The ‘CDC’, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deny the rumors going around stating that it plans to remove LGBT questions on a federal health survey, regardless of reports that state otherwise.

The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, released a formal statement on May 17 accusing the CDC of planning to remove the optional LGBT questions from its “Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System” starting in 2019.

According to WIU, the decision, was mentioned by a CDC official at a conference in Denver hosted by the American Association for Public Opinion Research. However a CDC spokesperson spoke with the Washington Blade and said that the BRFSS “has not been finalized” and that any rumors claiming that the LGBT module has been removed is totally false.

The CDC further stated that the LGBT module which first launched in 2014 as an optional part of the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, is an annual survey that establishes the health conditions of the American public. It also surveys the behaviors that put the public’s health at risk. When the option to identity as LGBT on the survey was first launched, the module became the first data collection on transgender Americans’ health in the country.

Keith Conron, research director at the Williams Institute, released a statement:

“More than two dozen peer-reviewed papers have used BRFSS data to provide information about LGBT adults since the optional SOGI module was added in 2014,” Conron said. “Approximately 10 of those feature findings have been on transgender adults. These BRFSS analyses have produced information about the health of LGBT adults across a broad array of issues, including physical and mental health, violence victimization, and disability,” said Conron. “They have also provided information about the prevalence of socioeconomic and behavioral causes of chronic diseases, such as smoking, drinking, diet, activity, and screening. These findings are essential to understanding the unique health needs of the LGBT population and to inform prevention and intervention efforts.”

If the CDC had decided to remove the LGBT portal section, it would be right in line with the Trump administration’s continued anti-LGBT agenda and how it continues to treat data collection about LGBT people in the USA. You will remember that in 2017, the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services said that it would remove the option to declare one’s identity as LGBT on the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants. The huge outrage over their announcement mobilized by groups for LGBT elders like SAGE to demand action. As a result of the serious blow back, HHS restored the question on sexual orientation however it did not include the question about gender identity.

President Trump’s current appointment Dr. Robert Redfield, as head of the CDC has it under renewed focus. Redfield who is known for his work as an HIV researcher during the height of the AIDS crisis where he served at Walter Reed Medical Institute. It is also where Redfield issued quarantined HIV-positive soldiers and banned any new recruit who tested positive.

Redfield is also known for working with an agency that publicly said that AIDS is a punishment by God of homosexuals.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer


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