Machismo, Homophobia Undermine HIV-Prevention Efforts in Mexico, Advocates Say
Mexico's National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS, known as Censida, has launched efforts to raise public awareness about HIV/AIDS and combat machismo and homophobia, both of which are fuelling the country's epidemic, Dominican Today reports. The center's director, Jorge Saavedra, speaking at a conference at the University of California-Los Angeles, said machismo undermines prevention messages and "puts women, as well as men, at risk." He added that in Mexico, "fighting homophobia is one of the best ways to fight HIV." The center, with financial assistance from the Mexican government, has launched a radio campaign to fight stigma and prejudice surrounding HIV/AIDS in Mexico. A recent survey conducted in Mexico by UCLA found that 57% of respondents said they would "not want to live in the same house as someone with AIDS," and 66% of respondents said they would not want to reside with someone who identifies as gay, the Dominican Today reports. The UCLA branch of the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center has been partnering on HIV/AIDS programs in Mexico for more than 10 years, providing voluntary training to more than 5,000 health workers in 20 Mexican states. Saavedra at the conference also addressed the issue of HIV/AIDS and undocumented residents in Mexico, who lack access to health care and often do not get tested for HIV. "Many people are living with AIDS without knowing it ... motivating the public to get tested is the important thing," said Rosa Solorio, an assistant professor at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine (Dominican Today, 2/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.