Poll: Gays find HIV/AIDS, heart disease top health concerns

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 18 2003 12:00 AM ET

A new national poll by Witick-Combs Communications/Harris Interactive finds that gay and lesbian adults say HIV/AIDS, heart disease, and obesity should be three of the nation's top health care priorities. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered respondents chose HIV/AIDS (66%), heart disease (29%), and obesity (22%) from a list of 22 current health issues. Among heterosexuals, heart disease was the top health concern, followed by HIV/AIDS. "It is interesting to see where GLBT and heterosexuals in this survey agree and disagree," said Colleen Dermody, vice president for Witeck-Combs. "That Americans want the nation's health care focus to be on HIV/AIDS, heart disease, and the causes of obesity is not surprising--and the large GLBT community response to the HIV/AIDS focus reinforces the need for continued national attention toward that epidemic."

The survey also showed that 24% of gay respondents said they have deliberately withheld information about their sexual practices from their doctor or other health care professionals, 25% say it is as important for a health care provider to be "gay-friendly" as it is to have that provider accept their health insurance plans, and 24% say they've been discriminated against in a health care setting.