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The Learning Curve #1 - "The health situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in Germany".

The Learning Curve #1 - "The health situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in Germany".

"The health situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in Germany".

This report engages with the health of the LGBTQI+ community in Germany. This group is often at higher risk of mental illnesses, as it is judged with prejudices that may be even fuelled by the health system itself.

To honour this historic moment, several events are held throughout the month for and about LGBT health. Even as the pandemic pushes these celebrations to the core, these discussions remain more important than ever.

To mark this the hub will start our series of articles on scientific report and to start: " The health situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in Germany“.

For a long time, health sciences one look at LGBTQ+ people through biomedical lenses, this is, looking at them as diseases vectors (specially in HIV or other STIs) or as ill-fitting people to their own bodies (trans people). The scientific community has still a long way to go, but as a mark to their progress we can see how as today we have more and more scientific pursues to understand a wider range of health need of LGTBQ+ people and their demands beyond sexual health.

Despite this advice, it is important to notice how the report presents prejudices as one of the main health risks for this population.

Discrimination has a deep impact on mental health, self-esteem, and thus can act as an enhancer for harmful behaviours and practices, even reaching extremes such as suicide (which has higher rates in LGBTQ+ people).

It is important to mention how this discrimination is often felt in the health services themselves, making it even more difficult to adopt preventive measures or treatment adherence.

This problem has roots way back in our history, considering how it was until 1990 that the World Health Organization decided to stop defining homosexuality as a mental illness, and reflexes today, with the medical recognition of transgender and intersex or gender diversity is still pending.

A similar situation is still experienced by intersex people, still classified with the icd-11, classifying its existence as a „disorder“ to be treated.

These classifications have aspects that got far beyond the symbolism of the pathologization of these identities, but make specialized care for these people far less than necessary, or even non-existent.

Citation: Pöge K, Dennert G, Koppe U, Güldenring A, Matthigack EB et al. (2020) Die gesundheitliche Lage von lesbischen, schwulen, bisexuellen sowie trans- und intergeschlechtlichen Menschen. Journal of Health Monitoring 5(S1): 2–30. DOI 10.25646/6448

Key Learnings:

1. Discrimination can be a big influencing factor for mental health.

2. LGBTQI+ have a higher risk of suffering from depression and anxiety.

3. Intersex is still classified as a  disorder.

4. Positive HIV status increases the risk of suicidal thoughts

5. Early detection measures are often not used due to discrimination within the health care system.