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Sexual minority youth: Overview of primary care

Michelle Forcier, MD, MPH
Johanna Olson-Kennedy, MD
Section Editor
Diane Blake, MD
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD


The term "sexual minority" encompasses a variety of gender and sexual identities and expressions that differ from cultural norms (eg, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), as well as identities and expressions that defy discrete labels [1].

This topic will focus on the primary care of sexual minority youth who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or unsure (questioning) of their sexual identity, who avoid discrete sexual orientation labels, and who have had sexual contact with persons of the same sex or persons of both sexes. The epidemiology and health concerns of sexual minority youth are discussed separately. (See "Sexual minority youth: Epidemiology and health concerns".)

Health care for children and adolescents with gender nonconformity and adult sexual minorities is discussed separately. (See "Overview of the management of gender nonconformity in children and adolescents" and "Medical care of women who have sex with women" and "Primary care of gay men and men who have sex with men".)


The components of preventive health and health maintenance for sexual minority youth are the same as for all adolescents (eg, surveillance and screening of health and development, immunizations, anticipatory guidance, and counseling with targeted health promotion and risk reduction) [2-5]. (See "Guidelines for adolescent preventive services".)

Additional concerns for sexual minority youth include the disclosure process and the potential for stigmatization and discrimination at home, school, and in society. (See "Sexual minority youth: Epidemiology and health concerns", section on 'Stigmatization and minority stress' and "Sexual minority youth: Epidemiology and health concerns", section on 'Disclosure'.)


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