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HIV prevention through education on indigenous people’s history of alternative gender roles and sexuality
L Oropeza, L Kairaiuak, M E Bird
National Native American AIDS Prevention Center, Oakland, United States
Issues: Stigma and homophobia often prevent indigenous gay/bisexual men and transgenders in the United States from accessing health care, including testing and counseling.
Description: NNAAPC has developed a training curriculum titled, Addressing Two Spirits, a training tool to educate health and social service providers on the unique history of many indigenous tribes’ social systems which incorporated alternative gender roles and sexualities as vital and important part of these communities. Colonization of the United States led to almost complete annihilation of these historical societal roles. This training curriculum educates indigenous and non-indigenous providers working with modern day gay/bisexual men and transgenders on this history, reclamation, and acceptance in working with these populations. Through lecture, group discussions, and experiential exercises this training covers history, sexuality, and HIV prevention and care.
Lessons learned: A post-training evaluation through a survey and interviews revealed that health and social service providers found this training a memorable, and often life changing experience in understanding and working with these populations. This training is a critical step in improving the quality of care for those most at risk for HIV infection.
Recommendations: Indigenous people/communities in other parts of the world may find similar histories within their communities to use in dispelling stigma and homophobia among providers, and as a means to improving the quality of care of indigenous people infected with HIV.
The XV International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. WePeD6474
” L Oropeza, et al. HIV prevention through education on indigenous people’s history of alternative gender roles and sexuality. Poster Exhibition: The XV International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. WePeD6474″