Ana Ibarra Health

Transgender community faces unique health care concerns

The transgender community has become quite the subject of several discussions in recent months. Especially with public figures, such as Caitlyn Jenner, making headlines.

We hear about identity and cultural issues, and some of the social struggles these individuals face on a day-to-day basis.

But we hear less about the health issues that affect the transgender community. In Saturday’s “Let’s Talk Health” column, I will be exploring the emotional, mental and physical health implications that come with struggling to understand one’s own gender identity.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, trans-identified people report having to jump several hurdles to access care.

Forty one percent of transgender people, for example, reported postponing medical care because of an inability to pay, while another 28 postponed care because of their fear of anti-trans bias in a health care setting.

The Center also found that a quarter of the transgender people surveyed reported they had been harassed or disrespected in a hospital or doctor’s offices.

Health disparities in the LGBT community are known to be an issue. It is estimated by the National LGBT Health Education Center that 62 percent of transgender people have experienced depression and 41 percent admit to having attempted suicide.

The rate of HIV infection among the trans community is 2.6 percent, compared to only 0.6 percent among the population outside of the trans community. Among black transgender people, the rate jumps to 4.4 percent.