The 8th annual National LGBT Health Awareness Week is this week from March 28 to April 3. Sponsored by the National Coalition for LGBT Health, “Closing the Gap” is this year’s theme.

Here’s how they explain this year’s theme:

lgbthealth_logo.jpg“The LGBT community has, on average, worse health outcomes and less access to the care we need than the straight community. We cannot afford to ignore the gap anymore. We need to educate ourselves and our health care providers about our unique health needs as well as our health risks. We need to commit to closing the gap, because everyone deserves good health!”

Topics such as access to health care, certain kinds of cancer, mental health, sexual health (including HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections), smoking, substance abuse and transgender health are all areas of concern for LGBT people.

If you’re LGBT, please take a moment this week to consider how these issues affect your health--and consult with your health care provider.