By Alex Temblador
Dr. Mitchell Lunn and Dr. Juno Obedin-Maliver of the University of California-San Francisco have just released a new iPhone app called PRIDE. This new downloadable app will ask users to share their health history and health concerns in an effort to launch the largest long-term health study of the LGBTQ community.
The first part of the study involves asking PRIDE app users to post topics they want researchers to research in the future. Lunn calls this the “community listening phase.” Their hope for this app is to create the largest database of the physical, mental, and social health issues of the LGBTQ community.
There are so many reasons why this new PRIDE app is amazing and we’d like to share why:
- We don’t have a lot of health information about the LGBTQ community.
As the Advocate stated, “It wasn’t until two years ago that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual National Health Interview Survey even accounted for sexual orientation.” Up-to-date information could help the entire community when it comes to fighting for the health needs of LGBTQ persons.
Researcher Dr. Obedin-Maliver said, “”We know that there are health disparities, but we don’t have the data to drive clinical practice and public health priorities.”
Liz Margolies, head of the National LGBT Cancer Network, explained how this app could help her foundation: “I really need this data. The federal government should be making sure this data is collected, but it takes years. In the meantime, it is very difficult to get funding.”
As you see, this study could provide funding to organizations that help LGBTQ people with their health concerns, could raise awareness on public health priorities, and will provide a large statistical database that could be used in the legal sphere to garner more protections and rights for LGBTQ people seeking medical attention.
- You don’t need an iPhone to participate in this study.
We aren’t all Apple lovers (some of us love Android), so for those who don’t have an iPhone, you can participate in the survey online! Just go to: PrideStudy.org .
- The PRIDE app is a fortress of security.
For users who have concerns about sharing their sexual orientation or gender identity, you needn’t worry with the PRIDE app. It is HIPPA compliant, has military-grade encryption, and the data will only be shared with the UCSF researchers right now. Although information from the study may be shared with other researchers later, that information will not include name, social security, or contact information thereby protecting your personal information.
- It could help with discrimination that LGBTQ people face at hospitals, clinics, and other places they may go to seek help for their health.
The app will also ask users to share their experiences with health-related discrimination. For instance, research has shown that 55% of gay and lesbian individuals and 70% of transgender individuals have faced health discrimination or weren’t given proper medical care based off their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- The LGBTQ community will spearhead the direction of this study.
Rather than being passive participants, the LGBTQ community gets to navigate the direction of this study. By sharing their concerns, experiences, and research suggestions, it will drive research and public policy change toward the health needs of the LGBTQ community.
Their participation will direct doctors and researchers toward the most important health concerns of a community that hasn’t always had a voice in these matters.
Photo by: Sharon Mattheson-McCutcheon
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