Archive for February, 2015

Guatemala – working for LGBTI people deprived of liberty and recognizing their basic rights

Guatemala – working for LGBTI people deprived of liberty and recognizing their basic rights

  • 28th February 2015
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Organizations working in the field of sexual diversity in Guatemala recently signed an agreement with authorities of the penitentiary system to achieve respect for the human rights of LGBTI people. Unfortunately, in Latin America the general rule in the prison systems is the structural weakness, overcrowding, and the undeniable presence of parallel powers. These factors, in the majority of cases, seem to be those who most influence when it comes to the respect of the rights of those who serve a sentence within these facilities. In the case of the LGBT community, a population that faces major problems of discrimination in our society, it is also seriously affected within the penitentiary system in Guatemala. All of this together with widespread violence and large indifference on the part of the authorities. Despite multiple efforts by civil society to mitigate and contain the effects of the system, the situation is becoming increasingly…
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And the famous 90 – 90 – 90 continues…

And the famous 90 – 90 – 90 continues…

  • 28th February 2015
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From 10 to 11 February in Switzerland, UNAIDS, along with the CDC and the Duchy of Luxembourg organized the global consultation on key populations and targets 90 - 90 - 90. The global consultation was intended to identify action steps to ensure that key populations reach the 90 - 90 – 90 targets. There were participants from all parts of the world and a group of representatives of networks of Latin America and the Caribbean were invited. It took enough time listening to individuals of specific populations such as people with HIV, men who have sex with men, sex workers, among others. The problem of stigma and discrimination hasn’t been solved so far, and because of that people prefer not to approach to health services. Among the positive aspects is that consultation brings with it the support in the response of the Government of Luxembourg, so we have the expectation…
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Mexico – Program of Specific Actions for the HIV Response: Progress and Challenges

Mexico – Program of Specific Actions for the HIV Response: Progress and Challenges

  • 28th February 2015
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According to the national HIV program, during 2012 in Mexico only 52% of people with HIV was aware of their diagnosis. 40% was in treatment and only 26% had an undetectable viral load. Unfortunately we don’t have specific information by age, sex, or other certain social situations, which makes it hard on the obtaining of an exact estimate of the impact of the epidemic in Mexican women. The Program of Specific Actions for the HIV Response recognizes the need to expand the prevention work to people who are in a situation of inequality. In this way, we can achieve early diagnosis and improve the quality of care, giving as a result a great improvement in the quality of life of people with HIV. In addition to the populations of men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and drug users, the Program of Action proposes to include women…
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Children with HIV and their treatment

Children with HIV and their treatment

  • 19th February 2015
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The health of many children with HIV in the United States could improve thanks to a few drugs and effective prevention methods. Unfortunately we cannot say the same for many other children in the rest of the world. According to Dr. Kimberly Bates, Director of a hospital for children and families with HIV, in Ohio “in the United States, transmission from mother to child has been dramatically reduced, since we have been doing a good job to prevent it. In fact, the probability of a baby to contract HIV from their mother is now less than 1%, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)”. The AIDS epidemic has had a more severe effect on children around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 3.4 million children worldwide had HIV at the end of 2011. “Drugs are much simpler, and can prevent complications. Although we…
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Peru – Ministry of Women’s Affair and its commitment to the LGBT community

Peru – Ministry of Women’s Affair and its commitment to the LGBT community

  • 18th February 2015
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A few days ago a group named “no tengo miedo” (I’m not afraid) drew up a valuable report on the terrible reality lived by homosexual, transsexual, bisexual and intersex people in Peru. This report was presented to the Minister of Women’s Affair, Mrs. Carmen Omonte. This document represented a historic moment, since it is the first time that Government officials meet with representatives of the LGBT community to discuss and develop a plan of action on rights for the LGBT community. Mrs. Omonte, who once was doubtful regarding the campaign of Civil Union for same-sex couple, decided to engage in the defense of the rights of the LGBT population. The Minister admitted that it will not be an easy battle, but she will do her best. “(…) there are internal and external claims to start changing this situation. There is a commitment from our institution to address the issue. We…
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Venezuela – the health sector crisis

