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Despite advances, problems persist in collecting LGBTQ health data

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As the COVID-19 pandemic enters into its third year, there is still no accurate, comprehensive data on how the health crisis has impacted LGBTQ Americans.

Even in California, where state health officials have taken steps to address the issue, no report is forthcoming on how many of the state's LGBTQ residents have contracted the virus, died from it, or been fully inoculated against it.The ongoing omissions in sexual orientation and gender identity data, or SOGI for short, not only shrouds how widespread COVID infections and deaths have been within the LGBTQ community but myriad maladies and illnesses that research indicates are disproportionally borne by LGBTQ individuals.

The continued lack of data frustrates LGBTQ advocates who have been beseeching federal and state health officials for years to remedy the problem."We have been asking this for two years now," said Sean Cahill, Ph.D., a gay man who is director of health policy research at Boston's Fenway Institute, of the SOGI COVID data in particular.In a recent interview with the Bay Area Reporter, Cahill said despite repeated calls for officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to specifically focus on the SOGI data for COVID, any "concrete steps" do not appear to have been taken."Maybe they are in the works, but I don't know that.

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