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Social Work Student Presents At Symposium and Addresses Haitian Health Concerns

Social Work Student Presents At Symposium and Addresses Haitian Health Concerns

Jenifer Ollis, Undergraduate Student in Social Work, recently presented at the Rollins College Latin America Studies Symposium that convened on Thursday, April 5, 2018. Jenifer's presentation, entitled, Despised, Stabbed, Stoned, Shot, and Raped: Experiences of Sexual & Gender Minorities in an Urban Enclave of Haiti was selected via a competitive peer-review process. Jenifer's presentation is an outcome of mentoring by Drs. Guitele Rahill and Manisha Joshi, whose work in Haiti includes providing a voice for sexual and gender minorities in the context of the Yogakyarta principles. Little is known about the health and mental health of sexual and gender minorities in Haiti, where in 2017, the Haitian Senate passed a law prohibiting same sex marriage and overt displays of affection between individuals of the same biological sex and included penalties of fine and/or imprisonment for sexual and gender minorities and allies; yet SGM in urban Haiti bear a disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS. Jenifer reported that the study's findings "support the need for integrated social and health interventions that simultaneously address hunger, challenge existing norms that support gender inequity, provide community-wide training on human rights and gender equity, and reduce HIV risk for SGM and their significant others in Haiti".