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The 2021 LHF Grant Cycle Call for Proposals is Open!

Learn more here.

Our Mission

The mission of the Lesbian Health Fund is to improve the health of lesbians and sexual minority women (SMW) and their families through research.

Critical Need

Misinformation, homophobia among health care providers, and a lack of scientific data on basic lesbian health needs result in dangerously inadequate health care for many lesbians.

The serious impact these factors have on lesbian health is evidenced by alarming rates of suicidal behavior among lesbian, bisexual, and questioning youth; high incidence of stress-related chronic illnesses in lesbian adults; and avoidance of preventive health services by lesbians of all ages.

In order to improve lesbian health care, comprehensive research must be conducted, homophobia must be addressed within the health professions, and lesbians and their providers must become better informed.

About LHF

Founded in 1992, the LHF has awarded more than $860,000 to fund lesbian health research, and is the only U.S. research fund dedicated solely to the unique health needs of lesbians and SMW.

Today, LHF remains committed to improving the health of lesbians and sexual minority women over the lifespan, from early childhood, through adolescence, and adulthood, including aging. There is still great need to understand how social determinants, especially race and ethnicity, influence the health and wellbeing of lesbians, sexual minority women and their families.

For more information on future research, please see the Institute of Medicine report, “The Health of Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Health.”

Ground Breaking Research

Research is underway on the following issues:

  • Examination of barriers to physical activity among lesbians
  • One of the first population-based studies of lesbians’ health and health care
  • Health promotion among African American lesbians
  • The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study following the children of lesbians over 20 years
  • A methodological study using innovative techniques for estimating the lesbian population for health care research

Educating Providers and Scientists

Important results from LHF-funded studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at professional conferences on topics including:

  • Alternative insemination methods
  • Education of primary care providers on lesbian health and cultural sensitivity
  • Health risks and barriers to health care
  • Health care access for older, rural lesbians
  • Breast cancer risks and treatment
  • Lesbian domestic violence
  • Mental health of lesbian mothers and children of lesbian parents
  • Osteoporosis and bone density loss
  • Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Substance abuse issues

Launching Further Studies and Leveraging Millions of Dollars

LHF grants have been crucial to propelling promising research questions to the attention of other, larger granting agencies. The small grants LHF provides allows researchers to test concepts and collect pilot data that must be done before other agencies will consider funding larger studies. Receiving an LHF grant is often a catalyst to receiving much larger grants from other agencies. Our grantees have been awarded millions of dollars from federal agencies and research funding organizations to pursue groundbreaking research in lesbian health that would not have been possible without the initial funding from LHF.

Dedicated Support  

Every lesbian should have access to safe and appropriate health care, based on quality medical research and provided in an environment where she can safely disclose her sexual orientation.

LHF is the only research fund in the world solely dedicated to the unique health needs of lesbians and sexuality minority women. LHF is committed to an inclusive multicultural approach in all of its activities.

Support  LHF

The Lesbian Health Fund relies on your support!
Donate Online Today!

If you would prefer you can call 202-600-8037 and we can take your credit card information over the phone. To send a check, please mail it to: LHF, 1629 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006.


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