Venezuela – the health sector crisis

  • 17th February 2015
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It is perhaps not the first time we hear about the scarcity problem of basic products in Venezuela. The situation continues, and the problem of scarcity has reached its more critical point. This, together with long lines to purchase any commodity, be it food, medicine, items of personal hygiene, among many others. Regarding antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), the situation has not improved at all. Alberto Nieves, activist and Executive Director of Acción Ciudadana Contra el Sida (ACCSI) in Venezuela, commented that “the problem of the shortage of ARVs is complex for the Venezuelan Government, since they can’t admit it before the whole continent. Otherwise they’ll ruin their speech, in which they say they “guarantee” the health of all Venezuelans.” One possible way would be the intermediation of organizations such as Mercosur and UNASUR, so that they can offer us technical cooperation. But it is a pity to see how the Horizontal…
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How to build our manhood in modern times

How to build our manhood in modern times

  • 12th February 2015
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Discussions on the sphere of masculinity in Latin America have once again gained strength. The V International Symposium of studies on men and masculinity took place from the 14th to 16th of January at the University of Chile, and became a space that revived the issue of machismo and masculinity in Latin America. It concluded that manhood, in Latin American, is a construction that generates different identities or representations of what means being a man. The several discussions of the Symposium are summarized in an article entitled “Manhood: how to build our manhood in times of feminism”. This brought us close to the possibility of a new manhood. However, there is a subject barely discussed in those studies and, it is about stories of life of men that tell how they have determined their learning of a natural man, allowing themselves to build a new manhood. For instance, the stories…
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Colombia – LGBT community in wait before legal ambiguities

Colombia – LGBT community in wait before legal ambiguities

  • 12th February 2015
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Despite the fact that the Colombian Constitutional Court has expressed its support to the LGBT community in areas such as the right to inherit, the recognition of civil unions, social security to same-sex couples; on the topic of equal marriage and adoption, the Colombian Government hasn’t done much about it. Regarding same-sex marriage, the 2011 C-577 law established that same-sex couples also represent a family. However, due to lack of consensus, instead of declaring that same-sex couples had the right to get married, the Court used the term “solemnization of union”, which created a legal ambiguity, since some judges have already married couples, while others say it is not possible, because the Court does not use the term marriage, and “solemnization” is not a regulated status. In addition to that, it would be discriminatory, since it provides less benefits than marriage between heterosexual couples. On the other hand, the subject…
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Can I get HIV if I perform oral sex?

Can I get HIV if I perform oral sex?

  • 10th February 2015
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There are so many myths surrounding HIV and AIDS; among them, the most important are all those related to its transmission. Today, it is widely known that the HIV-virus, can only be transmitted through five bodily fluids, which possess the quantity and quality to transmit the HIV. These five fluids are: semen, preseminal fluid, vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk. This means, that only these five bodily fluids can transmit the virus, the rest don’t have the quantity or quality necessary to transmit the virus to another person. Once this fact is clarified, we can dispel wrong pieces of information about the transmission of HIV. In fact, knowing this, we can realize that, despite everything, HIV is a virus difficult to transmit, unlike others. Among the routes of transmission, the one with the highest prevalence is the sexual route; either through anal sex, or vaginal. It is well known that…
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Chile – For the first time, the Chilean State recognizes that same-sex couples also represent a family

Chile – For the first time, the Chilean State recognizes that same-sex couples also represent a family

  • 6th February 2015
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Since January 28th in Chile, same-sex couples have a legal instrument that recognizes their union as a complementary civil status. This represents a significant step in the recognition of the rights of the Chilean LGBT population. This law will give legal recognition and protection to same-sex parents, who have been historically discriminated. Now, Chileans are only waiting for the Civil Union agreement to be enacted as a law of the Republic by President Michelle Bachelet. In this sense, the legislation will regulate the legal effects of common and affective life of two persons of the same or different sex, and will benefit more than two million people in the country, which is equivalent to 12.5% of the total national population. The news was widely celebrated by the LGBT population as a triumph in the recognition of civil rights and the eradication of social gaps towards homosexual people. “We are happy…
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