Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause warts, cervical cancer and anal cancer, especially in HIV-infected men and women. A digital rectal exam (when a medical provider inserts a finger into the anus) can detect warts and other problems that should be treated. An anal Pap smear may also identify problems needing treatment, especially for HIV-infected persons. There are vaccines available that can prevent warts and HPV-associated cancers in women and men. Find a medical provider who understands the needs of LGBT patients and ask about getting checked and getting the vaccine.
For more information on LGBTQ health issues visit Rainbow Access Initiative and choose from the menu options on the left side. Of particular interest might be the section on obtaining the services of culturally-competent health providers – it explains why special attention is needed for LGBTQ healthcare in the first place.
For more information on spititual health for LGBTQ visit CWAC’s website or click on the “email us” button and contact me. CWAC’s anti-heterosexist, anti-racist stand for spiritual justice might just provide the safe place you’re looking for.