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Sunday News Round-Up, Sunny Day Edition

April 3, 2011

The New England Journal of Medicine published a freely available Clinical Practice article, “Care of Transsexual Persons.” It covers hormones, surgery, and adolescents. Note that it does use the problematic gender identity “disorder” language as included in the DSM and it also promotes the standard psychological counseling hoops that transgender persons must jump through prior to obtaining treatment – Julia Serano‘s “Whipping Girl” provides a good primer on why those hoops can be problematic. It might be worth checking out what kinds of materials health care providers are seeing regarding these topics, including how they’re problematic.

Relatedly, there’s a possibility that “gender identity disorder” will be renamed “gender incongruence” in the DSM-V.

Laura Chapin at a US News politics blog asks why anti-choice extremism is so commonplace and continuous threats against providers are considered acceptable:

It’s the acceptance of a level of hatred directed at women, especially poor women, seeking reproductive healthcare and abortions. And it’s the acceptance of threats and violence directed at the doctors, staff, and healthcare workers trying to provide it to them.

The Boston Globe has a very brief story illustrating the problem of giving obesity too much focus and attention when diagnosing a patient.

In The Crocodile Tears of Anti-Choice Billboarders, Gaylon Alcarez outlines the failures and disingenuousness of anti-choice billboards targeting Black women. Just read it.

Relatedly, NARAL and SisterSong have partnered to fight such billboards in Texas.

The CDC notes April as STD Awareness Month (can we get that changed to STI?), including some resources for providers and for finding testing.

Studies presented at meetings always have the caveat that they need to be peer-reviewed and have the methods and data published in order for the public to fully review and understand them. However, I wanted to note this recent news item:

New Orleans residents were found to have three times the rate of heart attacks four years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina than before the storm and levee break that flooded the city, according to a study presented at a major heart meeting on Sunday.

I’ll be interested to see the paper when published; the news item focuses on psychiatric illness, stress, and employment, but I wonder how much people with more financial resources leaving the area and access to care generally play a role.

Via TransTalk, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Recommended Actions to Improve the Health and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities, which includes a summary of actions taken and recommendations for future actions. What do you think? Will this make a difference? Have they focused the right way?

The Institute of Medicine released a new report, The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. It’s freely available if you read the PDF online; I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t vouch for how truly inclusive or useful it is.

Note to self: don’t ever move to the Dakotas. Most recently, North Dakota approved abstinence-only sex education.

A worthy rant from tigtog at Hoyden: Don’t mistake expressing contempt for taking offense.

Via Siobhan (who I’ll get to see at a health literacy conference in May – yay!) at BHIC, HHS Launches New Consumer-Focused Immunization Website. The new site is

Shameless Self-Promotion: at work, we’re posting staff profiles to our Facebook page leading up to an open house event; here’s mine. I’d appreciate if any personal comments were left here or on my own Facebook page instead of there.

Unrelated to health, except for the insurance aspect: an employer of 500+ people in my hometown is closing. The employees (largely hourly, relatively low wage) of this furniture factory were called together and basically told that – in addition to the upcoming closing – their health insurance was ending effective immediately. If that doesn’t illustrate a major problem with employer-based insurance, I don’t know what does. The county already has an unemployment rate over 10% so I expect those folks will have a hard time finding work; the company had been in town for more than 70 years.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2011 9:12 pm

    Rachel, can’t wait to see you at IHA! also check out these resources on LGBT health

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