LGBTQ Drug Watch

LGBTQ Drug Watch

LGBTQ+ Health

Members of the LGBTQ+ community have unique health needs and risks that they have to be aware of to stay healthy. In addition to risks that affect all men and women regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, such as heart disease and cancer, people in the LGBTQ+ community may face certain higher physical and mental health risks.

“Health equals self-care. Sometimes we can put our health on the back burner,” Joel Morales, Director of Operations at the LGBTQ+ Center in Orlando, told Drugwatch. “We should really focus on our health and self-care, because if we are taking care of ourselves then we can help others in the community. We have our chosen family that is depending on us to be there tomorrow.”

Unique Health Risks for LGBTQ+ People

  • Greater risk of acquiring HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Higher rates of substance abuse and smoking
  • Higher risk of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
  • Greater risk of suicide attempts
  • Higher risk of certain cancers

Fear of discrimination and lack of health insurance coverage prevent many people in the community from seeking care. Finding a provider that understands the needs of the LGBTQ+ community can also be a frustrating and negative experience.

Fortunately, help is available.

Several local and national organizations can help members of the LGBTQ+ community begin a discussion with their provider or find providers who are allies. They may also provide free mental health counseling and STD tests.

For more information, please visit: LGBTQ+ Guide | Health Risks, Prevention, Treatment & Help (

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