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U.S. Committed To Eliminating Health Disparities For LGBT Communities Globally

“[I]n every country of the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons face barriers to accessing the health care they need simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Nils Daulaire, assistant secretary for global affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, writes in a LGBT Health opinion piece. “However, our government recognizes that these health challenges must also be addressed at a global level,” he states, adding, “The Obama administration has made improving access to health care for the LGBT community a top priority, both domestically and around the world.” Daulaire continues, “And now, because of the leadership of the United States partnering with other countries, for the first time in history WHO is beginning to address the topic of the health challenges that LGBT persons face.”

Daulaire notes discussions about the issue at the 65th World Health Assembly in May 2012, as well as the May 2013 WHO Executive Board meeting, and he highlights a WHO summary report on LGBT health, which found “that around the world LGBT persons ‘often experience poorer health outcomes than the general population and face barriers to health care that profoundly affect their overall health and well-being.” He states, “The U.N. process, while often slower than we would want, is deliberative and an important avenue for generating global consensus on sensitive topics,” adding, “The United States remains committed, ensuring that WHO engages in efforts to eliminate health disparities across the board, notably including those impacting the LGBT community” (6/20).