Community mobilizations as a key tool to reduce stigma and discrimination related to HIV and sexual orientation
Issues: Leon Guanajuato is featured by an extreme conservatism prevailing homophobia, phobia to sex and HIV-stigma. This situation is aggravated with the lack of visibility to those people who exercise a different sexuality than the heterosexual; by hiding people living with HIV and discrimination attitudes of health care providers. Community mobilization leaded by the diversity groups in Guanajuato set the recognition and respect of human rights and sexual health of vulnerable groups highlighting the relevance that government facilities have contact with key populations and the community so as to create human rights awareness.
Description: Almost 20,000 individuals were contacted through the Internet in chat rooms and virtual communities at a national level calling more than 1500 people on November 27th 2007 for the first gay parade in the state of Guanajuato. A community mobilization and visibility precedent was established and contributed to reduced stigma and discrimination related to HIV and sexual orientations; including a position before the mass media of Guanajuato gaining the interest of local and national health authorities.
Lessons learned: community mobilization contributes with the visibility of vulnerable groups and empowers its members allowing them to influence in setting public policies to fight stigma and discrimination related to HIV and sexual orientation promoting a better awareness of sexual rights exercise.
Next steps: planning, organizing and carrying out the Second Diversity Parade for November 2008 setting partnerships with other groups.
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