specific areas. This analysis also serves as one way that the NIH tracks progress on our agency-wide SGM research strategic plan.
Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Med Students More Likely than Straight Students to Experience Burnout
JAMA Network Open
February 2, 2021
The study showed that 17% of LGB medical students reported high levels of burnout compared to 11.1% of straight students. LGB medical students also reported higher levels of mistreatment.
Read the study
Health Concerns of Black LGBTQ Americans
Center for Black Equity and Community Marketing & Insights
Black LGBTQ Americans surveyed called depression and anxiety, HIV/AIDS, a healthy body weight, COVID-19, and high blood pressure their main areas of concern, along with “physical and/or mental health effects resulting from racial discrimination.” The report notes that mental health concerns were prominent, especially among younger respondents and transgender and non-binary respondents. 25% of Black LGBTQ people surveyed said that a close friend or family member had died from COVID-19. For full report see: https://www.cmi.info/documents/temp/LGBTQ_Black-LGBTQ-Community-Survey_2020-2021.pdf
Black LGBT Adults in the US
The Williams Institute has launched a new series of reports examining the well-being of LGBTQ people of color in the United States. The first report shows that Black LGBTQ adults face severe health barriers, including higher rates of health disparities, discrimination, economic hardships, and violence. A majority of respondents described their health as “fair” or “poor.” According to the report, an estimated 1,210,000 adults in the US identify as Black and LGBTQ – over 60% are women and over half live in the South. In the coming months, reports on Latinx, API, and Native American LGBTQ people will follow. Read the report on Black LGBTQ adults here.
Qualitatively Understanding Barriers Faced by Lesbian Individuals when Accessing Care: A Community-Based Approach. Funded by a grant from the Lesbian Health Fund.
Carey Candrian, PhD
January 22, 2021
Dr. Candrian was interviewed by Colorado Public Radio on the challenges that LGBTQ seniors face seeking healthcare, including end-of-life care. LGBTQ elders face economic insecurity, lack of family or social support, and a lifetime of enduring stigma. Many senior care facilities and hospice providers don’t ask senior patients about sexual orientation or gender identity.
LGB Veterans Have Disproportionate Suicide Mortality
December 28, 2020
According to Healio, a retrospective population-based cohort study recently published in JAMA Network Open found that LGB veterans had increased likelihood of suicide mortality. “Lack of reliable mortality data has been an obstacle to understanding mortality disparities experienced by [sexual minority] communities, including [sexual minority] veterans,” said the study. The study analyzed Veterans Health Administration (VHA) electronic health record data between October 1999 and September 2017, finding that LGB veterans had a crude suicide rate of 82.5 per 100,000 person-years compared with 37.7 per 100,000 person-years in the general veteran population.”
Survey of Experiences of Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Patients During Imaging Encounters and Opportunities for Improvement
Grimstad FW, Stowell JT, Gaddis M.
AJR American Journal of Roentgenology 2020 Nov; 215(5):1136-1142. doi: 10.2214/AJR.19.22558
“This study provides the largest documentation and first quantification of the experiences of TGNB patients during imaging encounters. The data show several aspects of imaging encounters that may contribute toward negative experiences for TGNB patients, which may be improved through education of imaging personnel in TGNB cultural competency, redesign of facilities with sensitivity toward TGNB persons, and incorporation of TGNB patient feedback in the adoption of departmental policies.” See: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32960664/
Assessing and Addressing Cardiovascular Health in LGBTQ Adults: A Scientific Statement
American Heart Association
There is mounting evidence that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) adults experience disparities across several cardiovascular risk factors compared with their cisgender heterosexual peers. These disparities are posited to be driven primarily by exposure to psychosocial stressors across the life span. This American Heart Association scientific statement reviews the extant literature on the cardiovascular health of LGBTQ adults.
