Influence of covid-19 on the collective LGTBIQ

2020/05/17 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Published in Berria on 10 May 2020

Some variables make the people of the LGTBIQ group more vulnerable to covid-19. - Ed. Elhuyar Foundation

When confinement began, associations dealing with the rights of sexual diversity warned about the risk that in people living outside of heterosis, covid-19 could have negative consequences. They noted that in all households sexual diversity is not allowed and that more than one has had to deny or hide its character by being confined to others.

Studies are already underway to measure the impact of confinement on the LGTBIQ collective. Although there are still no results, they foresee that it will have negative effects both economically and socially, as in other minorities.

From the health point of view, other variables make this population group more vulnerable. First, they have a lower propensity for access to health services than the rest, and second, they move later than the rest. It is usually because they have experienced bad past experiences, so that, if not absolutely necessary, they avoid requesting assistance to the health system. This means a delay in diagnosis and treatment.

Also influence consumption habits. For example, they have seen that the evolution of smokers who get sick from covid-19 is worse than that of non-smokers. Well, according to a study conducted in the United States in 2018, the percentage of smokers between gays, lesbians, transsexuals, transgender and bisexuals is 10 points higher than that of the general population (37% and 27% respectively). In Europe, in addition to tobacco, the consumption of other addictive substances is more widespread among LGTBIQ people.

In addition, the presence of other diseases increases the severity of covid-19, which makes confinement even more difficult. For example, according to the health journal Gaceta sanitaria, obesity, osteoporosis and breast and cervix cancers are more common in lesbian and bisexual women. Gay and bisexual men include sexually transmitted infections and cancers of the anus, colon and prostate, as well as dietary alterations. Finally, in the transactions, in addition to the physical variables related to the transition (hormonal treatments and interventions), the journal refers to the risk of suicide.

In general, many studies show a greater propensity to suffer depression and anxiety in this group. Both physical and psychic variables worsen with age and also social variables. Many older gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people live alone and marginalized, so confinement is especially hard for them. In case of infection, moreover, the prognosis is even worse than that of other older people, due to the health variables mentioned above.

In the public data (contaminated, admitted and killed) provided by official bodies affected by covid-19, many times are not disaggregated by sex, much less by identity. Therefore, it will be difficult to have real impact data. That the warnings of the associations serve to pay attention and take measures to alleviate the harmful effects that people of the collective LGTBIQ can suffer.

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