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NIH Designates Sexual and Gender Minority Populations as a Health Disparity Population for Research

Today the National Institutes of Health announced the formal designation of sexual and gender minorities as a heath disparity population for purposes of NIH research.  The term “sexual and gender minorities” includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.  Today’s announcement is an important step towards ending the devastating health disparities facing LGBTQ people across the nation.  This designation empowers NIH to undertake additional research on issues specifically impacting the LGBTQ community and elevates the health disparities faced by our community within the NIH research agenda.  

This designation follows the publication of the March 2011 Institute of Medicine (now the The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) report that painted a sober picture of the many substantial health disparities impacting our community.  The 2011 report emphasized that sustained efforts to collect more data on the LGBTQ population would be a critical part of developing effective policies to better understand and eventually to eliminate these disparities. Today’s announcement directly answers this call for deliberate, sustained data collection on the federal level.  

HRC called on NIH to make this change in the Blueprint for Positive Change, a series of administrative actions  the administration can take to change lives of LGBTQ Americans for the better, and we applaud the Institutes’ leadership.

 To read more visit: http://www.nimhd.nih.gov/about/directors-corner/message.html.