Türkiye Halk Sağlığı Dergisi, cilt.16, ss.106-116, 2018 (Diğer Kurumların Hakemli Dergileri)
Objective: Although 5 to 10% of the world's population is estimated to consist of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and individuals with other minority sexual orientations (LGBTI+), they still face significant challenges accessing health care. With this web-based study, we aim to present data on their health status and shed light on the difficulties that LGBTI+ populations living in Turkey face in accessing healthcare services. Method: This descriptive study was prepared as a web-based questionnaire to collect information on demographic attributes and healthcare specific challenges LGBTI+ communities experience. The questionnaire was disseminated via different social media networks. 278 LGBTI+ individuals met the eligibility criteria and were included in the study. The data was analysed using the SPSS software package. Results: The prevalence of chronic diseases, mental disorders, alcohol use, smoking and substance abuse in the survey was found to be higher than average in the LGBT+ community. Of the respondents, 67.3% stated that they did not disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity to health professionals. 25.2% of the respondents had experienced discrimination or similar unpleasant attitudes within institutions, a majority of which were state hospitals, when they disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identities. Of these attitudes, 20,9% reported direct discrimination from physicians and 92.8% of the respondents indicated the need for LGBTI-friendly health institutions. Conclusions: The findings of this research highlight the need for LGBTI+-friendly health institutions to fight against discrimination and serve as a tool for health promotion. Intensified involvement of public health professionals in these issues is needed.