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New handbook
serves as LGBT primer for health practitioners

New handbook
serves as LGBT primer for health practitioners

Hanbooks aims to broaden knowledge of gay health issues beyond just HIV.

A new handbook released by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health is aimed at educating health care providers about the unique challenges and needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender patients. The book, titled The Handbook of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Public Health: A Practitioner's Guide to Service, is available at major booksellers, at online sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders, and directly from publisher Haworth Press.

"When most health care practitioners think about lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender health, they immediately conjure up images of HIV and AIDS," says Michael D. Shankle, the editor of the handbook. "However, the public health landscape for sexual minorities is much larger and significantly more complicated than just sexually transmitted diseases. That is why there is a need for this handbook."

The handbook covers a wide range of health issues outside of HIV and STDS, as well as other issues that may affect care for gay patients, including discrimination, the assumption by health professionals of risk factors based solely on sexual or gender orientation, the confidentiality of medical records, and employment issues, among others.

Shankle served as chairman of the LGBT Caucus of Public Health Workers from 2001 to 2003, and his research interests include gay health issues, HIV prevention in young adults, and public health technology integration. He is also a founding board member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, Education, and Research Trust. (The Advocate)

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