medical

Study: Increased risk of subjective cognitive decline in the LGBTQ community

LOS ANGELES — New research reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2019 in Los Angeles found higher rates of subjective cognitive decline among lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) Americans compared to their cisgender* heterosexual counterparts. In the study, subjective cognitive decline (SCD) was defined as self-reported confusion or memory problems that have been getting worse over the past year. Another study presented at AAIC 2019 investigated the effectiveness of a first-of-its-kind Alzheimer’s intervention designed specifically to improve physical function and independence for LGBT older individuals with dementia and their caregivers. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, showed the importance of tailored interventions and strong community partnerships in designing care for LGBT individuals. “Much too little is known about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the LGBT community.

‘Stonewall Generation’ confronts old age, sickness — and discrimination

By JoNel Aleccia and Melissa Bailey
Kaiser Health News

WASHINGTON — Two years ago, nursing professor Kim Acquaviva asked a group of home care nurses whether they thought she was going to hell for being a lesbian. It’s OK if you do, Acquaviva said, but is the afterlife within your scope of practice? After Acquaviva’s talk, an older nurse announced she would change how she treats LGBTQ people under her care. “I still think you’re going to hell, but I’m going to stop telling patients that,” the nurse told Acquaviva. Acquaviva, a professor at the George Washington University School of Nursing in Washington, D.C., raised the example Tuesday at a panel hosted by Kaiser Health News on inclusive care for LGBTQ seniors.

Intersex justice activists call on hospitals to stop unnecessary surgeries on infants

By Michelle Zacarias

CHICAGO—Intersex activists and allies gathered last week outside of the Marriott Marquis hotel to protest the continued performance of medically unnecessary genital “normalizing” surgery on intersex infants. The demonstration was coordinated by Pidgeon Pagonis and Saifa Wall, co-founders of the Intersex Justice Project (IJP). The action targeted the Societies for Pediatric Urology, which held its annual meeting here last Friday. The Chicago-based protest is one of many growing conversations around the country regarding the ethics of intersex healthcare. Many advocates have condemned the surgeries being performed on intersex youths, which are often framed as “necessary” but cause irreversible bodily damage.

Truvada pills

Gilead to make Truvada generic in 2020

Activists express doubt that prices will drop, call for government to collect on unpaid royalties. NEW YORK — Gilead, the makers of HIV and PrEP medication Truvada, said in an SEC filing that a generic version of the drug will be available in 2020. NBC OUT broke the story early Wednesday afternoon. “Gilead reached an agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2014 to allow the early launch of a generic version of Truvada into the market in 2020, a year earlier than required,” wrote Douglas Brooks, Gilead’s executive director for community engagement, in an email shared with NBC News by the advocacy group PrEP4All. NBC OUT reported that generic Truvada in other countries costs as little as $70 a month, in the U.S. it can cost $1,600 to $2,000 a month.

‘Religious objection’ rule for healthcare providers now in effect

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday finalized a “conscience” rule that would allow healthcare providers and organizations to refuse to provide types of care because of “religious objections.” The rule follows a 2017 executive order from the Trump administration to protect religious liberty. A press release from HHS stated “the final rule fulfills President Trump’s promise to promote and protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious liberty.” The new rule comes from the establishment of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within HHS’s Office for Civil Rights, the press released claimed. It protects anyone who refuses to provide services related to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, assisted suicide or others.

New pharmacy opens at Project of the Quad Cities

MOLINE — A Schnucks Specialty Pharmacy has opened at the Project of the Quad Cities’ Moline clinic. The Project said in a Facebook post that the new pharmacy allows for integration of medical services as the clinic. The pharmacy opened with a ribbon cutting on Monday, April 29. The Project of the Quad Cities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community based organization that was established in 1986 to provide services to those at risk of contracting, affected by or living with STI/HIV/AIDS.

St. Louis University opens group therapy clinic for queer, transgender youth

ST. LOUIS — Saint Louis University’s Center for Counseling and Family Therapy announced Friday that it will offer family group therapy for queer and transgender youth and their caregivers. The sessions are open to adolescents ages 13-20 and a parent or a guardian, the university said in an announcement. The sessions will be led by Katie Heiden-Rootes, Ph.D., LMFT, assistant professor of medical family therapy in Family and Community Medicine at the SLU School of Medicine, and will include three graduate-level therapy students. “The number 1 predictor of suicide and depression in LGBTQ youth is parent misunderstanding or lack of support,” Heiden-Rootes said in the announcment.

Gonorrhea outbreak in Rock Island

ROCK ISLAND — Public health officials in Rock Island have declared a public health emergency because of higher than normal cases of gonorrhea. The Rock Island Dispatch-Argus reported that forty-four gonorrhea cases have been reported in the first three months of 2019, compared with 27 cases in 2018. Rock Island County Department of Heath Chief Operating Officer Janet Hill told the newspaper that one of the thresholds for declaring an outbreak is at least a five-case increase per month. The department is encouraging anyone who thinks they could be at risk to get tested. “Our rates have been going up just like they are all across the country.