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Health Care Needs of Gay Men and Lesbians in the United States

Ronald M. Davis, MD; Myron Genel, MD; John P. Howe III; Mitchell S. Karlan, MD; William R. Kennedy, MD; Patricia Joy Numann, MD; Joseph A. Riggs, MD; W. Douglas Skelton, MD; Priscilla J. Slanetz, MD; Monique A. Spillman; Michael Williams, MD; Donald C. Young, MD; James R. Allen, MD, MPH; Robert C. Rinaldi, PhD; Mary C. Ayesse, DrPH, MSW; Joseph F. O'Neill, MD, MS, MPH
JAMA. 1996;275(17):1354-1359. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530410068036.
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IN 1981 the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a report from the Council on Scientific Affairs entitled Health Care Needs of the Homosexual Population. A substantial number of studies involving gay men and lesbians have subsequently appeared in the medical literature that provide a better understanding of health issues related to sexual orientation and behavior. For this reason, the original recommendations were reviewed, including that of reversal of sexual orientation in selected cases.1

DEFINITION AND DEMOGRAPHICS  In this report, sexual orientation refers to an individual's self-perception as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual. Sexual behavior may or may not correlate with sexual orientation. Furthermore, an individual's sexual behavior and orientation may vary over time.The scientific literature indicates that homosexual feelings are more frequent than homosexual behavior and that same-sex behavior is more frequent than lasting homosexual identification.2-11 According to researchers from RAND,10(p145)


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