LGBT health risk factors

Bradbury-Sullivan Community Center participating in coronavirus awareness


Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center joined with 113 other LGBT organizations today as signatory of a national open letter about coronavirus and the LGBT community.

The letter, organized by the National LGBT Cancer Network, addresses the LGBT community's increased vulnerability for coronavirus 19 as a direct result of three factors:

  • The LGBT population uses tobacco at rates that are 50% higher than the general population. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that has proven particularly harmful to smokers.
  • The LGBT population has higher rates of HIV and cancer, which means a greater number of us may have compromised immune systems, leaving us more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections.
  • LGBT people continue to experience discrimination, unwelcoming attitudes, and lack of understanding from providers and staff in many health care settings, and as a result, many are reluctant to seek medical care except in situations that feel urgent – and perhaps not even then.

Further, the letter reminds all parties handling COVID-19 surveillance, response, treatment, and media coverage that LGBT communities are among those who are particularly vulnerable to the negative health effects of this virus.

"Public health threats like the coronavirus cause alarm and concern for all of us, but it's important to remember that some communities -- particularly those who have faced a storied history of healthcare bias and stigma, it is even more critical that accurate information is provided with culturally-affirming messages. So far, there has been little effort to address the LGBT communities' unique vulnerabilities and risk factors related to coronavirus 19" said Adrian Shanker, executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. "That's why Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is participating in this national letter. The response to this, and any, public health threat needs to include messaging for communities historically marginalized and stigmatized by the healthcare systems in our country."

The open letter with the full list of signatories is available here:

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center has published information about coronavirus 19 and the LGBT community, as well as precautions the center is taking locally, here:

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center provides arts, health, youth, and pride programs to strengthen and support the LGBT community across the Greater Lehigh Valley.


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