National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

Physicians Group Backs LGBT-Inclusive Health Policies

Physicians Group Backs LGBT-Inclusive Health Policies

May 13, 2015 — The American College of Physicians has expressed support for policies that the group said will improve health among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, according to a policy paper published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Reuters reports.

According to Reuters, ACP is the largest group representing internal medicine doctors in the U.S.

Announcement Details

In the policy position paper, the organization outlined nine LGBT-inclusive policies that it favors. The policies include support for insurance plans that cover comprehensive transgender health care services, opposition to so-called conversion or reparative therapy and support for same-sex marriage rights, among others.

According to the paper, the LGBT community experiences the same health concerns as the rest of the population, but certain disparities might be greater among LGBT individuals. For example, ACP wrote that women who have sex with women, as well as women who have sex with men and women, are less likely than heterosexual women to be screened for cervical cancer or breast cancer. Meanwhile, men who have sex with men, as well as men who have sex with men and women, represent about 4% of the male population but about two-thirds of new HIV infections in the U.S., according to CDC estimates.

ACP President Wayne Riley said the paper "speaks to the fact that the nation's largest specialty society comes down on the side of health equity for all."

Specifically, he said the support for transgender health coverage helps ensure "transgender individuals can access the appropriate level of healthcare services to provide them with opportunities that ... anybody else has with health and wellness." Conversely, he said that ACP "agree[s] conversation therapy is not a wise use of healthcare resources" (Seaman, Reuters, 5/11).