Health equity is a critical issue for Black folx, in general, but especially for Black same gender loving (SGL), Queer, and Trans identified individuals. These communities have historically faced discrimination and stigma, which has resulted in a lack of access to quality healthcare and a higher burden of illness. This is especially true for HIV, Covid-19, and MPox, which have had a disproportionate impact on these communities.
HIV, a virus that attacks the immune system, has had a devastating impact on the Black SGL community. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected by HIV, with rates that are eight times higher than those of white gay and bisexual men. This is due, in part, to a lack of access to HIV prevention and treatment services, as well as stigma and discrimination.
Covid-19, a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has also had a disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities, including Black SGL, Queer, and Trans individuals. According to data from the CDC, these communities have higher rates of Covid-19 infection and hospitalization compared to their white counterparts. This is due, in part, to structural inequalities such as inadequate access to healthcare, higher rates of underlying health conditions, implicit bias on behalf of providers and essential work that puts them at greater risk of exposure.
MPox, a disease that has plagued Africa for decades, is an example of how a lack of health equity can leave marginalized communities vulnerable. With MPox, though not often a deadly disease, it disproportionately impacted Black SGL, Queer, and Trans individuals. In many cases, communities without access to preventive measures such as vaccines and treatments, our communities are at a higher risk of contracting and dying from preventable illnesses like MPox.
The impact of HIV, Covid-19, and MPox on Black SGL, Queer, and Trans communities highlights the importance of health equity. Without it, these communities are left vulnerable to illness and death. To address this issue, we must work to eliminate barriers to healthcare and promote inclusivity and acceptance. This includes addressing issues such as stigma, discrimination, and inadequate access to healthcare. By working towards health equity, we can ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
Larry L Walker
THRIVE SS Inc