‘Life-saving’: Aussie study confirms gender-affirming care benefits

Trans Rights are Human Rights sign at protest
Image: Oriel Frankie Ashcroft/Pexels

An Australian study has confirmed timely access to gender-affirming healthcare significantly reduces rates of depression, gender dysphoria, and suicidality among transgender people by as much as half.

The clinical trial, led by the University of Melbourne, included 62 trans adults aged between 18-70. All were seeking initiation of testosterone.

Half of the cohort began testosterone treatment following extensive clinical assessment with an experienced clinician. The other half had standard care – an assessment but with a typical waiting period of three months.

Lead author Dr. Brendan Nolan said the study found a significant decrease in gender dysphoria in individuals who began testosterone treatment immediately.

“We also report a clinically significant decrease in depression and an over 50 per cent decrease in participants with suicidality,” he said.

But Dr Nolan said for transgender Australians, the pathway to accessing gender-affirming therapy is difficult and lengthy.

“Barriers to accessing healthcare have been associated with suicide attempts in the trans population,” he said.

Senior author Associate Professor Ada Cheung said the study was the first randomised control trial of its kind.

“It is well documented that there are disproportionate rates of negative mental health outcomes amongst trans individuals compared to the general population in Australia,” Assoc Prof Cheung said.

“The lack of doctors willing to provide care and long wait lists at existing clinics compounds the problem.

“Providing gender-affirming hormone therapy has immense benefits in reducing suicide risk and improving the mental health of trans people.

“Improving awareness about the benefits of hormonal therapy in trans people and better supporting GPs to provide gender-affirming care will be lifesaving for many.”

The research was published in the Journal of American Medical Association Network Open.

Channel 7 slammed for Spotlight reporting on gender-affirming care

This week Channel 7 aired false claims about trans children in their Spotlight current affairs program.

A number of gender-diverse Aussies have since slammed the program, which included their faces without their consent.

Over 40,000 have now signed a petition calling for Channel 7 to apologise and remove the show from streaming.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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