Understanding the Well-Being of LGBTQI+ Populations Report
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
October 21, 2020
A review of the available data and future research needs relevant to persons of diverse sexualities and genders, and persons with differences in sex development, across multiple dimensions over the course of their lives.
webinar recording & slides
Victimization rates and traits of sexual and gender minorities in the United States: Results from the National Crime Victimization Survey
October 2, 2020
Science Advances 02 Oct 2020: Vol. 6, no. 40, eaba6910 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba6910
Andrew Flores, Lynn Langton, Ilan Meyer and Adam Romero
“Do sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) in the United States encounter disproportionate rates of victimization as compared with their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts? Answering this question has proved elusive because nationally representative victimization data have not included victims’ sexual orientation or gender identity. The National Crime Victimization Survey, the nation’s primary source of representative information on criminal victimization, began documenting sexual orientation and gender identity in 2016 and released data publicly for the first time in 2019. The findings show that SGMs disproportionately are victims across a variety of crimes.” Read more
Asexual-Identified Adults: Interactions with Health-Care Practitioners
Flanagan, Shelby K.Peters, Heather J.; Archives of Sexual Behavior, Jul2020; 49(5): 1631-1643. (Article) ISSN: 0004-0002 PMID: NLM32222850 AN: 143818852
Historically, people with minority sexual and gender identities (e.g., gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) have been pathologized by mental and medical health practitioners. The potential for pathologization of asexuality is particularly salient considering a lack of sexual desire or interest has been studied in relationship to depression, antidepressant medication, and hypothyroidism. To explore this potential pathologization, asexual individuals were asked about their interactions with mental health and medical practitioners. The findings from this study demonstrate the importance of including information about asexual identities in health education and ongoing diversity training in order to increase the cultural sensitivity of health practitioners.
Assessment of the Prevalence of Medical Student Mistreatment by Sex, Race/Ethnicity, and Sexual Orientation
Hill, Katherine A.; Samuels, Elizabeth A.; Gross, Cary P.; Desai, Mayur M.; Sitkin Zelin, Nicole; Latimore, Darin; Huot, Stephen J.; Cramer, Laura D.; Wong, Ambrose H.; Boatright, Dowin
JAMA Internal Medicine (JAMA INTERN MED), May2020; 180(5): 653-665.
Previous studies have shown that medical student mistreatment is common. However, few data exist to date describing how the prevalence of medical student mistreatment varies by student sex, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. This research examines the association between mistreatment and these factors.
"It'd be great to have the options there": a mixed-methods study of gender identity questions on clinic forms in a primary care setting.
Guss CE, Eiduson R, Khan A, Dumont O, Forman SF, Gordon AR.
Journal of Adolescent Health. 2020 May 10:S1054-139X(20)30146-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.03.030.
HIV testing and PrEP use in a national probability sample of sexually active transgender people in the United States.
Sevelius JM, Poteat T, Luhur WE, Reisner SL, Meyer IH.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2020 May 13. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002403.
Violence Through the Lens of Lesbians, Bisexual Women and Trans People in Asia
OutRight Action International | May 2020
Domestic violence is an ongoing global crisis. Domestic and family violence is a crisis for LGBTIQ people, too. This research was coordinated by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and conducted over a two-year period by women’s rights, sexuality rights and gender rights activists based in Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines and Sri Lanka. The researchers uncovered high levels of family violence perpetrated against LBT individuals as well as widespread discrimination in education, health and work sectors. Several of the reports are available in native-languages as well as English.
Structural barriers to care and social isolation were identified as the most significant Issues for people aging with HIV. The survey also identified significant gaps in care coordination and a lack of comprehensive resources for people aging with HIV, complicating the provision and quality of services for this growing population. The respondents were people living with HIV over the age of 50 representing 39 U.S states and Puerto Rico. The gender makeup was 66% gay, 22% heterosexual, 5% bisexual, 2% queer, 1% two-spirit and other 2%. The majority of respondents were lower income, 60% White, 21% Black, 12% Latino, 6% Multi-Racial with smaller percentages from Asian American, American Indian and Pacific Islander.
A comprehensive report on the survey which includes findings and implications on care coordination can be viewed at: http://www.healthhiv.org/pozitivelyaging