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Title: Disruption of gender-affirming health care, and COVID-19 illness, testing, and vaccination among trans Australians during the pandemic: a cross-sectional survey.
Austin Authors: Zwickl, Sav;Ruggles, Tomi;Wong, Alex Fq;Ginger, Ariel;Angus, Lachlan M ;Eshin, Kalen;Cook, Teddy;Cheung, Ada S 
Affiliation: The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC.
ACON, Sydney, NSW.
Austin Health
Issue Date: 15-Jan-2024
Date: 2023
Publication information: The Medical Journal of Australia 2024-01-15; 220(1)
Abstract: To assess rates of disruption of gender-affirming health care, of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) illness, testing, and vaccination, and of discrimination in health care among Australian trans people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online cross-sectional survey (1-31 May 2022); respondents were participants recruited by snowball sampling for TRANSform, an Australian longitudinal survey-based trans health study, 1 May - 30 June 2020. People aged 16 years or older, currently living in Australia, and with a gender different to their sex recorded at birth. Proportions of respondents who reported disruptions to gender-affirming health care, COVID-19 illness, testing, and vaccination, and positive and negative experiences during health care. Of 875 people invited, 516 provided valid survey responses (59%). Their median age was 33 years (interquartile range, 26-45 years); 193 identified as women or trans women (37%), 185 as men or trans men (36%), and 138 as non-binary (27%). Of 448 respondents receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy, 230 (49%) reported disruptions to treatment during the pandemic; booked gender-affirming surgery had been cancelled or postponed for 37 of 85 respondents (44%). Trans-related discrimination during health care was reported by a larger proportion of participants than in a pre-pandemic survey (56% v 26%). COVID-19 was reported by 132 respondents (26%), of whom 49 reported health consequences three months or more after the acute illness (37%; estimated Australian rate: 5-10%). Three or more COVID-19 vaccine doses were reported by 448 participants (87%; Australian adult rate: 70%). High rates of COVID-19 vaccination among the trans people we surveyed may reflect the effectiveness of LGBTIQA+ community-controlled organisation vaccination programs and targeted health promotion. Training health care professionals in inclusive services for trans people could improve access to appropriate health care and reduce discrimination.
DOI: 10.5694/mja2.52169
ORCID: 0000-0001-5257-5525
Journal: The Medical Journal of Australia
PubMed URL: 37994182
ISSN: 1326-5377
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: COVID-19
Gender identity
Healthcare disparities
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