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LGBTQI Health Issues Forum Offers New Perspectives and Training

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Registration is open for February 22 event

By Michael Liu
Contributing Writer

The sixth annual LGBTQI Health Issues Forum offers participants the unique opportunity to learn about the clinical concerns of the LGBTI community and how to provide sensitive care to these underserved populations.

The LGBTI population is at a higher risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Take advantage of this event to learn about LGBTI health risks and disparities, and how to provide more knowledgeable, effective and sensitive care. There will be workshops and breakout sessions to accommodate all knowledge levels of LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex) health issues. 

The forum will be held on February 22 and registration is now open. Last year, more than 300 students from UCSF and colleges around the country attended.

UNAIDS Civil Society Partnership Advisor Eric Sawyer is slated to give the keynote address.  A founding member of ACT UP and a co-founder of Housing Works and Health Gap, Sawyer’s work is a potent reminder that healthcare is often political and that all health professionals can play a role an important role in advocating for the care of the underserved.  Through its brand of ‘in your face’ activism, ACT UP helped bring national attention to the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic.  Sawyer also created Housing Works to address homelessness among people with HIV/AIDS. Today, at UNAIDS, he continues the fight to ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world have access to care.

A patient panel will address real-world LGBTQI experiences within the healthcare system.   Breakout sessions will cover LBQ women’s health, MSM health, bisexual wellness, transgender health, intersex health issues, HIV issues, LGBT elders, parenting and youth, LGBTQ mental health and substance abuse.  There will also be an outness panel featuring faculty, interns and local health professionals, who will discuss their diverse experiences being out in their professions.  

New this year will be a lunchtime screening of Transgender Tuesdays, a documentary about the lives of eight transgender patients of the Tom Waddell Health Center, the first low-cost public health clinic offering dedicated services for transgender clients. A Q&A session will follow, with film director Mark Freeman and several of the transgender patients featured in the documentary. 

For more information, including how to register, please visit http://tinyurl.com/RegisterLGBT.  The forum also counts as a one-unit credit elective; UCSF students should register under FCM 170.01B.  Registration for the forum includes breakfast and lunch and is $15 for UCSF students, but only $10 if you register before February 10. The forum is open to all students and individuals interested in learning more about the unique health concerns of the LGBTI community. 

Special thanks to the UCSF Student Fee Advisory Committee, UCSF Committee on LGBT Issues, UCSF Graduate Students' Association, and Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (BAPHR) for their generous support in funding this year's health forum. 

Michael Liu is a second-year medical student.

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