Long COVID is more common among intersex and transgender people.  Complex reasons

Long COVID is more common among intersex and transgender people. The reasons for its complexity – hmm

For more than two years, 27-year-old Eddie Whitehead has been unable to stand for more than a few minutes without feeling that they will pass out. since contracting COVID-19 In 2020, they experienced severe headaches and difficulty breathing, but these acute aspects of the illness have since waned and developed into a host of disabling symptoms, including debilitating fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. Whitehead, transgender, is one of the estimates 2 million people In the UK living with COVID for a long time, or persistent long-term health problems as a result of being infected with COVID-19.

COVID long is hard to diagnose, partly because it includes a wide constellation of potential health problems; It can appear as cognitive impairment, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and some of them 200 other symptoms. These post-COVID cases can affect multiple organ systems, lasts for years, and have proven to be alarmingly common; Last US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey It is estimated that approximately 18% of people who have contracted COVID-19 in America may live with COVID for a long time. Meanwhile, the US Government Accountability Office has estimated that post-COVID health problems have left up to one million American adults unable to work.

Who gets long-term COVID-19?

In addition to showing higher rates of prolonged COVID in younger adult populations and women, the Census Bureau survey also revealed that transgender and intersex adults are more likely to report having the disease. Compared to 5% of gender-asymmetric men and 9% of gender-consenting women, 12% of transgender adults in the United States say they currently have prolonged COVID symptoms. Meanwhile, 14% of bisexual adults in the United States are living with post-COVID conditions, compared to 7% of gay adults and 5% of gay or lesbian adults. These rates reflect more broadly health the differences test by the transgender and intersex communities – and point out the troubling ways our health care systems can fail.

In a world where transgender people More likely to live with a chronic disease In the first place, this may not seem surprising. “naturally [trans people] They have higher rates of prolonged COVID,” says JD Davids, co-founder of the advocacy and policy group The Network for Long-Term COVID Justice. “We have lower rates than we are treated as human beings. People who are denied access to health care, resources, or physical safety are at greater risk of poor health outcomes, including this massive, disruptive event known as COVID protracted.” Davids has lived with COVID for a long time since March 2021, and has also lived for decades with encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a similar debilitating condition.

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The prolonged effects of COVID can be daunting. Whitehead, who once enjoyed playing soccer with friends, is now physically disabled and uses a scooter to get around. “I’ve spent two years trying to manage my life so much that I can do part-time work and feel some semblance of life my friends are,” Whitehead says. Like many longtime coronavirus patients, Whitehead fears that reinfection could worsen their symptoms or outcomes. Recurring COVID infection May put individuals at greater risk of developing COVID for a long time, and with LGBTQ+ people in Increased risk of infection with COVID Overall, this leaves queer and transgender communities at increased risk of contracting the disease. “A society that constantly puts transgender and bisexual people in harm’s way will roll these dice more and more,” Davids adds.

There is nothing inherent in being gay or mobile that puts people at risk of developing chronic illnesses, including lingering COVID. However the structural interlocking network healthcare disparities That LGBTQ people experience—such as reduced access to doctors or stigma regarding their gender or sexuality—could partly explain the higher rates, along with other health disparities faced by the LGBTQ+ community.

The burden of COVID has long been heavier for intersex and transgender people

These health disparities may also explain why intersex and transgender people are exposed to the coronavirus for long periods at higher rates than gays or homosexuals. Due to the increased pressure and stigma associated with bisexuality, bisexual people suffer Overall worse health outcomes Gay or lesbian. The same goes for transgender people, who often experience outright discrimination and stigma From health care providers. These disparities can create a breeding ground for chronic disease and disability, two factors that can put a person at risk of prolonged COVID-19 infection.

Another reason that gay, transgender, and bisexual adults may be over-represented among people who have had COVID for a long time is that they are more likely to recognize the duration of COVID in the first place. This is because LGBT people are so used to responding to health emergencies like the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has created a network of advocates who have used their experience in responding to that crisis in the wake of COVID-19, including by spreading knowledge about acute and chronic COVID infections. “We are only making our efforts to challenge the AIDS crisis even stronger by mobilizing to confront COVID-19 inequality at the same time,” said Asia Russell, Executive Director of the Health Global Access Project and former organizer of ACT UP Philadelphia. in these times last summer. These efforts coalesced into projects such as New York City COVID-19 working groupwhich brought together several prominent local AIDS organizations and worked to ensure a strong, community-oriented response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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