Organization calls for doctor-patient communication on sexual identity
Fenway Health, a Boston-based care center for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, is encouraging physicians to ask patients about their sexual orientation and gender identity in response to findings that people who are LGBT may have a higher risk of health problems.
The organization is offering guidelines to healthcare providers on how to obtain this information in a clinical setting, as well as advice on why gathering this data is important.
"These policy briefs explain why asking these questions is important, and provide guidance to help clinicians to gather these data effectively," said Stephen Boswell, M.D., president & CEO of Fenway Health.
According to one of the briefs, recording health information about LGBT individuals may help healthcare providers understand the disparities that exist among the community. Additionally, the organization urges physicians to stress that the information they gather will be recorded anonymously and will help other people who are LGBT.
Considering the higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases among LGBT individuals, it's important for people who identify as such to obtain regular screening for infections and remember to use protection when having sex.