Rutgers scholar Corina Lelutiu-Weinberger, an expert on LGBTQ health in Romania, can provide insight and analysis on the structural discrimination of the LGBT community in Romania, specifically as it relates to their health and the rising incidence of HIV.

According to Lelutiu-Weinberger, HIV is currently on the rise among gay and bisexual men in Romania, driven in large part by the absence of appropriate healthcare systems to support them driven by homophobia. Men fear disclosing their behavior to healthcare workers. “Men who seek frequent testing for HIV are often turned away and verbally abused,” she said. “LGBTQ-affirming mental healthcare is also hard to find in Romania, because such training does not exist in schools or continuing education.”

Lelutiu-Weinberger further noted that despite Romania’s decriminalization of homosexuality in 2001, Romanians hold some of the highest levels of homophobia and transphobia in Eastern and Central Europe.  Consequently, LGBTQ groups are stigmatized; discriminated; lack structural protections such as the ability to marry, spousal benefits, and adoption rights; and avoid seeking healthcare. 

One week ago, a Romanian referendum to change the current definition of marriage from “between two spouses” to “between a man and a woman” failed after too few citizens voted.  “This may indicate that, although Romania may be far from legalizing marriage equality, Romanians may have reached a new milestone in reflecting on these issues and may eventually challenge traditional dogma to move toward equal rights,” she said.

Lelutiu-Weinberger is an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Nursing. Her research in Romania is to improve healthcare access for LGBT groups by fostering interventions for individual patients, and training healthcare professionals in LGBT-affirmative practices.

Media interested in interviewing Lelutiu-Weinberger can contact Cait Coyle at [email protected] or 848-445-1955.



Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) takes an integrated approach to educating students, providing clinical care and conducting research, all with the goal of improving human health. Aligned with Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and collaborating university-wide, RBHS includes eight schools, a behavioral health network and four centers and institutes. RBHS offers an outstanding education in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, biomedical research and the full spectrum of allied health careers. RBHS clinical and academic facilities are located throughout the state.