SF summit looks at lesbian health issues
Posted on March 8, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
SAN FRANCISCO — The first problem surfaced when Dulce Garcia went to a San Francisco clinic two years ago for her annual physical. As she filled out the intake form, all the questions assumed she was straight.
Then in the examining room, a nurse repeatedly offered her a pregnancy test and birth control.
“She kept telling me Latino women have a high risk of pregnancy,” said Garcia, a health educator who teaches youths about disease prevention. “I had to out myself right there and then. The nurse seemed shocked that I wasn’t heterosexual. Even here in San Francisco, this kind of thing happens.”
The health concerns of lesbians, from interpersonal difficulties in doctors’ offices to the high prevalence of risk factors for heart disease and many cancers, will be highlighted at a national summit this weekend in San Francisco.
“This conversation is long overdue,” said Dr. Sandra Hernandez, chief executive of the San Francisco Foundation and an assistant clinical professor at UCSF. “This is the first summit to bring together clinicians, scientists, leaders in their communities to discuss these issues.
“The summit will call for more research into lesbian health, and more funding for research.”
Women’s health has become a focal point of medical study relatively recently.
San Francisco Chronicle
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