Some of the most well-respected LGBTQ advocacy groups in the US – including HRC and GLAAD – have signed an open letter to remind “all parties handling COVID-19 surveillance, response, treatment, and media coverage that LGBTQ+ communities are among those who are particularly vulnerable to the negative health effects of this virus.”
COVID-19 is the name given to this particular form of coronavirus.
The letter states that LGBTQ people have an increased vulnerability linked to the following factors.
“1. The LGBTQ+ population uses tobacco at rates that are 50% higher than the general population. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that has proven particularly harmful to smokers.
“2. The LGBTQ+ population has higher rates of HIV and cancer, which means a greater number of us may have compromised immune systems, leaving us more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections.
“3. LGBTQ+ people continue to experience discrimination, unwelcoming attitudes, and lack of understanding from providers and staff in many health care settings, and as a result, many are reluctant to seek medical care except in situations that feel urgent – and perhaps not even then.”
Related: LGBTQ people blamed for coronavirus. Typical.
It goes on to state, “In addition, there are more than 3 million LGBTQ+ older people living in the United States. LGBTQ+ elders are already less likely than their heterosexual and cisgender peers to reach out to health and aging providers, like senior centers, meal programs, and other programs designed to ensure their health and wellness, because they fear discrimination and harassment.
“The devastating impact of COVID-19 on older people – the current mortality rate is at 15% for this population – makes this a huge issue for the LGBTQ+ communities as well.
“LGBTQ+ communities are very familiar with the phenomena of stigma and epidemics. We want to urge people involved with the COVID-19 response to ensure that LGBTQ+ communities are adequately served during this outbreak.”
It goes on to list recommendations to parties involved in handling the coronavirus pandemic.
These include, “Ensuring health messaging includes information tailored to communities at increased risk for COVID-19, including LGBTQ+ populations. An example of such tailored messaging is including imagery of LGBTQ+ persons in any graphic ads.”
They also recommend monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in LGBTQ communities, and ensuring health workers provide “equal care to all regardless of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity/presentation, ability, age, national origin, immigration status, race, or ethnicity.”
The letter has been signed by National LGBT Cancer Network, SAGE, Whitman-Walker Health, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, the Harvey Milk Foundation, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Lambda Legal and over 90 other organizations.
Related: This photo of a lesbian tweeted by the CDC is giving people hope for surviving coronavirus
Yesterday, the World Health Organization officially classified coronavirus as a pandemic. Besides Italy, Denmark has placed itself in lockdown, while President Donald Trump has ruled that travel from most of Europe will be banned for 30 days from Friday, to stem the spread of the virus.
The National LGBT Cancer Network, which published the open letter on its website, also offers information for LGBTQ people concerned about the virus, including advice on handwashing and links to resources.
It highlights those most at risk: “If an LGBTQ+ person has cancer, smokes, is HIV+, is over 65 years old, or has any other fragile health condition, consider taking additional measures to avoid risk of infection.
“This could include more vigilance about staying away from symptomatic people, it could include avoiding larger gatherings of people, and should definitely include practicing excellent epidemic hygiene, like frequent hand washing and breaking habits of face-touching.”
I think this article is needed/helpful as while yes this information is applicable to everyone you can’t deny that members of the LGBTQ+ community have a higher risk of having their immune system compromised compared to their hetero counterparts. I’m of course not saying HIV is exclusive to the LGBTQ+ community but having seen it up close I know how prevalent it is within the community as well as how it can impact one’s immune system especially in the case of respiratory illness. The article also points out that members of the LGBTQ+ community may be less likely to seek treatment due to past experiences and while the reluctance is understandable I believe the article is trying to hint at the fact you should seek treatment anyway as your life could be on the line. I know plenty of straight people who sometimes refuse to seek treatment while saying “Oh it’s just sinuses” or something similar so that can apply to various people as well.
Some people are more at risk and I think that deserves to be pointed out. I don’t have any of the illnesses mentioned nor am I elderly but for other reasons my lung strength is weaker than the average persons so I know I’m more vulnerable than most. it’s important that while I don’t panic that I remember that and I think it’s good to remind people that they may be more at risk. This is an LGBTQ+ focused news source so of course an article about the coronavirus is going to be directed at members of the LGBTQ+ community as those are the typical readers. I think it’s good that Queerty is showing or at least implying that they care for the health of their readers.
Considering the numbers, most people are not at any real risk and for over 90% of those contracting it, it’s just like a bad to mild flu.
The real headline should be people with compromised immune systems and the elderly are at greater risk, which is still pretty low. Being gay has little to do with it, many of whom take greater risks with their health on any given Saturday night.
So much BULLSHIT in one comment.
Man About Town
The headline should say “for”, not “from”!
AMAZING! Who knew so many Queerty’s readers were immunologists, infectious disease specialists, Public Health specialists!
And nice to see the “oh elderly and immune compromised are the only ones to worry about it..but they don’t matter because the rest of us are just fine” attitude. F U.
I now consider the ending of the movie War of the Worlds as one of the best scenes ever filmed. The Martians and all their might could not stand up against the tiniest and most deadly weapon that could ever be unleashed, disease. No matter how high in the sky we built our castles (financial portfolios) it did not make us immune from something that we never considered to be as deadly as it is, disease (health premiums). Trump has ordered all insurance companies to wave copays. That was a noble jester but rest assured that once this all dies down (and eventually it will) the insurance companies aren’t going to stick back with a vengeance in copays and premiums. Germany has admitted that it simply can not handle a situation where 10k or more people flood their system with a disease that is only going to sicken even more one they enter the emergency rooms seeking help. The same IS going to happen here, sexuality be damned. Trump is well aware that he is sitting on a revolutionary powder keg where the people ARE going to demand a change as to healthcare present state. People are panicking because it has now dawned on them that their portfolios are down seventy percent or better in many cases and less than half in others. They wonder what happens when they can’t pay rent, pay copays on medicine and are simply too sick to go to work or get out of bed and try to get to an overcrowded hospital that might turn them away because it has been simply overwhelmed. That is the current situation is upon us. Only a fool looks for a way to gayify a pandemic none of us are immune to. Those of you in L.A., look closely at the homeless population and imagine a situation where over half of them are already sick with no medical facilities available and then ask yourself does it make sense to talk about this only if a gay angle can be factored in.
Caution and cleanliness are the main things to do and to pay attention to the advice given on the news.
Don’t smoke/drink/drug, don’t have HIV and have been lucky enough to never face discrimination. I guess I’m in the clear.
Your life sounds boring. Just sayin’
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
So now Queerty is censoring comments criticizing threads,..
Beyond shameful and pathetic
Maybe don’t post BS and you won’t be censured.
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