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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.

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One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

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When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

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