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Eric Rofes : Gay Bodies, Gay Selves: Understanding the Gay Men’s Health Movement

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Many policymakers, researchers, and gay

Speakers (1st day)

 

Didier Eribon (Philosopher)
 

Didier Eribon is a philosopher and one of France’s leading intellectuals. He is the author of numerous books, notably the celebrated 1989 biography of Michel Foucault (english translation 1991) and most recently Réflexions sur la question gay (1999; translated into english as Insult and the Making of the Gay Self, 2004), Une morale du minoritaire. Variations sur un thème de Jean Genet (2001) and Echapper à la psychanalyse (2005).

 

Michael Hurley (Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, Melbourne)

Michael Hurley is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne. He works in close collaboration with gay and HIV positive communities in Australia where over 80% of the HIV epidemic is amongst gay men. In his 2003 report Then and Now. Gay men and HIV he discussed gay men's current relation to HIV and the ways unprotected and unsafe sex fit into how gay men live their lives now. He suggests that crisis-based health responses do not work well in 'post-AIDS' gay contexts and that interventions into lived gay cultures require careful articulation of HIV prevention with known risk reduction practices. Michael has also edited the report Cultures of Care and Safe Sex amongst HIV positive Australians.

 

Eric Rofes (Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, site web)

Eric Rofes is a long-time activist and community organizer and has published over a dozen books, most recently A Radical Rethinking of Sexuality and Schooling: Status Quo or Status Queer (Rowman & Littlefield). Eric is a graduate of Harvard College and received an MA and PhD in Social and Cultural Studies in Education from UC Berkeley. He's been at the head of some major anti-aids structures in the USA, amongst The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center and the Shanti Project. He particularly knows the consequences and the evolution of the HIV epidemic in the american gay community well. Eric Rofes, Ph.D. was the convener of the first three National Gay Men's Health Summits in the United States. He is now a professor of education at Humboldt State University and is completing a book on organizing a gay men's health movement and working on a play about men who test positive today.

 

Will Nutland (Terrence Higgins Trust, Londres)

Will Nutland is currently the Head of Health Promotion at Terrence Higgins Trust in London. Will has been involved in gay health activism for over 15 years, has founded community based health programmes and is the co-author of Making it Count - the collaborative strategy to reduce HIV amongst MSM in Britain. Will was the co-founder of Act Up Norwich.

 

Rommel Mendès-Leite Lumière Lyon 2 University)

Rommel is an Ethnosociologist and lecturer in Social Psychology at the Université Lumière Lyon 2, and is also a member of the Groupe d'Etudes des Relations Asymétriques (GERA) and the Centre Louise Labé. He is an affiliated researcher of the Altérité, santé, sexualités team of the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale (Collège de France). Rommel Mendès-Leite has been working on male sexualties and particularly homosexuality since 1983. He has developped numerous research projects in France, Brazil and South Africa.

He is the author of several publications, of which: “ Bisexualité, le dernier tabou” (1996); 'Le sens de l'altérité. Penser les homosexualités” (2000) and 'Chroniques socio-antropologiques au temps du sida. Trois essais sur les (homo)sexualités masculines' (co-edition 2001).

His next book, in collaboration with Maks Banens, is about living with HIV/AIDS and is entitled: “Paroles de séropos. Vivre avec le VIH/sida” (to be published in the first semester of 2006 by Calmann-Lévy).

 

Jen Wang (Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine -University of Zurich and the Swiss Tropical Institute - Basel )

Research epidemiologist at the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine (University of Zurich) and the Swiss Tropical Institute (Basel). Jen Wang has worked for many years in HIV epidemiology, including numerous field studies among gay men and drug users in Europe as well as several international collaborations with the Harvard AIDS Institute and UNAIDS. He is the principal investigator for the Geneva Gay Men's Health Project (Projet santé gaie) spearheaded by Dialogai, a local gay organization. He also leads the Future Patient Project in Switzerland which assesses the views of citizens and patients towards health and health care; the current project focus is on information and skills for health (health literacy).

 

Alain Léobon (CNRS, Angers)

As a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Alain Leonbon is currently working on “The inscription within cyperspace of gay people : recomposition of fields of visibility and gay- and bisexual encounters facing HIV/Aids risks”. His last publication, “Social and sexual use of internet and development of risk culture within the french gay- and bisexual population” (French National Agency for AIDS Research - Fond Québécois de la recherche sur la société et culture).

 

Tony Valenzuela (Los Angeles)

Tony Valenzuela, activist and writer, has long advocated a harm reduction approach to gay men's health, exploring some of the gay communities more controversial topics including bareback sex, drug cultures, and most recently, the abuse of crystal meth by gay men (read "The Crystal Conundrum," at

http://www.laweekly.com/ink/05/29/features-valenzuela.php.

