Paraguay – members of the LGBT population take reins of the HIV epidemic

  • August 14, 2015
  • News

lgbtThe first week of August, from 3 to 6 August, more than 40 activists, representatives of the LGBT and HIV community in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Paraguay gathered in La Asunción, Paraguay in order to enable a space of collective building in advocacy and joint working strategies for mobilization, training, communication and the development of common actions that impact the community agendas.

More than 1.8 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean have HIV. The epidemic is concentrated in gay men, other men who have sex with men, as well as trans women, sex workers and drug users. Despite the fact that, according to evidence, young people are a population highly affected by HIV, they are not part of political space, and where political decisions about HIV are made.

On the other hand, a large group of Latin American activists has taken the word “bitch”, commonly used as a euphemism aimed at those who have sexual practices different to the standard. For years, the word “bitch” has been part of an oppressive language, set out from a conservative and fundamentalist look.

Gay, trans and female sex workers –key populations in terms of HIV, are a permanent target of the word bitch. Therefore, activists seek to make trend in the use of the word “bitch” with a different approach: when someone’s a “bitch”, is also fierce, jealous, and organized and will defend the causes that unite them.

On the other hand, funding for HIV was also discussed. These funds are subject of a context of constant change and demands greater regional organization. Other topics of discussion include intellectual property, which affects access to medicines.

Finally, valuable experiences of work in the region were also shared.