Sharing needles spreads HIV and Hepatitis C; and dirty needles can cause other infections.  If you use needles for drugs, hormones or prescription medicines like insulin, make sure they’re new and/or clean.  Find an LGBT-friendly syringe exchange program in your area or a pharmacy in NY’s Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP) where you can buy them.

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.

 A 2007 study found that in NY State, 64% of LGBT High School students reported feeling unsafe in their schools.  Help make schools in your area safer by supporting LGBT youth and the agencies that serve them…and advocate for school change by supporting organizations like GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) and/or legislation to make LGBT students safe like the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA).

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.

 Regular eye exams are important – much more happens during an eye exam than you might think! Your doctor checks your eyes for common eye diseases, assesses how well your eyes work together as a team, and evaluates your eyes as a telling indicator of your overall health. Whether you’re an LGBT person or not, taking the best care of yourself (every part of yourself!) that you can is a crucial step toward health and wellness.

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.

 Many LGBT people report feelings of isolation—especially youth, seniors and those in rural communities. Connecting with other LGBT people, getting support and building community can be the foundation of a healthy life.  Seek out LGBT groups and organizations in your area—join a club/group or volunteer—and connect with other LGBT people in your area!

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.

 LGBT people are often the target of violence—from strangers and even at the hands of people we love and trust. Domestic Violence occurs in about 1 in 4 LGBT relationships. 20% of respondents in a recent study reported experiencing a sexual orientation based personal or property crime, and another recent report showed an increase of LGBTQ related sexual assault of 171%!! If you or anyone you know is dealing with any kind of violence, whether physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual, contact an LGBT-affirming anti-violence program in your community.

For more information on LGBTQ health issues visit Rainbow Access Initiative and choose from the menu options on the left side.

For more information on spititual health for LGBTQ visit CWAC’s website or click on the “email us” button and contact me.

 Anyone can get HIV and other STDs, but LGBT individuals may be at increased risk. Gay and bisexual men of all races continue to be a risk group severely affected by HIV; transgender communities are estimated to have HIV infection rates ranging from 14 – 69%; and STDs such as herpes and Chlamydia are just as common among lesbians as other women. No sexual activity is 100% safe, but you can protect yourself if you’re sexually active by using protection properly and consistently, getting tested regularly for HIV and STDs, and communicating with your partner(s).

For more information on LGBTQ health issues visit Rainbow Access Initiative and choose from the menu options on the left side.

For more information on spititual health for LGBTQ visit CWAC’s website or click on the “email us” button and contact me.

 A 2000 survey reported that 70 percent of lesbians and 60 percent of gay men said they sought mental health counseling in some form.  It’s normal to feel “down” sometimes, but if those feelings persist or become too extreme, consider talking to a professional about it.  There are also free, anonymous depression screening tools available online like the one at www.depression-screening.org

LGBT people often do not receive proper mental health care. Providers often lack the basic knowledge of the mental health needs of LGBT people; they don’t understand the diversity of different populations within the LGBT communities, and they lack the ability to refer patients and clients to appropriate community resources and referrals.

For many years, homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder and studies reported high rates of suicide suicide attempts among young people who identified as homosexual. Did the classification cause gay people to be depressed or did the depression result from the classification? Since the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder professionals have been able to address the issue of depression directly. Nonetheless, many still do not understand the situation. And there are still diagnoses listed in the DSM-4 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) that apply to transgender persons. Mental disorders may cause limitations in one’s life, but they often are seen as a secondary problem. Our job, when dealing with the professionals, is to clarify the confusion and make it clear that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender is not a ‘hook’ on which to hang mental health issues.

For more information on LGBTQ health issues visit Rainbow Access Initiative and choose from the menu options on the left side.

For more information on spititual health for LGBTQ visit CWAC’s website or click on the “email us” button and contact me.  

 In a 2009 study, 60% of LGBT adults described faith as “very important” in their lives. However, many LGBT adults have a shared history of spiritual disillusionment due to discrimination at the hands of religious communities and leaders. If faith is part of what keeps you healthy, begin the process of reconnecting with your spirituality by seeking out an LGBT religious community or affirming congregation in your area.

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.

 Getting regular routine screenings for different kinds of cancers (breast, testicular, lung, cervical, ovarian, prostate, colorectal and skin) may help to find them early when treatment is most likely to work best. Routine screenings and exams are important for everyone, but many LGBT individuals may have increased risk for certain cancers and are often less likely and less able to access adequate health care. Learn more about the importance of routine screenings and early detection, and locate a health care facility near you that provides cancer screenings in a safe, LGBT-affirming environment.

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.

 Hormone therapy can be an important part of daily health for some people of trans experience.  Transgender individuals who wish to use hormones are best advised to do so under the supervision of an LGBT-affirming medical provider who is clinically competent in transgender health issues because using hormones can put you at risk for high blood pressure, liver disease, blood clots and other serious health risks.  Smoking while taking hormones greatly increases the risks of blood clots.

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.

 A 2005 survey of gay/bisexual men found that 39% had never disclosed their orientation to their healthcare provider and studies have shown similar patterns among lesbian/bisexual women.  If you have never come out to your provider, do it.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing so or think you’re provider will react negatively, seek out a provider with whom you can have a more honest and healthier relationship.

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.

 Drinking responsibly includes much more than not driving drunk. Substantially higher numbers of LGBT people use alcohol and other substances and about 30% develop problems with alcohol. Additionally, alcohol affects decision-making and lowers inhibition, which can lead to other health risks such as increased sexual risk. If you or anyone you know has a problem with alcohol, seek out LGBT-affirming resources and supportive services in your community to help you overcome it.

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.

Lesbians are nearly twice as likely to be overweight than straight women, and young gay white men are at increased risk for eating disorders. Based on these statistics alone, it is clear that eating healthy has specific significance for the LGBT community. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be about strict regimens or depriving yourself of foods you love. In fact, food should be a source of pleasure. Learn some basics about nutrition and incorporate them into your routine in a way that works for you. Eat more local, fresh vegetables, try more grains, legumes, and fruits you don’t normally eat, and drink more water.

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.

 Clean hands save lives…including LGBT lives! In fact, there is a whole day (October 15, Global Hand Washing Day) dedicated to raising awareness about the health benefits of hand washing. LGBT or not, washing or sanitizing your hands is one of the most important preventive measures you can take to support your immune system, and protect yourself from getting sick and/or spreading illness to others.

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.

 Every year, 3000 people die in house fires. Having at least one functional smoke detector on every floor of your home and near bedrooms can save lives.  Check the batteries on your smoke detector regularly.

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.