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Training for doctors on “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”

Society Without Violence NGO in cooperation with ILGA Europe organized a training session on May 4-6 in Aghveran, Armenia for psychologists, psychotherapists and sexologists. The session was led by two doctors with extensive experience in the field of medicine and human rights.

Dr. Stepan Matevosyan is a psychologist, psychotherapist and sexologist, as well as the director of the Endo-psychiatric Center of Moscow City. Dr. Vahe Asryan is a sexologist and a sitting member of Armenian Association of Sexologist.

The topics of the discussions were diverse. Dr. Asryan opened the sessions with his talk on “Sexual Orientation, Myths and Realities.” He presented the societal and political level of discrimination in Armenia, and then connected it to the health sector and further discussed the medical needs of homosexual persons. The discussion made it clear that the participants were not aware of the differences between gender identity and sexual orientation. In addition, the participants were unaware of the emotional and mental aspect of one's sexual orientation.

Next, Dr. Stepan Matevosyan led the second module on “Gender Identity, Myths and Reality” and also talked about “The Importance of Doctors’ Awareness During their Work with LGBT People.” This presentation brought about a heated discussion about discrimination against LGBT people.

During the session the medical needs of LGBT+ people were also discussed. Doctors’ indifference and lack of compassion, domestic pressure, lack of knowledge and the fear of being discovered were outlined.

In conclusion, the level of satisfaction of the participants was extremely high. They concluded that this type of sessions should be held more often in medical institutions and give knowledge about the medical needs of LGBT people.

 

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