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Raising awareness about lesbian, bisexual and trans women’s health inequalities

The National LGB&T Partnership, working with partners across the country, have organised the second, annual National Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Women’s Health Week, which takes place next week – from 12 to 17 March.

The week will raise awareness nationally about lesbian, bisexual and trans women’s health inequalities. The aim is to make it simple for service providers to address the needs of LBT women and to encourage health organisations to consider what they do for LBT women service users. Organisations who want to better support LBT women can attend webinars or ask questions as part of a Twitter Q&A.

The week is also an opportunity to celebrate, highlight and learn from the work of groups and services which provide dedicated support to lesbian, bisexual and trans women. Organisers can submit their events via the National LGB&T Partnership website and have their events publicised on an interactive map.

The focus of the 2018 week is on fair access for better outcomes. Sarah Humphreys, Chair of LGBT Charity ELOP, and convenor of the group working on LBT Women’s Health Week 2018 at The National LGB&T Partnership told DIVA:

“There is growing evidence that there are underlying access concerns that prevent LBT women receiving appropriate health care.

“This leads to LBT women seeking health care late or not at all, which is part of the reason why for some health conditions, for example some cancers, there is inequity of outcomes.”

The prevalence of cancer in lesbian women (4.4%) and bisexual women (4.2%) has been found to be higher than in heterosexual women (3.9%), and teenage conception has also been found to be higher for lesbian and bisexual adolescents than their heterosexual counterparts​, pointing to the need for fully inclusive sex and relationships education in schools.

Data which focuses specifically on the health of trans women in England or the UK has been hard to identify, as trans people have tended to be grouped together as one cohort, but The National LGB&T Partnership have recently been working with Public Health England on the largest piece of research to date on trans people’s reproductive and sexual health, the results of which will be disaggregated by gender.

National LBT Women’s Health Week is built around three types of activity: celebrating existing activity to improve LBT women’s health, creating new activity to improve LBT women’s health, and sharing facts, understanding and expertise to raise awareness of the issues that affect LBT women’s health.

The National LGB&T Partnership are convening two Webinars, a Twitter Q&A session, and have been working with women in LGBTQ communities to create an online bank of LBT women’s experiences of health care, which you can still add to. You can also have your events added to an interactive map here.

To join the conversation across social media, use the hashtag #LBTWomensHealth18.

National LBT Women’s Health Week takes place nationwide from 12 to 17 March 2018. For more information, click here.

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Danielle Mustarde

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