Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Reconsidering Social Determinants" Is The Theme Of This Year's BC Gay Men's Health Summit

The eighth annual BC Gay Men's Health Summit will begin on November 1 and 2, 2012 and this year's theme is Reconsidering Social Determinants. Why is this year's theme so important? Rick Marchand, the managing director of the Community-Based Research Centre, told the Georgia Straight that the theme will reflect their attempts to move attention away from risky behaviour of men who have sex with men to what Marchand says is "big-picture" considerations such as institutional homophobia within the medical field. "I think what we're trying to do in this Summit is broaden peoples' perspective on this and look at some of the underlying causes, some of the determinants of health and the issues that impact gay men's health like homophobia and the kind of marginalization that could go on." Marchand makes a very good point: "That in spite of numerous gains made by gay rights movements, there are still prevalent inequities and issues that affect gay male health. There's a lot of institutional homophobia. What gay men find in institutions doesn't translate into equity. A lot of gay guys, for example, have a difficult time finding a gay-positive physician or coming out to their physician, so they don't really get the kind of services they need."

The eighth annual conference will be held at SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings). For more information, visit the CRBC website.