“We’re Here”: Health Care as a Site of Subjugation and Resistance for Older HIV-Positive Gay Men in Toronto
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
|Wednesday, February 22, 2017||10:00AM - 12:00PM||108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place|
In recent years, a growing body of literature on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) aging has highlighted the systemic exposure of older sexual and gender minorities to complex expressions of stigma and discrimination across a variety of social contexts, the confluence of which tends to adversely affect the social conditions and health outcomes of these groups. Older gay men have specifically been recognized as a population of concern, given this group’s exposure to the unique social history of HIV, and therefore the unique features of stigma and discrimination that are likely to typify the realities of these older adults as they access health care and social services (Addis et al., 2009). Informed by this literature, my research seeks to examine how older gay men experience the production of subjugation at the intersection of older age, gay sexuality, and HIV stigma, specifically when they access health care systems, and how they resist these systemic issues in their interactions with health services. In this qualitative study, I aim to interview 30 gay men who are 50 years of age or older with recent experience accessing health care services, 15 of whom will be HIV-positive. In these interviews, I will ask participants to discuss their overall experiences of accessing health care services as older gay men, and how they believe they navigate potential barriers to access in these contexts. Drawing on these accounts, I will infer how intersectional subjugation is produced and resisted as older gay men, including those living with HIV, enter and interact with systems of care. The results of this study will be used not only to further insight in the growing field of LGBT aging, but also to develop health care policy and practice implications that seek to address access to care in a key subpopulation of aging and sexual minorities.
Hannah Kia is a third year PhD Candidate in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences Division of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She is also a member of the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health Team, led by Dr. Lori Ross. Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Hannah was a clinical social worker in British Columbia, where she gained practice experience in palliative care and other health care specialty areas. During her time as a social worker, she conducted research on the experiences of care-giving partners of gay men, and assisted with a Metropolis BC-funded study that examined the experiences and service needs of sexual minority newcomers. Hannah holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from the University of British Columbia. At this time, Hannah’s research interests centre on examining health care access among older LGBTQ adults. In pursuing her doctoral studies, she hopes to gain a better understanding of how older LGBTQ adults, particularly those living with HIV and other chronic illnesses, experience stigma and discrimination as barriers to accessing care. In April 2015, Hannah was awarded a Doctoral Research Award by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to support her work in this area.
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