LGBT people have always needed to be our own healthcare advocates, and today is no different. Our community experiences health challenges at increased rates as a result of higher risk behaviors, which are caused in part by social and cultural experiences with discrimination, minority stress, and familial homophobia/transphobia. Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center prioritizes the promotion of health and wellness for LGBT people. We believe that health equity is key to a fully equal community. To provide external expertise to help guide our health promotion programs, we have established a Health Programs and Supportive Services Advisory Committee.
Measuring our Health
In 2015, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center administered the first comprehensive LGBT Wellness Needs Assessment in the Greater Lehigh Valley. We measured the health of our community in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Monroe and Berks Counties - and subsequently we partnered with the other LGBT Centers in Pennsylvania to administer the same needs assessment in Northeast PA, Philadelphia, Central PA, Southwest PA and Northwest PA in order to identify the greatest health challenges facing our community in Pennsylvania.
Historically the lack of data has been among the greatest obstacles to achieving health equity. With this data, we can now get to work in promoting health and wellness for LGBT people in the region and across Pennsylvania!
Sexual Health & HIV/STI Testing
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center proudly provides free safer-sex materials in our fine art galleries, testing and counseling rooms, waiting room, and front vestibule at our community center.
We also encourage quarterly HIV testing for anyone engaging in higher-risk sexual behavior. In partnership with The AIDS Activities Office at Lehigh Valley Hospital and the Allentown Health Bureau, free, non-judgy HIV/STI testing is available every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at The Center from 4-6pm. There are no insurance or residency requirements. Community members can even sign up for quarterly testing reminders.
This program is generously supported by:
Tobacco use is among the greatest health challenges facing the LGBT community, with 37% of the LGBT community in the Lehigh Valley consuming tobacco (compared to 20-24% of the general population.) Nationally, LGBT people smoke at rates over 50% higher than non-LGBT people. Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center conducts direct outreach to encourage tobacco prevention and supports LGBT smoke-free space to reduce the social pressure to smoke in our community spaces. We offer free tobacco prevention workshops to LGBT organizations in Schuykill, Berks and Bucks Counties. For more information or to request a free tobacco prevention workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness
LGBT women are more likely to contract treatable forms of gynecological cancer but are less likely to know what the symptoms are to get the early treatment they need. In the Lehigh Valley, LGBT people who were assigned female at birth are receiving a cervical Pap test on time 22% less frequently than the general population. Thanks to support from Women's 5K Classic and Diversity Alliance Endowment Fund of the Berks County Community Foundation, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center provides public awareness about this health disparity and encourages regular visits to an LGBT-welcoming gynecologist.
According to our 2015 Needs Assessment, 80 percent of the Lehigh Valley LGBT community doesn't meet the CDC-recommended exercise guidelines of 150 minutes each week. Exercise can help to prevent diabetes. We are on La Ola Radio with a Spanish-language PSA about this campaign: