Sandra Isano is a Rwandan researcher, Lecturer, and Coordinator for Community Based Education in the Department of Community Health, and Social Medicine at the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE). Sandra has more than 7 years of experience in the areas of project management, HIV research for key populations, and community engagement. She is also a self-described LGBTQ+ health activist: “In the majority of sub-Saharan African countries, many sexual and gender minorities do not have access to basic health care. Moreover, stigma and discrimination are rampant, and they decrease their proclivity to seek out existing healthcare services. I am passionate about this work because I believe that health is a human right and that everyone deserves to live a healthy and dignified life irrespective of sexual orientation.”
Sandra is a 2020 Changemaker for the Isibindi Program awarded to individuals fighting for social justice, equality, and dignity of vulnerable and marginalized populations in their communities. She was selected a winner of Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Health and Wellbeing’s 2020 Data Science & SGM Health Equity Paper Competition for her work on “Barriers to Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) use among Men who have Sex with Men in sub-Saharan Africa: An online cross-sectional survey”. Recently, Sandra also spoke on a panel on “Current Issues in LGBTQ Health”. As a 2016-2017 Global Health Corps (GHC) fellow with the Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group, Sandra led research on health interventions for same-sex attracted men, transgender individuals, and sex workers.
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