Any sufficiently large and well-defined community is likely to have health concerns that disproportionately affect it, and LGBTQ people are no exception.
Some problems have had an unmistakable impact on the gender and sexual-minority population, HIV/AIDS being an especially obvious example. But we still lack a comprehensive understanding of the ways that being an LGBTQ person can influence one’s overall health, or of health disparities within the LGTBQ community itself.
Researchers at the University of California–San Francisco are hoping to close that gap. Earlier this year, the PRIDE study opened for enrollment. The first of its kind, it aims to follow the same large group of LGTBQ people over the span of the next few decades, similar to other well-known, multi-generational cohort studies. Open to anyone who resides within the United States, identifies as a gender or sexual minority, and is over 18 (though the age limit may be dropped to 13 in the future), its enrollment has surpassed 6,000 since launching in May. The study’s authors hope for 100,000 people to enroll over the next 10 years.
A pilot phase of the study was launched in 2015 and eventually reached 18,000 enrollees. This early phase was limited to iPhone users and utilized special Apple research programming. The program not only allowed researchers to see how respondents were answering study questionnaires: It allowed participants to propose and prioritize questions they wanted the researchers to answer.
“We were trying to turn academia on its head and say ‘we want to study what’s important to you; help guide us and tell us what is important to you. We’ll see and try to meet that need,’ ” Obedin-Maliver said.