Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health services in the United States: Origins, evolution, and contemporary landscape
LGBT community organizations in the United States have been providing health services since at least the 1970s. However, available explanations for the origins of LGBT health services do not sufficiently explain why health in particular has been so closely and consistently linked to LGBT activism. Little is also known regarding how LGBT health services may have evolved over time with the growing scientific understanding of LGBT health needs.
This study begins with a review of the early intersections of sexuality and health that led to an LGBT health movement in the United States, as well as the evolution of LGBT health services over time. Informed by this, an asset map displaying the location and types of services provided by “LGBT community health centers” today in relation to the population density of LGBT people was explored. An online search of LGBT community health centers was conducted between September–December, 2015. Organizational details, including physical addresses and the services provided, were confirmed via an online database of federally-registered non-profit organizations and organizational websites. The locations and types of services provided were analyzed and presented alongside county-level census data of same-sex households using geographic information system (GIS) software ArcGIS for Desktop.
LGBT community health centers are concentrated within urban hubs and coastal states, and are more likely to be present in areas with a high density of same-sex couples. LGBT community health centers do not operate in 13 states. The most common health services provided are wellness programs, HIV/STI services, and counseling services.
LGBT community health centers have adapted over time to meet the needs of LGBT people. However, significant gaps in service remain in the United States, and LGBT community health centers may require significant transformations going forward in order to continue serving LGBT people.
- journal.pone.0180544.pdf application/pdf 4.76 MB Download File
Also Published In
- PLoS ONE
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- Academic Units
- Sociomedical Sciences
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- September 30, 2017