More

Some Men And Women Aren't Getting The Pap Smears And Prostate Exams They Need For One Dumb Reason

So what we have is a small demographic of women who aren't getting what millions of other women can safely expect from their providers. And the same goes for another small demographic of men. Why? This flowchart will give you the scoop.

Some Men And Women Aren't Getting The Pap Smears And Prostate Exams They Need For One Dumb Reason

OK, before you get confused, here's some basic lingo: A transgender woman is a person who identifies as a woman but was born with male anatomy. A transgender man identifies as a man but was born with female anatomy.

But let's get this straight: Transgender women are women. Transgender men are men. How their bodies look doesn't matter.


Now that we've got that down, here's the flowchart for ya.

FACT CHECK TIME!

Our fact-checkers found that all the statements in this handy-dandy infographic check out. Here are more specific statistics to give some context:

  • 15 percent of transgender people are living in poverty — compared to 4 percent of the general population. Plus, 19 percent of people who are trans don't have health care coverage. Medicaid is health coverage for low-income people, so the trans population could really benefit from it.
  • Gender dysphoria, which the graphic describes, is really hard for trans people. Some of them take hormones to help fight it. But hormone use without supervision can lead to liver problems, blood clots, strokes, and other risks. If trans people could have access to a provider who could supervise their hormone use, they could avoid those risks.
  • Yep, we can provide health care to transgender people without raising costs.
  • It sounds strange, but it's true: Many services that non-transgender people have access to are denied to clients who are trans. This include Pap smears, mammograms, and prostate exams, among many others. Trans men generally still have an anatomy that includes a uterus, a cervix, and ovaries (and sometimes breasts). Trans women generally still have an anatomy that includes a prostate. But if trans men legally change their gender to "male," they don't qualify for Pap smears and mammograms. Trans women who legally change their gender to "female" don't qualify for prostate exams. Non-transgender people would never have to go through this hurdle. Messed up, isn't it?

  • 78 percent of trans people report that after treatment for gender dysphoria, they feel psychologically better. The suicide rates also drop dramatically after treatment, from 19%-29% to 0.8%-6%.

So far, a few states have begun to require Medicaid to provide trans people with health coverage. But there are still many, many states where trans people don't have basic health rights under the law.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less