IHP news 526: Emerging Voices

By on June 14, 2019

Health needs, health care seeking behaviour, and utilization of health services among lesbians, gays and bisexuals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

G Tadele & Woldekidan K Amde (EV 2012); https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-019-0991-5

« Studies show that sexual and gender minorities have unique health care needs and encounter complicated problems to access health services. Drawing on the intersectionality approach, this paper examines the intersecting factors that determine health care seeking behaviour and utilization of health care services among Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals (LGB) in Ethiopia including the diversity in experiences of these determinants and differences in the coping mechanisms to navigate these challenges within the LGB group. Despite the importance, there remains a paucity of evidence on the topic in Ethiopia. »

« The results show that heteronormativity intersects with LGB’s social position (sexual identity, social network and class) to influence health care need, health seeking behaviour or access to health services. Sexual health and mental health problems are main concerns of LGB, who reported to live under acute anxiety and fear of being exposed, or bringing shame and humiliation to themselves or their families. One of the main emerging themes from the research is the link between mental health and risky sexual practices. …” Conclusion:Homophobia and criminalization of homosexuality, and heteronormativity of health care services intersect with LGB’s social position resulting in heterogeneity of risk, diversity of sexual and mental health needs, and difference in coping mechanisms (disadvantages and privilege). The main implication of the study is the need to recognize the existence of LGB and their diverse sexual and mental health needs, and link them to appropriate health care and pyscho-social services including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. »

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