Thursday, June 22, 2017

Healthcare

The trans community is always looking for trans friendly healthcare providers*; we worry when we walk in to a medical office how will I be treated. As a volunteer at a LGBT health care providers I get calls from trans people asking for trans friendly healthcare providers from a database that they have.

Connecticut is one of the states that embraced the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or as it is otherwise known Obamacare, as a results many trans people now have insurance for the first time and are looking for a PCP or endos.
How doctors in Texas are trying to protect transgender patients from a persistent threat: HIV
LA Times
By Alexandra Zavis
June 21, 2017

When the Kind Clinic began offering free or low-cost hormone therapy for transgender people in March, word spread quickly here. Within days, the service was booked up until the end of June. Now the next available appointment is in December.

For the patients flocking to the clinic north of downtown — the first of its kind in central Texas — it’s a chance to begin a transition many thought they could not afford. But for the doctors, the rush is a chance to start addressing another major health problem facing the transgender community: the staggering rates of HIV.

By offering hormone therapy, the clinic aims to earn the trust of a population that often feels alienated by mainstream medicine and persuade those at high risk of exposure to the virus to start on a drug regimen that can prevent infection.
There are a couple of clinics here in Connecticut that offers hormones on a sliding scale but now that HUSKY insurance (Connecticut version of Medicaid) has increased the number of insured trans people are now cover hormones.
The population is so vulnerable because the stigmatized place that transgender people occupy in society translates into extremely high rates of poverty, substance abuse, mental health difficulties, homelessness and incarceration — all of which increase the odds of having sex without condoms or sharing needles, the two most common ways that HIV is spread in the U.S.
[…]
A survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality in 2015 found that 23% of the nearly 28,000 respondents hadn’t seen a doctor when they needed one in the last year, because they were afraid of being mistreated. A third couldn’t afford to see one.
Because of HUSKY there is less needle sharing for hormones.

As for “afraid of being mistreated” it is a real fear but I feel it is declining, at least here in Connecticut. Healthcare providers and hospitals are now treating more trans people and are learning how to treat us (sometimes by legal enforcement). However, all it takes is for one trans person to have a problem with the healthcare providers or staff for the news to spread throughout the community.

But I haven’t had any problems with doctors or healthcare providers since I transitioned and I have seen a number of specialists. Yesterday I had an invasive routine test, most of the staff didn’t know I was trans until I arrived at the outpatient facility and the staff was excellent.

*By healthcare provider I mean doctors, APRNs, nurses, therapists, LCSW, medical technicians, or anyone else treat us.

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