Gay young people have also rights?sexual rights. Empowering gay young people on sexual rights and HIV prevention and care in Mexico

Published: July 21, 2010

F. Rosas

Sistema Nacional de Promocion y Capacitacion en Salud Sexual, A.C., Sexual Rights and HIV Prevention Project, Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico

Issues: In Mexico, 55.09% of HIV cases are related to MSM, which ages are between 25 and 34 years. In terms of human rights, sexuality among MSM is object of stigma and discrimination; many young people experience their sexuality in secrecy and unsecurity. MSM are subject to extortion, crime and impunity.
Description: With the HIV method of with evidence of effectiveness “Mpowerment” (Kegeles, S.M., Hays, R.B., & Coates, T.J., (1996) The Mpowerment Project: A Community-level HIV Prevention Intervention for Young Gay. American Journal of Public Health, 86 (8), 1129- 1136), this project seeks to empower MSM young people on sexual rights to promoting safes sex behaviors against HIV/STI and to influencing in HIV public health policy in Mexico to favoring prevention and care for MSM young people: 223 were trained as peer educators/advocates to fight against homophobia; 90% increased their knowledge on stigma and discrimination and HIV prevention and care. 1035 were approached in outreach; 99% understood the link between sexual rights and HIV prevention and care.
Lessons learned: HIV programs from government and NGOs should fostering an human rights perspective, avoiding another “missed opportunity” in HIV prevention and care for this population.
Next steps:
– Empowering gay young people in sexual rights to identify problems in HIV programming and demanding their unmet needs to government officials and NGOs in needed.
– Advocate for the sexual rights of gay young people should demand the information and services that respond effectively to the unmet needs of prevention and care among MSM youth.
– Homophobia will be eradicated when MSM young people “come out of the closet” demanding for their human rights and challenging stigma and discrimination toward homosexuality and homosexuals.

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