Homophobia and vulnerability to STD/HIV and AIDS among youth

Published: August 1, 2008

Homophobia and vulnerability to STD/HIV and AIDS among youth

Background: Respect of homosexuality in the school environment has demonstrated the need for interventions in this field. In addition, social inequality reinforces discrimination of sexual orientation, that contributes to risky sexual practices among homosexual young man. The Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association, ABIA has been implementing an intervention project since 2006, with support from the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC), for education and health professionals in the State of Rio de Janeiro. This study was designed to qualify teachers in the municipalities of New Iguaçu, Duque de Caxias, Araruama and Cabo Frio for promotion of sexual education and gender equality at their schools. Conduct informational workshops and debate on how to approach the theme of homosexuality within the classrooms and on how to deal with homosexual discrimination in the schools.

Methods: Workshops divided in four modules:
I) Treating the differences in the school: gender, sexuality and ethnicity; sexual orientation and sexual identity;
II) Citizenship and Rights: laws, guidelines and projects to combat homophobia;
III) Religiosity and sexual diversity and IV) Stigma: a barrier to the construction of the citizenship.

Results: During 2006-2007 two hundred teachers were trained in the four districts that joined this Project. They discussed the impact of attitudes and beliefs relative to sexual practices, discrimination and their own commitment with the idea of a transforming and participatory educational process. A CD/ video was produced based on the workshops conducted and is being used in other schools to promote information dissemination and debate towards a non homophobic posture in the Brazilian schools under the perspective of gender equality.

Conclusions: The initiative contributed to support public school teachers and educators in combating homosexual discrimination and vulnerability to STD and Aids, and, to the promotion of public policies of gender equality.

-Abstract available at link below-

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