Valenzuela was a lead organizer of the National Sex Panic Summit in San Diego in 1997 and was on the cover of POZ magazine in 1999 for his views on bareback sex, an interview which embroiled him in a national debate about the motivations behind sex without condoms. His acclaimed one-man show, "The Bad Boy Next Door," a second-generation AIDS narrative, played in a dozen cities nationwide in 2000 and 2001 including the first Gay Men's Health Summit in Boulder, CO. The play analyzed how a new generation of gay men had formed a different relationship to HIV and sexual risk taking.

Valenzuela holds a Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts and is currently writing a novel. He lives in Los Angeles and can be reached at tonyvalenzuela@gmail.com.

 

Chris Bartlett (Consultant, Philadelphia LGBT Community Assessment)

Chris Bartlett is a health activist and community organizer in Philadelphia's LGBT communities. A graduate of Brown University and New College, Oxford, he was director of the city's SafeGuards Gay Men's Health Project for over ten years. In that capacity, he led the research efforts for the SafeGuards' Men's Survey of over 1400 gay and bisexual men in the Delaware Valley. He currently serves as a consultant to the Philadelphia Department of Health's AIDS Activities Coordinating Office, Information Services Unit, where he assists with evaluation of programs; in addition he conducts trainings on gay men's health leadership issues. He is also the lead consultant on the Philadelphia LGBT Community Assessment, which will collect all existing data about LGBT communities in Philadelphia and make recommendations about future research directions for these communities.

 

Claude Lejeune (AMG, Gay physicians association)

Claude Lejeune is the president and founder of the AMG. During the winter 79-80, a handful of medical professionals and students got together in order to care about a blatant situation: among the homosexual community and inside the medical world, the gaps and abuses are acute in the information about gay health area - be it body or mind oriented. And it'll be the beginning of a phone call center open twice a week, of leaflets creation and diffusion (among them "Gais à votre santé" with more than 700,000 ex. to this date), of health points in sex related area, group talks, of physicians' information meetings…

 

David Monvoisin (AIDES, Marseille)

In July 2004, the national community action group “Men having sex with other men” of AIDES has decided to renew its approach to HIV prevention, hepatitis and STD's within the gay community. Without doubting the necessarily mission of information and support on prevention strategies, we were aware of our limits of this approach, after 20 years of epidemic, as well as many other prevention workers abroad. This approach, focused on genitals and the ways of transmission associated together underestimates the necessity of global prevention taking in account the determiners of gay health and the ways of collectif construction of gay men's sexual health. Since one year, AIDES is setting up a mobilization strategy focusing on men having sex with other men, on gay community activists as well as on institutional activists. In 2005, the mobilization in the south of France has shown its efficiency during a regional convention on “Men having sex with other men” and the 2005 summer LGBT university.

 

Michael Häusermann (Dialogai, Genève)

Michael Häusermann, Dipl. SW, has had considerable experience in development and advocacy for gay and AIDS organizations and issues. He worked at the Swiss AIDS Federation for eight years starting as a coordinator for French-speaking Switzerland and then as executive Director at the headquarters in Zurich. He was also the Cultural Program Coordinator for the World AIDS Conference in Geneva 98. A founding member of Dialogai, he received a mandate in 2000 to write a concept paper on gay health for the gay AIDS-service organization, a first for the subject matter in Switzerland. Subsequently, he was asked to be the project coordinator for gay health and coordinated the qualitative and quantitative studies on Dialogai side. Today, he is project manager of Dialogai-Checkpoint, a pilot VCT center for gay men in Geneva and of “être gai ensemble” a program of groups and workshops to promote health and well-being between gay-men.

 

Bill Ryan (McGill University and Action Séro-Zéro, Montréal)

As an assistant professor at the McGill University, Bill Ryan began working in HIV prevention in 1985. He is a consultant at Health Canada in matters of prevention of homophobia. He’s the founder of “Projet 10” in Montreal, the most important support group for young gay and lesbian people in Canada, and developed a national outreach programme for glb youth called Safe Spaces. He is a trainer for the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Québec in a program destinated to social workers, doctors, psychologists and teachers across the province. His research work is about sexual orientation, sexual education, determinants of health in the gay community, sexual health, accessibility to health care, gay parenting, homophobia and ageing within the gay and lesbian community. Bill Ryan is the president of the board of directors of Séro-Zéro, the largest organization of gay health, sexual health and HIV prevention in Canada, and co-chair of the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition. He currently works on health and sexual education projects in Ukrainia, Belarus, Romania and Switzerland with the International Federation of Social Workers, WHO and UNICEF.

 

Jean-Yves Le Talec (Toulouse - Le Mirail University)

As a sociologist specialized in health and sexuality at the University of Toulouse Le Mirail-France), Jean-Yves Le Talec is doing research for several years in the field of HIV prevention, more specifically for the National Agency of AIDS research (ANRS) and the French charity trust Sidaction. His last research work deals with “Bareback and risk behaviour amongst gay men”. He actually works on norms, desires and risk taking by gay men.

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