Identifying Resource Needs and Experiences of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning+ Community during the Coronavirus Disease-2019 Pandemic
Coronavirus disease-2019 continues to pose health- and economic-related
challenges for communities, with certain communities being especially
vulnerable to these disparities.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning+ (LGBTQ+)
community has historically experienced greater disparities and inequities
related to the social determinants of health including economic stability
such as high rates of poverty and unemployment;
healthcare access and quality including limited access to health insurance
and culturally affirming providers; and social and community factors
such as societal stigma and discrimination as well as anti-LGBTQ+ policies.
LGBTQ+ people also experience high rates of mental health disorders and substance use.
Each of these factors contribute to a greater risk of COVID-19 and related
adversities in the LGBTQ+ community.
In the United States (U.S.) South, LGBTQ+ populations may be at an even greater
risk for COVID-19 and related negative outcomes, compared to other U.S. regions,
due to pervasive culturally conservative views that contribute to high-levels of stigma;
a history of systemic racism, which has been associated with inadequate
health care and mistrust of healthcare systems; a high prevalence of violence against
LGBTQ+ people; and high-levels of poverty and other financial challenges.
Further, COVID-19 vaccination rates in the South are some of the lowest in the nation.
Of the 15 states with the lowest percentage of their population fully vaccinated,
60% (n=9) are located in the South.
Additionally, the Southern region also experiences a disproportionate burden of
human immunodeficiency virus due to the aforementioned inequities and disparities.
Research has shown that HIV and COVID-19 prevalence intersect, especially in the South.
Of 75 U.S. counties identified as HIV/COVID-19 co-existing hotspots, 99% were located in the South.
HIV/AIDS Res Treat Open J. 2022; 8(1): 4-11. doi: 10.17140/HARTOJ-8-136