Visibility and mobilization them MSM for to reduce stigma and discrimination in Aguascalientes, México, traditional state
Issues: Aguascalientes is a traditional state with religious fundamentalism, two-face morality and an evident institutional homophobia. HIV and MSM are not a priority in public policies; therefore, Colectivo Sergay has run a program on HIV prevention and stigma and discrimination reduction between 2005 and 2006 having an impact in the decision-making actors and the mass media.
Description: 60 gay men of Aguascalientes were consulted; the results showed that the place with highest levels of stigma and discrimination is nuclear family. This type of family reinforces rejection, sense of blame, fear and violence. As a response, several workshops were offered: internal stigma, human rights and skills to deal with such difficult topics with their families. 123 participants were reached among MSM and transgender people. The first state forum on sexual diversity was organized in order to stand against the problems and in favor to the needs of said populations; the forum had 152 attendees. A regional MSM meeting was also organized; as a result, a denounce agenda was created. We opened a service to promote human rights protection. As more problems and injustice were identified we started partnerships with two local organizations working jointly putting pressure in the mass media; dialogue with authorities was established so as to make them act achieving to open the State Board for AIDS control and prevention. We belong to that board in order to include complaints and vision of the key populations.
Lessons learned: Joint action from civil society organizations with common objectives and based on the problems they face becomes highly powerful to demand an improve response from institutions and decision-making actors.
Next steps: To have an impact in MSM’s social and cultural exclusion by creating a Community Center so they can have a place to meet, share and meditate on.
-Abstract available at link below-