LGBT Healthcare at Princeton
University Health Services (UHS) provides a welcoming, safe environment for all students and is dedicated to LGBT inclusion in all of its services. Students will find that UHS is very sensitive to LGBT issues. Students are invited to request an LGBT doctor if they so choose. Providers will use whatever language students are most comfortable using regarding sex, gender and identity. UHS provides services to all Princeton University students without additional charge regardless of their insurance coverage. For information about services for domestic partners and children, please call 258-3129 or 258-3138 for information pertaining to insurance.
It is very important to communicate with your health care provider about your needs. For more information and tips, please see:
Gay and Bisexual Men
- 10 Things Gay and Bisexual Men Should Discuss with Their Healthcare Providers
- Gay Men’s Health Crisis
Lesbian and Bisexual Women
- 10 Things Lesbians and Bisexual Women Should Discuss with Their Healthcare Providers
- Mautner Project
- 10 Things Transgender Persons Should Discuss with Their Healthcare Providers
- Philadelphia Trans Health Conference
The following information is taken with permission from LGBTHealth.net
Gay and bisexual men are twice as likely as non-gay men to smoke cigarettes. Lesbians are more likely to be heavy smokers than are non-gay women. Trans-gender folks have the highest smoking rates within the LGBT community. We don't know all the reasons for our high smoking rates, but we can point to several factors. Many people in the LGBT community socialize in a "bar culture", where smoking is permitted and highly accepted. We also know that the LGBT community experiences higher levels of anxiety, which can be alleviated by smoking cigarettes. Some of us believe smoking is glamorous and sexy.
What we do know is that our high smoking rates put us at a higher risk of tobacco-related health problems including heart disease, lung cancer, and esophageal and breast cancer. Smoking increases the risk of blood clots in transwomen who take estrogen, and it increases the risk of heart disease in transmen who take testosterone. Together, we can decrease tobacco use in our community in addition to advocating for funding more research on LGBT smoking and for providing more programs for preventing our younger people from starting to smoke in the first place.
IF YOU SMOKE, HERE ARE SOME STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO HELP IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH:
- Take steps to quit today.
- Set a target date and specific plan for quitting.
- Identify specific ways to deal with temptations - especially when you go out.
- Consult a doctor to decide if the patch or other medicines might help you.
- Call your local LGBT health center to find out about smoking cessation programs for you.
- Finally, get support from family, friends and other support networks in your community.
Don't do it alone. With your dedication and support from your family, friends and community, you can quit smoking.
LGBT students have many of the same mental health questions and concerns as non-LGBT students. However, there is often the desire for LGBT students to ensure they are able to meet with a counselor who is LGBT-friendly and knowledgeable about LGBT life. All the counselors at Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) are trained on LGBT topics and are supportive of LGBT students.
There are some health concerns that are specific to the LGBT community. For instance, students who are coming out and/or struggling with their identity may have specific mental heath concerns, such as substance abuse, depression, and suicide. Also, experiencing homophobia, discrimination, and victimization can increase stress and have a negative effect on one’s mental health.
The CPS staff is able to meet with you about these and other general LGBT topics, such as coming out, identity exploration, dating and relationship topics, and family concerns. They are also able to refer students to LGBT-friendly clinicians in the surrounding area. CPS also facilitates a support group for LGBQ students. For more information about the group, please see below.
Support Group for LGBQ Students
Students will explore concerns including forming a healthy LGB identity, managing the process of coming out to family and friends, clarifying one’s sexuality and establishing and maintaining healthy relationships. For more information contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 258-3285.
- Gay and Lesbian National Hotline: Peer Counselors available. Call 1-888-843-456
- Shout Out Health
- Drug Abuse in Gay Males
- National Association of Lesbian and Gay Addiction Professionals: Resources
- TheBody.com: Men, Meth, & Sex
- Drop-in hours for LGBT Students
- If You Have It, Check It
- Safer Sex and Other Tips
- Confidential vs. Anonymous HIV Testing
All UHS providers are knowledgeable about LGBT sexual health and bodies. However, a particular section of UHS that focuses on sexuality is Women and Men’s Health. For more information about specific services, such as STI testing, pap smears, hormone injections, etc., please contact them at 258-3129.
Drop-in hours for LGBT Students
In particular, there are drop-in hours for the LGBT Community every third Tuesday of the month from 3-4 p.m. at the McCosh Health Center in Room 118. Drop in to discuss sexual health (i.e. sexuality, pelvic exams, HIV/STI testing, hormones) in a confidential, LGBT-friendly environment.
For information about specific services, call 258-3129.
If You Have It, Check It
Chest/Breast Self Exams should be performed every month.
Clinical Chest/Breast Exams are recommended once a year and are usually performed by a medical provider.
Mammograms are recommended once a year for people with breast tissue who are over age 40 or as determined by a health care provider.
Testicular Self Exam (TSE) should be performed once a month. Most cases of testicular cancer occur in those between the ages of 18-30.
Pelvic Exam and Pap Tests are recommended every year for people with a vagina, uterus, cervix and/or ovaries who are sexually active or over the age of 18. Schedule an exam
if you have:
- Unusual vaginal or pelvic pain
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Pain, swelling, or tenderness of the vulva or vagina
- Sores, lumps, or itching of the vulva or vagina
Anal Pap Tests can help detect the presence of certain sexually transmitted infections and test for abnormal cells on the wall of the rectum that may lead to anal cancer.
