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The initiative to develop a Section on Sexual and gender minority health is in line with the mission of EUPHA which is to reduce health disparities and work towards an all-inclusive public health agenda. Awareness of health disparities in specific populations has increased during the past decades, and research on psychosocial factors such as discrimination, context and cultural views of health, which influence health disparities, has begun to increase our understanding of the mechanisms behind such inequalities. In addition to ethnicity, disparities based on many other factors such as gender, age, socioeconomic status, geography and disability have been identified. During the past several years, public health policy and research have begun to address the issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations, and many official public health agencies call for programs addressing the specific needs of sexual and gender minority groups. Still, the public health consequences of discrimination towards LGBT individuals have only recently been a topic of investigation and current knowledge in the area is limited. Recent findings points to a much higher prevalence of certain health conditions among LGBT people that calls for the urgent attention of public health researchers and professionals.

The standards on non-discrimination and equality for LGBT persons have been further developed and reinforced by the European Union (EU), the Council of Europe and the United Nations (UN). Sexual orientation and gender identity have increasingly been recognized as grounds of discrimination in European and national legislation. Today, the situation of LGBT persons in the EU is no longer a marginalized issue but a recognized human rights concern.

 

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