Reducing minority stress to optimize the health of sexual and gender minority individuals living with or at risk for HIV

Annesa Flentje is an Associate Professor at the University of California, San Francisco in the Department of Community Health Systems, School of Nursing and at the Alliance Health Project within the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine. She is a clinical psychologist who focuses on reducing health disparities among sexual and gender minority individuals. Her research has targeted multiple ways to reduce these disparities including prevention, increasing visibility of sexual and gender minorities in research, and improving mental health and substance abuse services for sexual and gender minorities. Her current research is identifying the relationship between minority stress, substance use, and biological functioning at the molecular level (i.e., gene expression and DNA methylation). She has developed an individually delivered intervention to reduce minority stress among sexual minority men living with HIV and is investigating this as a means to reduce substance use and improve both the physical and mental health of sexual and gender minority people. Dr. Flentje is also Associate Director and UCSF Site Director of The PRIDE Study, a prospective national longitudinal study of the health of sexual and gender minority individuals within the United States that has enrolled over 21,000 sexual and gender minority people to date.