Healthcare providers react more positively to men than women who reveal they're gay

e sample was highly educated, with just over half having a degree, compared to 15 per cent of the general New Zealand population.

45 per cent were in a relationship with a same-sex partner they lived with and 14 per cent with a same-sex partner who lived elsewhere.

Four per cent said their main relationship was with a member of the opposite sex.

23 per cent of the 1,846 people who responded to the question about children said they had some kind of parenting relationship. This equated to 18 per cent of the total sample.

"It is clear from our study that providing lesbian, gay and bisexual people with the chance to disclose their sexual identity is an integral part of providing high quality, appropriate healthcare" says Dr Neville.

"Previous studies have shown that people are more likely to seek healthcare and adhere to treatment regimes if they know that healthcare providers will be comfortable with their sexuality and not automatically assume they are heterosexual.

"A number of health problems do tend to be more prevalent in lesbian, gay and bisexual people, such as depression. And in the era of HIV and hepatitis B and C, appropriate sex and lifestyle healthcare education must be a core part of any health assessment.

"Being aware of a patient's sexual orientation enables healthcare providers to tailor care to their individual needs and tackle any risk areas, in the same way that they would do by taking any other personal characteristics, such as a person's age, race or family health history, into account."


Contact: Annette Whibley
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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