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AAD issues position statement addressing sexual, gender minority health


The American Academy of Dermatology has issued a position statement to address the unique health care disparities faced by sexual and gender minority (SGM) people, including LGBTQ individuals.

Some of the unique dermatologic issues faced by SGM individuals include a disproportionate risk for skin cancer in men who have sex with men; higher rates of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, anogenital dysplasia, and anal cancer; and management of complications such as acne or scarring stemming from medical and/or surgical gender-affirming treatments for transgender individuals. In addition, racial and ethnic minority persons who identify as SGM or LGBTQ face additional stigma and health care disparities.

“While the precise role of dermatology remains controversial regarding anal cancer screening, treatment, and surveillance in these populations, comprehensive skin examinations as well as appropriate counseling and referrals may be linked to earlier detection and improved outcomes,” the statement notes.

The AAD has already taken some steps in advancing the care of SGM individuals, including dedicated educational sessions and workshops at AAD meetings, formation of the AAD LGBTQ/SGM Health Expert Resource Group, incorporation of LGBTQ/SGM content into online AAD basic dermatology curriculum modules, revision of the AAD position statement on isotretinoin, and forthcoming book chapters and CME articles for the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

In order to further commit to the care of diverse populations, the AAD recognized a series of 11 positions in accordance with the association’s “core values of patient-first medicine and visionary leadership,” such as recognizing and affirming the identity and dignity of LGBTQ/SGM individuals, opposing all bias and discrimination, endorsing policies and initiatives that ensure nondiscrimination, and supporting training in cultural humility and structural competency.

“Adequate training of medical professionals regarding the unique health care needs of LGBTQ/SGM people and ongoing research into best care practices are necessary to provide care that facilitates trust and resilience while ensuring the ability of LGBTQ/SGM individuals to thrive,” the statement says.

Find the full position statement on the AAD website.

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