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From this week, people who want to visit such places need to get a QR code on their mobile phone and show it to the facility manager, who will scan the code into an encrypted file.

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To address privacy concerns, health officials said the system would only be used when the country is at its highest — red — alert, and the information would be destroyed after four weeks. As the pandemic escalated in other countries, South Korea also began to see a spike in so-called imported cases, in which foreign visitors and Korean nationals returning from overseas were infected, many of them with mild or no virus symptoms.

To stem the potential spread domestically, airport officials required all passengers arriving from overseas to download an app that tracks their whereabouts and keeps tabs on their health. The users get a text message at 10 a. The data is relayed to health officials who also call to check on the people. The examples show how South Korea plans to stay open even if there is a second wave. It stands in contrast to places such as Singapore, where — although schools have reopened — bars, nightclubs, restaurants and gyms remain closed.

It acknowledges that it may need to resort to stricter measures such as lockdowns if the second wave does hit. The country has been stockpiling supplies and medical equipment as experts predict a much larger surge of infections in the fall. Since the early stages of the COVID crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic.

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INTRODUCTION

Can it beat a second wave? Sorry, but your browser needs Javascript to use this site. Posters detail precautions against the new coronavirus at an exhibition and convention center in Goyang, South Korea, on Friday. SPRs for depressive symptoms were calculated using data from 3, men and 2, women who participated in the 10th KWPS Compared to the general population, the prevalence of depressive symptoms was 7.

The suicide attempts were about times more frequent in gay and bisexual men SPR for gay men, In order to compare the prevalence of smoking and hazardous drinking of the Korean LGB adults with that of the general population, SPRs were calculated using data from 24, economically active men and 14, economically active women who participated in the 3rd KWCS When compared to the general population, the prevalence of smoking was about times higher among lesbians and bisexual women SPR for lesbians, 7.

In contrast, the prevalence of smoking among gay and bisexual men are statistically significantly lower than general population SPR for gay men, 0. The prevalence of hazardous drinking was found to be When compared to the general population, prevalence of hazardous drinking was 2. Compared to the general population, there was a higher prevalence of depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation and attempts, and musculoskeletal pains among Korean LGB adults. For women, the prevalence of reporting poor self-rated health and smoking was higher in the LGB population, and the prevalence of hazardous drinking was higher in the LGB population, with the exception of bisexual men, than in the general population.

These findings are consistent with previous studies on health disparities of the LGB population [ 1 - 11 ]. The results about suicidal ideation and attempts in the Korean LGB adults particularly deserve attention. Our findings revealed that the prevalence of suicidal ideation among LGB adults was about 6. Korea has the highest suicide rate among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries Considering these facts, our finding about suicidality of Korean LGB adults is very alarming.

To explain the health disparities of Korean LGB adults observed in this study, the minority stress processes in LGB population may be a useful framework [ 24 ].

According to this model, all humans experience stressors in their daily lives but sexual minorities experience additional stressors leading to adverse health outcomes such as experiences of prejudice events, internalized homophobia, and expectations of rejection [ 24 - 29 ]. The minority stress model suggests that the hostile social environment for sexual minorities in Korea may be a key factor that exacerbates the health of sexual minorities. According to the Social Integration Survey in , Compared to the social acceptance toward other minority groups North Korean defectors Furthermore, anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT movement has been rapidly organized in Korea since the mids, and hate expressions against LGBT people have emerged as an important social problem [ 31 - 33 ].

In such social environment, various negative social experiences that sexual minorities face may worsen their health. Korean studies reported associations between social stigma and low life satisfaction in LGB adults [ 34 ] and between the experience of anti-gay violence and suicide risk in gay adolescents [ 35 ]. Further studies are needed to understand to what extent negative social experiences within the hostile environment of Korea explain for health disparities of LGB adults found in this study.

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Another notable finding of this study is the differences in health status within the LGB population. Although the SPRs for mental health and physical symptoms against the general population were high in all the sexual minority groups, there were differences in self-rated health and health-related behaviors within the groups.

The prevalence of poor self-rated health was higher in lesbians and bisexual women than in the general population, but no statistical difference was found among men. While lesbians and bisexual women showed a significantly higher prevalence of smoking than did the general population, gay and bisexual men showed a significantly lower prevalence of smoking than did the general population. Furthermore, SPRs for hazardous drinking was the highest in lesbians, followed by bisexual women and gay men, while there was no significant difference between bisexual men and the general population.

