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Stony Brook University

LGBTQ+ Health

A guide to resources on LGBTQ+ health for Stony Brook's health care professionals and students

Why the Focus on LGBTQ+ Health?

Despite the fact that LGBTQ+ persons are found in every subgroup of our society, there are health disparities that negatively affect those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer. A few of these disparities are:

  • LGBTQ persons are more likely to attempt suicide, or suffer from depression or anxiety (King et al. 2008)
  • LGBT persons are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs (Green and Feinstein, 2012)
  • Lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to be overweight or obese, leading to other conditions (Boehmer, Bowen, and Bauer 2007)
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM) account for more than half of the people living with HIV in the US, and syphilis and hepatitis C are increasing among MSM (Abara, Hess, Neblett Fanfair, Bernstein, & Paz-Bailey, 2016; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2017; Chan, Sun, Wong, Lee, & Hung, 2016)

Awareness of LGBTQ+ health disparities can help--through information that providers should know about their patients, and that patients should know and discuss with their providers.


Abara, W. E., Hess, K. L., Neblett Fanfair, R., Bernstein, K. T., & Paz-Bailey, G. (2016). Syphilis trends among men who have sex with men in the United States and Western Europe: a systematic review of trend studies published between 2004 and 2015. PLoS One, 11(7), e0159309.

Boehmer, U., Bowen, D. J., & Bauer, G. R. (2007). Overweight and obesity in sexual-minority women: evidence from population-based data. American Journal of Public Health, 97(6), 1134–1140.

Centers for Disease Control and Presention. (2017, February). HIV among gay and bisexual men. Retrieved April 11, 2018 from

Chan, D. P. C., Sun, H.-Y., Wong, H. T. H., Lee, S.-S., & Hung, C.-C. (2016). Sexually acquired hepatitis C virus infection: a review. International Journal of Infectious Diseases: Official Publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, 49, 47–58.

Green, K. E., & Feinstein, B. A. (2012). Substance use in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: an update on empirical research and implications for treatment. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors, 26(2), 265–278.

King, M., Semlyen, J., Tai, S. S., Killaspy, H., Osborn, D., Popelyuk, D., & Nazareth, I. (2008). A systematic review of mental disorder, suicide, and deliberate self harm in lesbian, gay and bisexual people. BMC Psychiatry, 8, 70.


Gender, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation

For anyone who is not a member of the LGBTQ+ community--and even for many people who are--there can be confusion about the differences between sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender. The Genderbread Person and the Gender Unicorn are two simple tools of understanding the differences. Both are freely available to use and share.

Gender Unicorn:

Genderbread Person:


New LGBTQ+ Health Books in the HSL