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Promoting Health Equity for the LGBTQ Community

Published in Gender Medicine, For the Health of It Author: George Froehle,PA-C

June is a time when people come together to celebrate Pride Month, a nationally recognized civil rights movement that celebrates the LGBTQ community and serves to recognize achievements and bring awareness to barriers still faced by LGBTQ individuals. In health care, the LGBTQ community faces challenges that can be tied to poorer health outcomes for those who do not receive the care they need.

CentraCare has worked to support the health equity in Central and Southwest Minnesota for a long time. Now, we have expanded our reach with services available to all Minnesotans.

Tackling HIV Prevention

One such service is TelePrEP, a service that allows anyone in Minnesota access to medications that reduce the risk of contracting HIV. PrEP is the acronym and name given to this kind of medication. It stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. With TelePrEP, patients meet with a provider by video visit to find out if PrEP is right for them and a prescription is mailed directly to the patient. PrEP can reduce someone’s risk of HIV infection when exposed by up to 99%.

Even though PrEP medications have been around for a while, many in the LGBTQ community do not know how easy and effective these drugs can be. Insurance usually covers the cost of medication.

Learn more about the PrEP process

Video visits: Removing Barriers to Care

A rise in video visits across the country has seemed like a natural response to the coronavirus pandemic. For many, video visits have removed the barriers that sometimes exist and made it easier to get access to care. This is especially true for members of the LGBTQ community, a group that often experiences challenges to finding a health care provider who understands their needs.

At CentraCare, many of our patients live in rural areas with some driving hours to see a health care provider in person. Members of the LGBTQ community have largely embraced video visits, which make it easier to get access to necessary health care services.

Learn more about our LGBTQ medicine providers and the services offered, which include primary care, sexual health and mental health care on the CentraCare Sexual and Gender Medicine services page.