Analysis of the homophobia and its impact on the AIDS response in Guatemala

Published: August 1, 2008

Analysis of the homophobia and its impact on the AIDS response in Guatemala

Issues: This analysis was motivated by the homophobia within a culture of exclusion and aggression towards homosexuals, transgender, transsexuals, lesbians and bisexuals, whose human rights are being violated in Guatemala, especially the right to life, health, especially in relation to HIV, and integrity.

Description: Analysis of material published in the mass media, systematized by the NGO OASIS, which enables visualizing homophobia. The main entities that violate the rights of the communities of sexual diversity are:
– Governmental bodies: patterns of extrajudicial executions and arbitrary detentions by police and military, persecution of CSW, extortion, etc.
– Social groups: Mayans demand the “eradication” of homosexuality, considering it as an “external evil”.
– Mass Media: Sensationalistic news about homosexuals, columns of a homophobic nature.
– Political parties: speaks against homosexuality. Existence of homophobic legislation.
– Churches: Messages denigrating homosexual people, pronunciations of leaders against homosexuality and other means of psychosocial repression.

Lessons learned:
– Existence of a homophobic State, irrespective of human rights of GLBT, which fosters aggression and hate.
– Mass media and other institutions promote a culture of exclusion; hence the need to engage much more in educating and maintaining dialogue with those on sexual diversity and HIV.
– The difficulty of tabling the complexity of double or triple discrimination being part of the groups of sexual diversity, Maya and on top being PLWHA.
– Churches promote stigmatization of communities of sexual diversity to its audience.
– Political parties promote homophobic legislation to its constituencies that amount to psychological and physical aggressions.

Next steps:
– New alliances with Churches and political representatives to design and implement anti-homophobic campaigns.
– Sensitizing and capacitating all sectors of society on sexual diversity and the vulnerability to HIV.

-Abstract available at link below-

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