The South Florida Men's Health and Wellness Conference 2015 comes to Fort Lauderdale this weekend with an emphasis on reaching out to those who are MSM (men who have sex with men).

This group of men are classified by the Centers for Disease Control as MSM because of their reluctance to self-identify as gay or bisexual, say social workers.

"We do not judge," said Fernando De Hoyos, a linkage and navigation specialist for the community based organization Latinos Salud.

De Hoyos said men classified as MSM ran the gamut between those who only occasionally have sex with men, while preferring to present a heterosexual existence to those who engage in prostitution and "survival sex" and the often forgotten prison population.

Including MSM in the conference was a goal of several participating groups in an effort to reach individuals who may not frequent public spaces where health officials operate.

"We want to reach the entire male community," said Christopher Bates, Director, Men's Health, Wellness and Prevention Program, Florida Department of Health in Broward County.

At the conference, attendees will receive information and linkage to resources ranging from mental health, physical health, sexual health and gateway to health. Several physicians, doctors, activists and PhDs are scheduled to speak.

The conference is Saturday and Sunday (July 18-19) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel Fort Lauderdale, 1825 Griffin Road, Dania, Florida 33004. It is being sponsored by the Florida Department of Health in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, DeSoto and Monroe Counties. To register online, visit All-Men.Healthcare


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