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How has LGBTQ+ healthcare developed over the last 50 years?

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London in 1972.Fifty years ago, the landscape for LGBTQ+ people was rapidly changing.The dawn of the decade, after the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 partially decriminalised male homosexuality, saw the LGBTQ+ community begin to gain visibility and the security to campaign for better rights and medical access.The past five decades have seen numerous advancements in LGBTQ+ healthcare, but the community still faces significant health inequality, from healthcare access to treatment outcome.A wealth of research shows that the members of the community are significantly more at risk of conditions such as cancer, dementia, self-harm, mental illness, addiction and suicide, to name a few.

For elder, disabled or people of colour, discrimination and barriers to access are even more significant. In 1980, the NHS condemned the use of conversion therapy, a pseudoscientific practice designed to ‘cure’ LGBTQ+ sexual orientation or gender identity.

But since then, private practitioners have still been allowed to tell patients they can be ‘cured’. Conversion therapy is still legal in the United Kingdom.

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