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Associations with COVID-19 Symptoms, Prevention Interest, and Testing Among Sexual and Gender Minority Adults in a Diverse National Sample

Gregory Phillips II, Jiayi Xu, Megan M. Ruprecht, Diogo Costa, Dylan Felt, Xinzi Wang, Erik ElĂ­as Glenn, and Lauren B. Beach

LGBT Health

Purpose: Sexual and gender minority (SGM) and racial/ethnic minority populations may differ in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevention, testing, and vaccine interest, although little research has explored these disparities. It is critical to understand the differential experiences within minoritized communities to ensure effective intervention and vaccine rollout.

Methods: In a national online survey of U.S. adult SGM individuals, conducted between April and August 2020, 932 participants responded about COVID-19 testing, symptoms, interest in vaccination, and interest in at-home testing. Bivariate associations between these outcomes and demographic factors, including sexual orientation, gender identity, endorsing intersex traits, gender modality, race/ethnicity, and HIV status were calculated.

Results: Despite 24% of the sample reporting COVID-19 symptoms, testing was relatively low at 13.3%. Transgender and bisexual/pansexual individuals were more likely to be interested in a COVID-19 vaccine and an at-home test compared with cisgender and gay/lesbian respondents, respectively. Compared with cisgender individuals, transgender individuals were nearly twice as likely to report COVID-19 symptoms. Latinx individuals were less likely to be interested in a future COVID-19 vaccination and Black individuals were less likely to be interested in an at-home COVID-19 test compared with White participants. Both respondents who endorsed intersex traits and people with HIV were less likely to be interested in an at-home test compared with those who did not endorse having intersex traits and people without HIV, respectively.

Conclusions: These results show critical disparities in COVID-19 symptomology and prevention interest within SGM populations that must be taken into account when designing or tailoring effective COVID-19 interventions.

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