Colombia – In Need of Policies for Sexual Diversity

  • November 18, 2015
  • News

MARCHA LGBT MARCHA LGBT (4).JPGHIV rates in the LGBT community in the main cities of Colombia show a lack of State policies to prevent infection.

More than 40 thousand people in Colombia have HIV. Cesar Núñez, UNAIDS regional director for South America, ranks Colombia as the third country in the region with more cases of HIV per year. According to the National Institute of Health, 8,768 cases were reported until week 41 of the year 2015; it is an increase of 7.89% (641 cases) between 2014 and 2015.

The two most recent epidemiological studies are from 2010, one is called Study of Prevalence in Key Populations by the Global Fund. The other is Sexual Behavior and HIV Prevalence among Men-Who-Have-Sex-with-Men (MSM) in Colombia by the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Both studies showed alarming levels of HIV in MSM and trans women; for this reason, in April 2011 it was executed the Global Fund Project that aimed at strengthening the institutional and community capacity to provide quality services, and it will end in March 2016.

The cities with the highest HIV rates regarding MSM are: Cali (24.1%); Bogotá (15%) and Barranquilla (13.6%). Furthermore, the results of trans women are: Cali (18%); Bogotá (17%) and Barranquilla (13%). Most transsexuals work with sex, exposed to danger and insecurity, abuse and police harassment, as summarized in the Executive report on the fundamental rights of women, adolescents, older women and transgender women in the city of Cali in 2013 of the Personality of Santiago de Cali.

These figures are due to the ineffectiveness of the State to generate prevention campaigns. Some of them are only for straight people. This makes it difficult to identify the most vulnerable HIV people.

Discrimination, social and state stigmas help ignore the infection figures in the LGBT community and make these people hide their sexual activities, putting them at risk.

The State is ignorant of this population and does not know how to address it. There should be sexual health campaigns in order to help reduce STD and HIV rates consistently.