LGBT Group Hosts Second Annual Healthcare Symposium 

Ayesha Umrigar, Co-President of LOCUS 

LGBT Healthcare Symposium PicOn April 25th and 26th, LGBTQ + Allies Organization for the Cultural Understanding in the Sciences (LOCUS) and the South Central AIDS Education and Training Center (SCAETC) hosted the second annual LGBT Healthcare Symposium.  

This two-day symposium focused on current issues affecting LGBT individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Panelists included Christine Brennan, Project Director of SCAETC at LSU Health Sciences Center; Terry Mayers, a mental healthcare provider serving the New Orleans LGBT community; Robert Suttle, the Assistant Director of the SERO Project; and Bruce Hinton, a CrescentCare provider with a focus on expanding PrEP services and HIV/HCV treatment. The panelists covered a wide range of topics, including accessibility and effectiveness of PrEP, mental health challenges faced by the LGBT community and individuals living with HIV, and criminalization of HIV+ individuals.  

The second day consisted of a training session on criminalization and stigmatization of individuals living with HIV provided by Robert Suttle. This session discussed the impact of HIV-specific legislation on the lives of people living with HIV, and featured several personal testimonies of people who were negatively impacted by these laws. Lecture slides for this training and visual recording of both sessions will be made available at a later date to those who were unable to attend. 

We are very grateful for the all the panelists who were able to lead insightful discussions and provide insight on the challenges faced by people living with HIV.