Gay men, our lives and HIV in Central America and the Caribbean

Published: August 1, 2008

Gay men, our lives and HIV in Central America and the Caribbean

Issues: Approximately 200,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Central America (World Bank, 2006). Prevalence rates reach an estimated 17% in some countries, and the main mode of HIV transmission is men who have sex with men (MSM). Despite the urgency, prevention efforts are disproportionately unavailable for gay men and MSM in Central America. The influx of migrants from Central America into Mexico and the US creates opportunities to bridge ongoing STI and HIV/AIDS prevention efforts multilaterally; maximizing resources and creating opportunities.

Description: We describe the process and findings of one such collaborative endeavor, a recent effort between APLA and participating organizations of CONGA that has resulted in No Mas en el Tintero. This historic publication summarizes gay men’s needs and organizing efforts in Central America. The publication presents the interconnectedness of intellect, the human element and a united commitment to curb HIV infection among multilateral sectors. Here, stigma and enforced silence prevails, infringement upon human rights is the standard, and HIV incidence continues to rise.

Lessons learned: It is beneficial to:
1) Create an exchange of knowledge about the repressive HIV/AIDS issues faced by gay men and MSM in Central America.
2) Enhance the understanding of the interconnectedness of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, advocacy and policy.
3) Identify commonalities and differences experienced by the different countries.
4) Formulating recommendations and strategies that inform future activities and
5) Managing expectations regarding limited resources and the prioritization of shared goals.

Next steps: Collaborate with local partners to implement strategies informing local programmatic efforts around prevention and advocacy; and disseminate No Mas en el Tintero, in the USA.

-Abstract available at link below-

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