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Feature Article

Lesbian, bisexual and queer women’s health: a guide for GPs

RUTH MCNAIR

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© PEKIC/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM
© PEKIC/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

Abstract

GPs can offer inclusive primary health care for lesbian, bisexual and queer women through affirming their sexual identity and understanding their specific biological and socially determined health issues, and by providing targeted referrals.

Key Points

  • GPs can provide effective primary health care to lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women related to their biological needs, including sexual health, contraception and achieving pregnancy.
  • Negative social attitudes towards LBQ women can result in discrimination, abuse, violence and marginalisation.
  • GPs should recognise discrimination as a risk factor for high levels of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and substance use among LBQ women.
  • Disability, ethnic minority and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status can exacerbate existing health inequalities in LBQ women.
  • Roles for GPs include referral to LBQ-inclusive services and peer support, and advocacy.

Figures

© PEKIC/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM
© PEKIC/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM