Queer Men Face ‘Catastrophic Outcomes’ Trying to Access Equal Healthcare

When it comes to persecution against the LGBTQ+ community, nearly every aspect of life has a layer of danger embedded in it. By far one of the most difficult landscapes to navigate as a queer person is healthcare.

Seen It Before

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Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, queer individuals worldwide faced a medical scare known as the HIV pandemic. Nowadays, a new disease is terrorizing the queer demographic: mpox.

What is Mpox?

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Mpox, previously referred to as monkeypox, saw its rise in cases at the tail-end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease is most notably documented amongst MSM, or men who have sex with men. 

Distinguished Disadvantages

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While those diagnosed to have mpox should be able to receive treatment just as any other person, MSM find a specific disadvantage when receiving medical care. 

Tales From the Clinic

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Anecdotal recounts of treatment harken back to similar stories during the HIV pandemic. Many of those seeking healthcare treatment have experienced stigma that straight individuals may not have faced.

Case Study

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A recent study in the United Kingdom reviewed the experiences of gay, bisexual, and other queer individuals who have sex with men (GBMSM). Everyone in the study was diagnosed with mpox.

Reports Seem Bleak

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Those in the study reported that they often encountered struggles with accessing medical testing. The same level of difficulty that was found in acquiring testing was also reported with getting treatment.

Feeling Unwelcomed

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Participants also relayed that they felt there was a stigma that came with their healthcare. Several patients also noted that their diagnoses resulted in negative reactions outside of the clinical environment.

Surrounded By Stigma

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Many of those in the case study stated that friends and family, whether straight or LGBTQ+, were closed off after learning about the diagnosis.

A Wide Net

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The methods to conduct the study involved using personal interviews with over 20 self-identifying queer men. The sampling was pulled from a variety of clinics, attempting to encompass all possible social attitudes based on income or location.

No Meds Here

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One participant reported being denied any pharmaceutical assistance, saying “My clinic didn’t give me any medication. They were like just isolate and you should get better.” He concluded by stating his clinic was “not helpful at all.” 

Other Factors Not Considered

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Another individual, who is also diagnosed with HIV, recalled that the staff members at his clinic failed to account for how his diagnosis would impact treatment side effects. He reported that this malpractice led to a “catastrophic outcome”.

Institutional Discrimination

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All interviews were collected during the spring and summer of 2023. This suggests that even though years of progress have been made, discrimination still occurs in institutional settings.

Medical Malices

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Reports like these highlight the ongoing battle for equality in all aspects of life. The most immediate remedy would be for lawmakers to produce legislation that protects queer individuals in the medical world.

Torres On The Case

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Some politicians are actively working to bring such change. New York Rep. Ritchie Torres was attempting to revise the Coordinated Agency Response Enhancement (CARE) Act.

Pacing Too Slow

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Torres was infuriated by the bureaucratic speed of healthcare, saying “…the pace of the Federal response to monkeypox has enabled the virus to spread for two months and delays in distributing tests and vaccines have harmed efforts to contain the virus.”

Who Is At Risk?

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Torres continued by commenting on how slow action affects vulnerable groups. “Marginalized and at-risk communities cannot afford to bear the brunt of another public health emergency, desperately waiting for the government to get its act together.”

Access: Denied

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The CARE Act revision would require testing for an mpox vaccine to be streamlined and be made more accessible. However, the request for revision was rejected, despite the demonstrated demand for equitable access to medicine.

Commonplace Complacency

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During these times where political moves are consistently being launched at the queer community, politicians seem to hold all the power. Those who see the value in acting are doing so, but many remain complacent to help.

A Long Line To Wait In

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With sessions adjourned and many bills waiting in the wing, political experts are unsure what will come of potential future revisions for the CARE Act. And while prospects seem murky, the best the public can do is hope. 

The post Queer Men Face ‘Catastrophic Outcomes’ Trying to Access Equal Healthcare first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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