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LGBTQIA+ Services

Health Care for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals

Boulder Pride logoAt 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 LGBTQIA+ 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 LGBTQIA+ community.

Video: COVID-19 Vaccine Concerns of the LGBTQIA+ Community

The COVID-19 vaccine provides a return to community life. However, some in the LGBTQ+ community have concerns about the vaccine’s development and effectiveness. In this video, you'll hear panelists from Boulder Community Health, Boulder County Public Health, Boulder County AIDS Project and Out Boulder County explain and discuss vaccine development, vaccine safety, vaccine efficacy and more.

Services We Provide

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 LGBTQIA+ 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
  • Depression

Some essential checkups ALL men should have include:

  • Blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cholesterol
  • 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:

  • HPV
  • HSV
  • Trichomonas
  • HIV

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
  • Mammograms
  • Colonoscopy
  • 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
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis
  • 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 is the same as their birth sex).

These surgeries and services include:

  • Hysterectomy
  • Oophorectomy
  • 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: