Health Equity

sq_femalecouple2.jpgHealth equity refers to the study of differences in the quality of health and health care across different populations. The LGBTQ communities experiences significant health inequities due to internalized and external homophobia and transphobia.

Rainbow Health Initiative works to advance health equity by:

  • Promoting essential resources to improve community health
  • Expanding access to and availability of culturally competent care
  • Improving the health of LGBTQ communities
  • Ensuring that LGBTQ health is part of the public dialogue 


LGBTQ Health Disparities

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • LGBT youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide.
  • LGBT youth are more likely to be homeless.
  • Lesbians are less likely to get preventive services for cancer.
  • Gay men are at higher risk of HIV and other STIs, especially among communities of color.
  • Lesbians and bisexual females are more likely to be overweight or obese.
  • Transgender individuals have a high prevalence of HIV/STIs, victimization, mental health issues, and suicide and are less likely to have health insurance than heterosexual or LGB individuals.
  • Elderly LGBT individuals face additional barriers to health because of isolation and a lack of social services and culturally competent providers.
  • LGBT populations have the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use.


(Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health. Click here for more information.