Prostate Exams are particularly important for those over the age of 50.
Talk with your health care provider about which of these exams is appropriate for you regardless of gender identity or expression.
All people should take precautions and practice safer sex. Below are a few items you might want to have in your tool box and suggestions for engaging in safer sex.
Condoms — The most common method of safer sex is condom use. They are available at UHS and readily available for purchase at grocery stores and pharmacies. Condoms, if used correctly, are one of the most effective methods of protection. Condoms can be used on sex toys to prevent the transmission of STIs and other infections from one partner to another. Latex condoms are the most effective for STI prevention. For people with latex allergies, there are also polyurethane condoms. Flavored condoms, which are available at the LGBT Center , should be used for oral sex to reduce the risk of STIs and HIV.
The Reality Condom, also known as the female condom, is available at the LGBT Center on campus. It is made of polyurethane and can be inserted several hours before use. For use in the vaginal canal, there is a ring that covers the cervix and the larger ring remains outside of the boy. For anal sex, the cervical ring should be removed and care should be taken to ensure the outer ring remains outside the body. Also, the Reality Condom should be used alone. Doubling up on condoms causes friction and breakage.
Dental Dams — Both UHS and the LGBT Center have dental dams available for students. The LGBT Center has flavored dental dams as well. They are barriers that protect against fluid transmission for both vaginal oral sex and anal oral sex. Some people choose to use other methods, such as Saran Wrap. However, the most effective method is to use latex or polyurethane dams intended for safer sex.
Latex Gloves and Finger Cots — Gloves and cots are to be used on fingers or hands. If you have cuts on your hands or open sores, such as a hang nail, these areas are susceptible to infection transmission. Using gloves and finger cots are excellent ways to protect the skin from transmission. Both gloves and cots are able to be purchased at pharmacies and some grocery stores. The LGBT Center also has some available for students.
Communication — It is very important to communicate with your partner about safer sex. Ask if they have had unprotected sex before and if they have been tested for STIs and HIV. Negotiate the use of safer sex protection beforehand. Communication before and during any type of sexual activity is key. Asking pointed questions is also important. Instead of asking, “Are you clean?” ask, “Do you have any infections or HIV?”
Get Tested — If you are sexually active, you should use safer sex methods, and you should also get tested regularly. People often get HIV tests (see more information below). This is very important. However, many other types of STIs occur more often, so you should ask to be tested for all STIs, especially syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Be honest with your health care provider about the type of sexual activity in which you engage, as different STIs are more prevalent with different types of partners and activities. To be sure that you are tested appropriately, honesty is paramount.
Vaginal and Anal Pap Smears — Having an annual vaginal pap smear is essential. In addition, you should have an anal pap if you have engaged in unprotected anal sex or consistently engage in anal sex. You can contract HPV/anal warts that can lead to colorectal cancer. Testing is easy and pain free.
Vaccinations — There are vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B and HPV. These vaccinations are preventive methods that may protect you down the road.
For information about safer sex, please see:
For more information about STIs, please see:
Confidential vs. Anonymous HIV Testing
There are two types of HIV tests that one can take, confidential or anonymous tests. With confidential tests, the patient’s name is recorded with the test results. These results are kept secret from everyone except the medical personnel and perhaps the state health department. If the patient tests positive, according to New Jersey Law, his or her name must be reported to the state. Also, the results can be revealed to the individual’s health insurance provider if a claim is made. Anonymous tests, on the other hand, are tests in which no name is associated with the test. Only the individual getting tested can reveal the results to anyone.
In New Jersey , the law allows for both confidential and anonymous testing. University Health Services offers confidential counseling. There are other places where one can receive confidential counseling, as well as anonymous testing below. However, the individual being tested should always ask the site which forms of testing they offer (confidential vs. anonymous), in case an agency has changed its policy and who may have access the results.
For HIV testing in the Central NJ area, please contact:
Princeton University Health Center (confidential)
McCosh Health Center
Princeton, New Jersey 08544
21 Wiggins Street
Princeton , New Jersey 08544
Henry J. Austin Health Center (free & confidential)
321 North Warren St.
Trenton , New Jersey
Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Group (free & anonymous)
Ambulatory Care Building- HIV Counseling and Testing Program
Suite One, Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
Health Federation of Philadelphia
Women’s Anonymous Test Site (confidential and anonymous)
1211 Chestnut St., Ste. 701
Philadelphia , Pennsylvania 19107
phone: 215-246-5210 (main)
English: (800) 232-4636 (Monday-Sunday, 24 hours)
Spanish: (800) 344-7432 (Monday-Sunday, 8AM-2AM)
NJ Department of Health & Senior Services - Division of AIDS Prevention and Control
RESOURCES AND LINKS
LGBT Health Care in the Surrounding Area
LGBT Life in Princeton
- Gay & Lesbian Medical Association
- Princeton University – The LGBT Center
- Resources in the Local Princeton Community
- LGBT Life & Resources in New Jersey
- LGBT Health Channel
Additional LGBT Health Links
- The National Association of Lesbian and Gay Addiction Professionals and Their Allies
- The National Coalition of LGBT Health