Atlanta, Ga., Hosts National Conference Dedicated to "LGBT Health Equality"

More than 350 health care professionals are expected at the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association's 29th annual conference next week in Atlanta, the first time GLMA has staged its meeting in the city.

"One of the things that's great about Atlanta is there's a strong LGBT community there that includes people working on LGBT health issues," said Hector Vargas, GLMA's executive director. "There are many HIV/AIDS organizations that serve people. It was a great opportunity for an organization whose mission is LGBT health equality to come to Atlanta and work with some of those organizations."

The conference will feature nine keynote sessions and some 45 workshops. Speakers will include Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD & TB Prevention; US Surgeons General Dr. Regina Benjamin and Dr. Joycelyn Elders; and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry.

"The research and the clinical side of what is presented at the conference really becomes a call to action for the policy and the action we need to do," said Vargas.

The five-day meeting will conclude with a joint symposium on transgender health, co-sponsored by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), and the annual transgender conference Southern Comfort.

The GLMA conference takes place Sept. 21-25 at the W Hotel-Midtown. Some events are open to the public; for more information, visit www.glma.org. For more on the 2011 WPATH International Symposium, held Sept. 24-28 at Emory Conference Center, visit www.wpath.org.