Fear, rejection, discrimination and mistreatment were some of the social reactions that the people with hiv had to face in Bolivia when the epidemic started, said Edgar Valdez, the Director of el Instituto para el Desarrollo Humano (IDH) in Bolivia.
The first activity carried out by the IDH was fighting against stigma and discrimination towards people with hiv, expressed Valdez. He also said that there were difficult moments, a lot of people died alone because their families and friends turned their backs on them, but during those years they also witnessed kind gestures from friends, relatives and partners that were there for their loved-ones until the very end.
Mr. Valdez highlights that, on one hand, they had to overcome the obstacles put by some political authorities, but on the other hand, they could always count on the support of some other authorities.
Different media understood the task the IDH was performing and the IDH worked hand in hand with them to provide simple, straightforward and scientific information about hiv and sexuality to the population.
The IDH along with the people with hiv fought for the access to antiretrovirals, the enactment of the Resolution 0660 and the aids law Nº 3729. In the same way, they created ExpoSida, they worked with the authorities of the Health Service Department, the Direction of Education, principals, teachers and students to have talks in schools and with the families about these topics.
Likewise, Valdez explained that they haven’t succeeded in halting the spread of hiv in Bolivia, on the contrary, there are new cases every day. Because of this situation, they have to work so that Cochabamba’s municipalities and government allocate funds to prevent, diagnose and treat hiv. He mentioned that they had to make an important effort to achieve that the funds were properly used. In this sense, he remarked that it is important that the government is up to date on the new strategies that will allow to limit the epidemic so as to have a timely diagnosis which allows to start their treatment and that their viral load is undetectable.