Breaking Barriers and Shattering Stigmas for South Asian LBT women accessing sexual health and HIV medicine

National LGBT Partnership- LBT Women’s Health Week Event organised by British Asian LGBTI

Friday 12th March 2021- 3pm-5pm 

UPDATE- Webinar now available online- see below for full webinar!

Sexual health disparities remain present for south Asian women, reasons for which are complex and may include taboos around accessing sexual health services. Furthermore, LBT women face additional barriers to accessing health care due to homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and misogyny, both within the South Asian community and in wider society. This webinar event and panel discussion brings together three distinguished guest speakers; NHS Consultant Dr Rageshri Dhairyawan,  NHS Consultant Dr Selena Singh and Neelam Heera of the organisation Cysters, The event is hosted by Dr Siddhi Joshi of British Asian LGBTI and Daljinder Johal of Gaysians and is funded by the National LGBT Partnership during LBT Women’s Health Week. The event was especially aimed at South Asian LBT women, healthcare professionals and was open to the general public.

Dr Rageshri Dhairyawan is a Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust in East London and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. Her research and advocacy focus on reducing health inequalities, particularly for women of colour. She is a co-founder of SAHAR, the South Asian HIV Advisory Resource.

Dr Selena Singh is a consultant in Sexual Health and HIV medicine at Barts Health. Her specialist interests are the sexual health of young people, managing STIs in pregnancy and the management of recurrent or persistent conditions such as thrush, bacterial vaginosis and genital dermatoses.

Neelam Heera, a Tedx Speaker, founded Cysters after facing her own battles around diagnosis and care and wanting to address the health inequalities faced by those from communities of colour and the LGBT community. Most recently the organisation have changed their name to become inclusive of trans communities as well by removing the word woman.  Neelam’s work has been recognised by the Pride of Britain and Point of Light awards from the Prime Minister.

British Asian LGBTI, an online support group for the South Asian LGBTQI community in UK and Ireland (@BritishAsianLGB). We are a member of the Consortium for Stronger LGBT+ Communities, ILGA and Gaysians. Our organisation, operating by three highly motivated and dedicated volunteers since September 2013, aims to:

• Offer social support to South Asian lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning and intersex aged 16+ regardless of their faith or culture.

• Create a positive experience for South Asians LGBTQI within a safe environment.

• Provide a platform for South Asian LGBTQI people to speak up and gain recognition and representation.

• Empower those individuals to find acceptance within themselves and the wider community.

• Organise educational events and conferences for the South Asian LGBTI and the wider community.

Host: Dr Siddhi Joshi of British Asian LGBTI:

Siddhi is founder and chairperson of British Asian LGBTI. Identifying as a south Asian lesbian woman of Gujarati heritage, Siddhi is passionate about reducing healthcare disparities due to cultural taboos and obstacles in society. In 2018, she and her fellow colleagues co-organised the inaugural South Asian LGBTI conference in 2018 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. She is a PhD qualified marine scientist by profession with a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law. 

Host: Daljinder Johal of Gaysians:

Daljinder works across production, marketing and journalism in addition to being a writer, to create joyful and thought-provoking work that shares nuanced perspectives from underrepresented communities. She works with companies across the UK including the South Asian LGBT+ organisation Gaysians, in the vibrant Birmingham arts scene with Craftspace and Beatfreeks or makes worldwide connections as an Assistant Managing Editor with the literary journal, Asymptote. At the same time, she has a particular passion for highlighting the diversity and creativity of the Midlands.