Facilitators and barriers to health care for lesbian, gay and bisexual people


Key take-home messages
  • The health of LGB people are affected by a range of social, structural and behavioural factors. As a result, LGB populations have unique health needs that may not be met by existing health care services.
  • Barriers to LGB persons accessing health care services include the following:
    • Some health care professionals lack knowledge of LGB persons’ health care needs or have negative attitudes towards LGB people.
    • LGB persons may delay or avoid seeking services because of their experiences of past discrimination or perceived homophobia within the health care system.
    • Some LGB persons are reluctant to disclose their sexual orientation, which may mean they do not receive appropriate care.
    • Access may be affected by LGB persons’ ethnicity, education and income level, geographic isolation, immigration status, knowledge and cultural beliefs.
  • To overcome these barriers, a number of large cities now have lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health care centres that provide comprehensive, culturally sensitive care. These centres focus on providing mental health, parenting, mentoring and legal services, as well as medical and prevention services.


The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service




  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
    • Stigma/discrimination
  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • Women


Abstract/Full paper

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