Friday, June 25th

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

 Room #1: "ENLACE: Social isolation and health equity in

 LGBTQ+ Latinx youth

Dr. Jonathan Garcia, PhD, Assistant Professor

OSU, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences/Global Health

Nancy Vargas, MPH, Program Coordinator


Content focus area: Social determinants of health (SDH), Stigma, Culture/religion, Latinx LGBTQ+ Perspective, Community and combating sexual health disparities/ , Understanding generational perspectives

Proposal Category: Research

Presentation style: Lecture

Language: English

Description: In LGBTQ+ Latinx communities in the USA, sexual health concerns are nested within broader social and institutional contexts that drive disparities in access to sexual, mental, and physical health services. Although an abundance of discourse describes the importance of safe institutional spaces, social isolation and marginalization continue to challenge the meaningful access to these services for LGBTQ+ Latinx youth who hold several marginalized social identities. The Engaging the Next Latinx Allies for Change and Equity (ENLACE) program sought to address social isolation to realize access to health and wellbeing.

Methods: Focus groups with community advisory boards (CABs) consisted of 45 participants: LGBTQ+ Latinx youth, 4-H Latinx parents, 4-H alumni, and health providers/educators. CABs co-created themes for ENLACE telenovela (soap opera) videos for the intervention. Data were analyzed using an immersion-crystallization approach to identify salient patterns.

Results: Latinx LGBTQ+ youth need sexual health education that: engages with their diverse range of sexualities and gender identities, includes LGBTQ+ history, includes mental and physical health issues that affect LGBTQ+ youth disproportionately (e.g., suicide, self-harm), and teaches them about the history and current reality of the HIV pandemic. Excluding them from the curriculum led youth to feel unrepresented and without any resource to learn about sexual health other than the Internet. Both LGBTQ+ youth and health providers identified the most socially isolated group to be Latinx transgender youth who were rejected by their families, who subsequently became homeless, and lacked access to social support and gender affirming healthcare. Health services were particularly unavailable in rural parts of Oregon. Youth reported parents sometimes “disguised” their rejection with being “concerned for your safety and health,” especially about risk of HIV infection. A solidarity-based approach is needed to address social isolation to provide access to sexual, mental, and physical health services to Latinx LGBTQ+ youth.


  1. Identify ways in which social isolation challenges sexual, mental, and physical health equity among Latinx LGBTQ+ youth

  2. Develop solidarity among parents, youth, and providers to address intersectional social isolation

 Room #2: " STARS Talk: Providing a Framework for Consent and Disclosure

Evelin Dacker, MD, Medical Director     

 Vida Integrative Medicine

Content focus area: Risk and Harm Reduction

Proposal Category: Community Program Delivery

Presentation style: Activity

Language: English

Description: STARS is a communication model to support consent and health in sexual relationships. STARS stands for Sexual health/STI status, Turn-ons, Avoids, Relationship intentions, and Safer sex etiquette. In order to reduce sexual trauma and create consensual relationship, we need to know the areas that can be discussed prior to intimacy. This workshop will review the manner in which we can further educate and support Latinx people to take ownership of their needs, desires and boundaries while furthering their sexual health and wellness.
Disclosure of sexual health and needs is poorly addressed in our current sex education. Latinx people may have further difficulty with this due to cultural etiquette, machismo, and social shame attached to talking about sex. In this workshop, we will address ways of combatting stigma to help improve consent between sexual partners. This worship will include practicing the "talk" so that participants can use this to help support and teach it within their communities.


  1. To identify and address barriers in Latinx population for communicating sexual health, desires and boundaries.

  2. To improve sexual communication and consent between intimate partners.

  3. To destigmatize sexual health and STI status.

 Room #3: "The impact of social and structural factors on HIV, COVID-19 and trauma among Latinx populations" 

 Roberto Orellana, PhD Professor of Social Work & Global Health

University of Washington, Seattle

Co-Principal Investigator

Portland arm of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Project

Description: Based on a number of research projects with diverse populations in the U.S. and Latin America, Dr. Orellana will present on the social and structural factors driving the intersecting epidemics of HIV, trauma, and COVID-19 among vulnerable groups.


Utilizing data from studies in Oregon, Mexico, Guatemala and Peru, Dr. Orellana will share his work with indigenous populations, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and other marginalized populations. He will discuss how social forces, such as poverty, discrimination, racism, homophobia, and stigma conspire to increase people’s vulnerability to infectious diseases, such as HIV and COVID-19, as well as trauma and drug abuse.


The presentation concludes that current HIV and COVID-19 prevention efforts with racial/ethnic and sexual minorities are unlikely to be successful if the social and structural factors are not addressed. A call for participants to engage in urgently needed multi-level, combination prevention strategies will close the session.


  1. To call attention to how multiple social and structural forces interact to increase the vulnerability of Latinx population to ongoing epidemics

  2. To highlight the urgent need to develop and test multi-level, combination prevention programs for Latinx populations

 Room #4: "Promoting access to reproductive health services in Oregon" 

Jill Verbeck, Communications and Partnerships Coordinator

 OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY, Reproductive Health Program

Description: In the state of Oregon, reproductive health services are available to individuals regardless of a person’s race, ethnic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, or immigration status. The majority of these services are available at low or no cost.  In this session, we will learn more about reproductive and sexual health, the services available through the Reproductive Health Program network of clinics, and how to support our communities to access the reproductive health services that they choose. 


  1. Deepen knowledge about reproductive health

  2. Learn about the Reproductive Health Program and how to refer our community to access these services

  3. Improve our skills to incorporate reproductive health as part of health in our conversations with the community