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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Rutgers Dean Examines LGBT Population Health in Greece

Rutgers School of Public Health Dean Perry N. Halkitis, along with colleagues, considers LGBT population health amid deteriorating social and economic conditions in Greece in latest paper.

Over the past decade, the economic crisis in Greece has impacted the health of the Greek population. Especially impacted is Greece’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population, which even in the best of economic times experiences heightened health burdens and disparities due to socially produced and state-sanctioned homophobia. To date, there is limited knowledge about the health of LGBT people in Greece beyond HIV-related heath.

This research comes on the heels of the murder of prominent Greek LGBTQ activist, Mr. Zak Kostopoulos, who was brutally beaten in central Athens.

The researchers, who include Dr. Pamela Valera, assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health, and Dr. Maria Kantzanou, faculty at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, reviewed the economic conditions that prevail in Greece and the limited knowledge on LGBT health. They further considered the roles that social conditions, such as, state-sanctioned discrimination and homophobia, preponderance of homonegative and heterosexist attitudes within the culture, and the synergy between social and economic conditions, play in undermining the health of the LGBT population in Greece.

The researchers recommend:

“Our research provides recommendations for both research and clinical practice that will document the health of LGBT people in Greece, scientifically disentangle and delineate the culturally produced drivers that may undermine their health, and use this knowledge to inform the development of health care programs, service, and training embedded within a cultural competency framework that attends to both Greek society at large and the culture of the LGBT population within Greece,” comments Dean Halkitis. “Implementing these recommendations will lead to improvements in LGBT population health in Greece, but we cannot do this without the support of the European Union, National Institutes of Health, and the Patient Center Outcome Research Institute.”
Deterioration in social and economic conditions in Greece impact the health of LGBT populations: A call to action in the era of Troika,” was recently published Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.