Previous studies also showed differences in health status among LGB population, but the findings were not consistent [ 1 - 5 ].

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Further studies are needed to identify the factors and mechanisms behind health disparities within sexual minorities. More detailed examination on socio-demographic variables, such as gender, age, and socioeconomic status, is needed from an intersectional perspective before simply adjusting for them in the analysis. Additionally, more studies are needed to explore the health of lesbians and bisexual women. The present study has the following limitations.

First, we cannot exclude the possibility that SPRs might be overestimated due to the difference in survey methods between our survey and the national health surveys used for the general population. Although the same questionnaires were used, we conducted an online survey while all the national-level health surveys were administered through face-to-face interview. Given the fact that sensitive questions, such as suicidal ideation and attempts, are more likely to be underreported in an in-person interview, it is difficult to completely exclude the possibility of overestimation of SPRs for suicidal behaviors.

Second, there may be the possibility of potential under estimation of SPRs for musculoskeletal pains and healthrelated behaviors due to the difference in survey participants.

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Among our survey participants Considering that the prevalence of musculoskeletal pains and health-related behaviors is generally higher in working populations, there is a possibility that the SPRs for those were underestimated. Third, the comparison group may have LGB individuals because those nationally representative surveys did not include sexual orientation measure in their questionnaires. Hence, it should be noted that the findings of this study were only a comparison of the health status of the Korean LGB adults with the general population, and not a comparison between LGB adults and their heterosexual counterparts.

Finally, the limitation of our study is that the representativeness of the sample cannot be ensured, as we used convenience sampling. The majority of participants were in their 20ss It may be attributable to the fact that survey promotion and recruitment relied heavily on online and offline networks of sexual minority organizations and communities, as low-income and low-educated older LGB individuals may have lower access to such networks.

In that case, there is a possibility that the SPRs in this study might be underestimated. To address the limitations of this study and to gain a more systematic understanding of the health disparities of the Korean LGB population, nationally representative surveys should include sexual orientation in their questionnaires.


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A growing number of health surveys in North America and Europe include sexual orientation as a demographic variable, based on which many studies are conducted to investigate health disparities of sexual minorities [ 1 - 3 , 6 , 7 , 9 , 10 , 36 , 37 ]. The Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey is the only national-level health survey in Korea measuring sexual orientation by asking respondents to indicate the gender of the person with whom they had a sexual intercourse.

These data enabled studies to compare the health status of LGB adolescents with heterosexual counterparts [ 13 - 15 ].


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The present study aimed to investigate the magnitude of health disparities faced by the Korean LGB adults using the largest Korean dataset on LGB individuals. Future studies should take a step further to identify social factors that might worsen or improve their health. Furthermore, policy interventions should be implemented to improve the health and quality of life of sexual minorities in Korea.

SPR of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts over the past 12 months between LGB population and the general population 1 in Korea. Sexual orientation disparities in physical health: age and gender effects in a population-based study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol ; PMID: A population-based study of sexual orientation identity and gender differences in adult health. Am J Public Health ; Sexual orientation and mental and physical health status: findings from a Dutch population survey.

Arch Gen Psychiatry ; Demonstrating the importance and feasibility of including sexual orientation in public health surveys: health disparities in the Pacific Northwest. Risk of psychiatric disorders among individuals reporting same-sex sexual partners in the National Comorbidity Survey.

Diamant AL, Wold C. Sexual orientation and variation in physical and mental health status among women. J Womens Health Larchmt ; Gruskin EP, Gordon N. BMC Public Health ; 6: Women Health ; Relation between psychiatric syndromes and behaviorally defined sexual orientation in a sample of the US population.

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Am J Epidemiol ; Prevalence of mental disorders, psychological distress, and mental health services use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States. J Consult Clin Psychol ; Health Soc Sci ; Korean. Differences in lifestyles including physical activity according to sexual orientation among Korean adolescents. Iran J Public Health ; Associations of healthrisk behaviors and health cognition with sexual orientation among adolescents in school: analysis of pooled data from Korean nationwide survey from to Medicine Baltimore ; e Type of sexual intercourse experience and suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts among youths: a crosssectional study in South Korea.

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BMC Public Health ; Comparison of sexual risky factors of men who have sex with men and sex-buying men as groups vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases. J Prev Med Public Health ; The Comparison of the quality of life and mental health in homosexual men and heterosexual men. J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc ; Korean.

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