About the Center
Why Health, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity?
The health problems faced by sexual and gender minority members are often the same as those in the general population. However, in many cases sexual and gender minorities have a greater risk for health problems, such as breast cancer; HIV; hepatitis A, B, and C; and stress-related conditions. Little is known about the reasons for these increased risks and additional research is needed. As examples, research is needed on the health risks associated with lifestyle, prolonged hormone use, or transgender surgery. Additionally, more information is needed on stigma and sanctions as they affect physical health, mental health, and substance abuse problems.
The Center for LGBT Health Research promotes research in these areas. It is comprised of researchers, students, and affiliates at the University of Pittsburgh who are aware of these health concerns and committed to advancing our research knowledge related to sexual and gender minorities. Researchers associated with the center have developed and are conducting research to fully describe the nature of health issues related to sexual and gender minorities and promote positive change. Through these research efforts, and the Center’s unique involvement of a community advisory board, cohorts of thousands of LGBT members in the area have been successfully recruited and maintained as study participants. This is a testimony of the community support for the center’s mission and future research endeavors.
The mission of the Center for LGBT Health Research (formerly the Center for Research on Health and Sexual Orientation) is to understand and improve the health of sexual minority individuals by maintaining an infrastructure that provides research on sexual minority health/wellness needs. This mission will be accomplished through the following goals:
- Produce quality empirical research to add to the small and primarily anecdotal body of literature regarding health and wellness of sexual and gender minorities
- Stimulate collaborative and interdisciplinary research in sexual and gender minority health and wellness;
- Conserve research resources through these collaborative efforts,
- Provide a supportive network for scientists outside the Center to further their research in sexual and gender minority health and wellness issues,
- Create and maintain contact with non-researchers interested in and working with sexual and gender minority health/wellness issues (e.g. practitioners and consumers) to assist in developing realistic and appropriate research agendas and applying research findings,
- Translate research findings into education, policy and services at national, statewide, and local levels by creating linkages with medical practices and local and state offices in the Department of Health that serve this population,
- Assist our medical center to meet the standards necessary to better serve members of this population and to work with them to create a cohort of patients for research,
- Assist faculty at the Graduate School of Public Health and other schools at the University to add issues related to this population to their curricula, and
- Develop a five-year plan to bring in faculty with expertise in the area and to organize a formal network via conferences and the web of public health researchers working in the field.