Health Care for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals
At Boulder Community Health, we’re committed to providing high-quality,
holistic care to everyone in our community. This means offering services
to all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, and sexual
orientation and gender. BCH strives to be an open and supportive health
care organization for the LGBTQ community in our area. By creating an
inclusive atmosphere, we hope that those who seek medical care—whether
a routine checkup or emergency service—will feel comfortable coming to us.
We understand that people may feel apprehensive about seeking medical care
for a variety of reasons, but we hope that the fear of discrimination
based on your sexual orientation or gender identity is not one of them.
BCH strives to be an affirming and supportive organization for the LGBTQ
Committed to Your Well-being
Having access to high-quality health care is an essential part of everyone’s
life. Not only is it important in the case of injury, illness or emergency,
it’s also vital in preventing diseases and maintaining a healthy
body. That’s why we encourage everyone, including the LGBTQ community,
to seek medical care to ensure your health and that of your loved ones.
Coming out to your health care provider may not seem like it’s an
important aspect of your medical care, but it can be an integral part
of providing you with optimal care. Whether you’ve come out to family
or friends already will not affect how your provider handles your privacy.
Talking to your provider about your sexual orientation or gender identification
can help them provide you with personalized care as well as help identify
any increased health risks you may face.
BCH offers a broad range of medical services to support people in every
aspect of their physical and mental well-being, including:
Please visit our
services page to view a comprehensive list of our major and specialty services.
Health Care for Gay and Bisexual Men
The services that we offer to men who are gay, bisexual and who have sex
with other men are the same services that we offer to all men at BCH.
However, there are certain increased health risks these men have in comparison
to the general male population.
Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death for men overall.
However, in addition to those afflictions, gay, bisexual and men who have
sex with other men have an increased risk for other conditions as well.
The increased risks include:
- HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Prostate cancer
- Anal cancer
- Tobacco and drug use
Some essential checkups ALL men should have include:
- Blood pressure
- Colon cancer
- Prostate cancer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that men
who have sex with men be tested for HIV and STDs annually, and more frequently
for those who engage in risky behaviors. According to their statistics,
gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men make up over half the population
of those living with HIV in the U.S. and are two-thirds of all new HIV
infections every year.
Please click here for more information on gay and bisexual men’s
health from the CDC.
Health Care for Lesbians and Bisexual Women
The care we offer to lesbian, gay and bisexual women is the same care that
we offer to all women who come to us for their health care needs. However,
there are certain increased health risks these women face compared to
the general female population.
It’s been shown that lesbian, gay and bisexual women have a higher
risk for developing:
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colon cancer
- Lung cancer
- Cardiovascular disease
- Anxiety and/or depression
This is not due to sexual orientation. Rather, there is an increased occurrence
because of other risk factors that are more prevalent in lesbian, gay
and bisexual women, such as higher rates of smoking, drinking and being
overweight or obese compared to heterosexual women.
It’s important to know that women can get sexually transmitted infections
(STIs) from other women.
The STIs that are known to be transmissible through same-sex female contact include:
According to data from the National LGBT Health Education Center, lesbian,
gay and bisexual women also have a 27 percent higher prevalence of bacterial
vaginosis than heterosexual women, with the percentage increasing (73-95
percent) for monogamous female couples.
Some essential checkups ALL women should have include:
- Pap tests
- Blood pressure
Click here for more information on lesbian, gay, and bisexual women health
resources provided by the CDC.
Health Care for Transgender Individuals
At BCH, we offer health care services to transgender individuals just as
we do to all men and women. We understand that transgender is a blanket
term used to describe an individual’s gender identity or gender
expression that is different from their sex at birth. We also understand
that sexual orientation is different from gender identity or expression
and are sensitive to this fact so that we can provide you with the most
comprehensive and culturally-competent care possible.
Gender identity is one’s internal sense of being female, male, neither,
or both. Gender expression, on the other hand, is the expression of one’s
gender identity as shown through one’s appearance, behavior, and
societal roles. No matter which gender you identify or express yourself
with or your sexual orientation, it’s important for all people to
stay on top of their physical and mental health.
For transgender individuals, many health issues are related to minority
stressors, which are characterized as harmful attitudes and condemnation,
abuse, harassment, neglect, or rejection toward transgender people. These
minority stresses can cause transgender people to avoid seeking out preventive
care or screenings and internalize those negative social stigmas which
can lead to mental health problems.
There are important tests and screenings that are recommended to get based
on your anatomy, regardless of how you express or identify your gender,
which include screens for:
- Breast and cervical cancer
- Prostate and colon cancer
- Mental health
- Substance abuse
- Age-appropriate vaccinations
For those who are looking to have gender affirming surgery to match their
gender identity, we offer surgeries and services to transgender people,
just as we do to cisgender people (those whose sense of gender matches
their birth sex).
These surgeries and services include:
- Routine GYN care
- Breast augmentation
- Surgical removal
Please click here for more information and resources on transgender health
care from the CDC.
Boulder County and Colorado Resources for the LGBTQ Community
Please click on the links below for additional information and resources:
The GLBT Community Center of Colorado
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
Boulder County AIDS Project
Trans Health Boulder County
For more information on the health care services we provide for the LGBTQ
community, please email Sarah Wise at