COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A new study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows the LGBTQ community is being impacted more by COVID-19.
The study reports they are having more severe side effects and long-term effects from COVID-19 for reasons that are still unknown.
“The data on that is still unclear because we really don’t have strong data on people’s sexual orientation when they come to the doctor,” said Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, OhioHealth.
He said patient-doctor relationships are so important right now. Trust is a key factor in helping tackle this COVID-19 research.
“As a physician, the more I know about you, the better I am to provide care for you,” said Kaleidoscope Youth Center Executive Director Erin Upchurch, adding she is not surprised by the study’s results.
“For marginalized communities, especially LGBTQ youth communities, where their community has been taken away from them, where they can’t go to school or libraries or other community-based places, with the pandemic quarantine, they don’t have access to that,” Upchurch said.
Upchurch said for LGBTQ patients, reporting gender can be a delicate topic, but there are a few things that must be considered.
“There is hesitancy in the LGBTQ community to go to doctors to get tests, to do those kinds of things and especially for our trans and non-binary folks,” she said. “They don’t know what kind of ID is going to be required. If their gender marker on their license doesn’t match, you know, their representation, so what does that mean for them?”
For this reason, Upchurch said, it’s important to be culturally responsive.
“Be culturally responsive in whatever those answers are,” she said. “It’s us, as a community here in Franklin County, to have mechanisms so we can collect numbers and date.”