Latin American HIV/AIDS Advocacy Group Launches Magazine for Women
The Inter Press Service on Monday examined a new magazine published by the Latin American branch of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS. The magazine -- called "No Estas Sola," or "You Are Not Alone" -- focuses on providing HIV-positive women in Latin America with information about the virus, stigma, their rights and empowerment. Maria Mansilla, the editor in charge of the publication, said, "What we are trying to do through the magazine is to break with the weepy approach, where there is only room for complaints or for the scientific-medical perspective." The magazine is a quarterly publication that is distributed in the 20 Latin American countries where ICW Latina has national chapters. Daniel Barberis, media officer for ICW Latina, said the magazine could be published more frequently in the future.
Mansilla said the magazine's audience ranges from women who were diagnosed as HIV-positive 20 years ago to "others who just found out," adding that "the agenda has to be balanced and built by all of us together." Design and media professionals were invited to help work on the publication, according to Mansilla. She said that the "idea was not to produce a publication showing what our organization does, but to have a new tool for our work." Mansilla added, "Magazines in doctors' offices often show HIV-positive women in the role of victims, leading tragic lives. But the ones I know are happy, full of energy and living healthy smoking-free lives, keeping close track of their immune systems" (Inter Press Service, 3/23).