LGBT people of color two times more likely than straight, white people to get COVID-19: study


LGBT people of color are twice as likely to contract the coronavirus as their heterosexual, white counterparts, according to a study from UCLA Williams Institute.

The study assessed the impact of the fall 2020 surge of COVID-19 in the United States, using data collected from 12,000 adult participants between Aug. 21, 2020, and Dec. 21, 2020. The study’s “main finding” is that “that the impact of the pandemic on LGBT communities cannot be fully understood without considering race and ethnicity as well as sexual orientation and gender identity.” 

According to the full report released by the institute, 14.5 percent of LGBT people of color tested positive for coronavirus. By comparison, just 7.3 percent of non-LGBT white people tested positive for coronavirus. LGBT white people faired similarly to their straight counterparts, with 7.2 percent testing positive for COVID-19. Ten percent of straight people of color in the study tested positive for the coronavirus. 

On average, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that Americans of color are up to three times as likely to die from the coronavirus, and up to over three times as likely to be hospitalized due to the disease. 

A recent study released by the CDC earlier this month also found that based on demographic health data, members of the LGBT community were more likely than their straight counterparts to experience severe symptoms from the coronavirus due to increased underlying health conditions. 

The agency’s study also found that LGBT people who are also part of ethnic minority groups were at an increased risk of experiencing more severe coronavirus symptoms than their heterosexual counterparts. 

According to the study released Thursday, LGBT people of color and non-LGBT people of color were over 50 percent more likely to know someone who died of the coronavirus. 

The report from the Williams Institute comes as the Biden administration has moved to ramp up vaccination efforts in the U.S. to combat the pandemic. However, there has been hesitancy among different communities across the country to take the vaccine due to skepticism about how quickly it was made.

At the time the study was performed, 31.1 percent of LGBT people surveyed said that they trusted the federal government to provide accurate information related to COVID-19. Over 38 percent of heterosexual people surveyed said the same. 

Close to 40 percent of heterosexual people of color reported that they would be willing to receive the first generation of COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 54 percent of white LGBT people and 49 percent of non-LGBT, white respondents. 

“With a change to the Biden administration, restoring trust in institutions that are critical to successfully vaccinating LGBT communities, and in particular LGBT communities of color, will be critical,” the study read. 

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine LGBT community

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