While sexual health should be a priority it’s still a sensitive topic that most people hesitate to discuss with nurse practitioners, doctors, and other care providers.
For members of the LGBTQ+ community, this hesitation is worsened by the lack of inclusive sex education and shortage of doctors who are comfortable with, or adequately prepared to address the concerns of LGBTQ+ patients.
This lack of inclusive care options leaves many LGBTQ+ patients without the resources they need to deal with some of the most common sexual health issues and risks including HIV, STIs and pregnancy. More than 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ adults reported postponing or avoiding medical care in the past year due to disrespect or discrimination by providers. 33% of transgender people and 48% of transgender men have delayed healthcare or avoided preventive measures (e.g., pelvic exams or STI screening) out of fear of discrimination or disrespect. This leads to not just issues with a person’s sexual health, but can affect every part of over wellbeing.
These conversations may be awkward at first but are key to protecting your health and well-being, and the health of your sexual partners. Start by finding doctors, nurses, and other providers you can trust (we can help with that!). Then have open and honest conversations so that you can stay on top of preventative care practices like regular testing, and exploring options like PrEP and other support that can keep you healthy, while enjoying a healthy sex life. In many cases, STIs are symptomless and the only way to get the treatment you need is to stay on top of being tested.
There are many preventative care options and resources available to help you manage your sexual health.
- Find an affirming doctor who respects your identity and won’t stigmatize or judge you for your sexual history.
- Stay up-to-date on annual checkups and testing for STIs.
- Ask your provider if birth control and/or STI/HIV prevention medications like PrEP may be right for you.
- Get tested for STIs and share your results with your partner(s) if you’re sexually active.
- Get connected with LGBTQ+ support groups and other community resources.
You deserve respectful, affirming care that works for you.
At Included Health, we’re here to make sure you get the high-quality care you need, from professionals who understand, respect, and support you, for your sexual health, and every part of your health.
Existing Included Health members can log into their account to get care, or download the app. If you are new to Included Health, you may check to see if you are covered by your Employer or Health plan by filling out this form.