We have unfortunate news for LGBTQ people in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. It turns out, LGBTQ people are at a greater risk of contracting a more severe case of COVID-19.
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found this higher rate result, according to Fronteras. Specifically, the CDC found that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people are more likely to have multiple medical conditions like diabetes and asthma. That then makes LGBTQ people more susceptible to poor COVID-19 conditions. One perceived factor playing into this is that LGBTQ people are often unable to access competent care services. This is a big factor of why HIV is still a prevalent issue for LGBTQ people, especially QPOC.
“I think the biggest factor that contributes to these comorbidities is the lack of access to culturally competent care services and supports,” said Aaron Tax, the Director of Advocacy for LGBTQ elders advocacy group SAGE.
“And this, unfortunately, is something that we’ve known about for some time, but I think what the epidemic has done is really shone a light on many of the issues that have plagued the LGBT older community,” he added. “As I said, for many, many years, one of the issues that we think and talk about a lot is the lack of data with respect to the challenges that LGBT older folks face.”
“We don’t know how many LGBT folks have been infected nationwide, how many have been tested, how many been hospitalized, how many have died, [and] how many have gotten better,” Tax continued. “And unfortunately, without the data, it’s hard to create interventions.”
As more states, like California, start collecting information covering the intersection of sexual orientation and gender identity during the coronavirus pandemic, more can be done for LGBTQ people. Until then, LGBTQ people should exhibit extra caution when engaging in our current COVID-19 world.