Walgreens Launches Guide On How To Treat Gay Patients

Amber Randall | Civil Rights Reporter

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Walgreens released a guide Tuesday for healthcare professionals to teach them how to create a more “inclusive” healthcare environment for gay and transgender patients.

The guide, which is being handed out to 70,000 health care professionals, teaches the “correct” terminology to use when addressing gay and transgender patients, as well as how to make the healthcare environment more “inclusive” for them, reports The HRC.org.

“LGBTQ people often experience barriers to care, and, for many, their most frequent interaction with a health care professional occurs right in their own neighborhood pharmacy,” said Tari Hanneman, Director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Health Equality Project. “This guide will help ensure that they are treated with dignity, respected in their identities, and able to gain the necessary and inclusive health care we all need to live and thrive.”

The resource guide says that gay and transgender people face a bias in receiving healthcare. Pharmacists, the guide claims, are able to help gay and transgender people get “inclusive” healthcare by looking at how they interact with patients and reviewing their own policies and staff training.

The guide says that pharmacists must create safe spaces for their gay and transgender patients and that one way to do so is by using the correct terminology when addressing them. Using the correct terms, the guide states, will let patients know that “you are an accepting and inclusive healthcare provider.”

The guide also teaches health care providers how to make paperwork more inclusive, urging them to get rid off the “male/female binary.” It also offers tips on how to prevent and care for HIV in gay and transgender patients. The guide discusses PrEP, a medication that can potentially reduce a person’s chances of getting HIV.

Walgreens recently received perfect scores from the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index. The index measures how friendly a company’s workplace environments and polices are.

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