Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - The goal of SETAC's 'Brigades for Life' program is to help all people know their HIV status, as this is a duty not only of the health system but also of the population, who should be informed that there is a free test available and that everyone has the opportunity - and the responsibility - to be tested and diagnosed in a timely fashion.
On Saturday, August 25, SETAC's second Brigade for Life was held in Pitillal, where a prevalence of women was noted. In addition to free testing and counseling, the Brigade distributed 3500 condoms, 100 education and prevention brochures, 50 promotional coupons, and 300 "I Use Condoms" slogan bracelets.
"The last 'Brigade' in Pitillal showed us the need to continue and expand this program. Many of the people who attended expressed their gratitude, and encouraged us to continue the program. We found the need and desire to learn, and people who just want to protect themselves," SETAC Director Paco Arjona said.
"According to WHO (World Health Organization) prevalence studies, there are an estimated 220,000 people living with HIV in Mexico, which by conservative estimates means there could be as many as 110,000 people who are unknowingly infected," said AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Deputy Director of Advocacy and Prevention for Latin America and SETAC ally, Jorge Bedoya.
Access to HIV testing is the missing link in the fight against AIDS, and to the reality that people with HIV are often unaware that they are infected until the virus is well advanced.
SETAC's next 'Brigade for Life' is scheduled to be held on Saturday, September 22 at Plaza Lázaro Cárdenas on the south side of Puerto Vallarta. Information and services are free, safe, reliable, and provided in both English and Spanish.
You can help create "A World Without Aids for Our Children" by supporting the SETAC 'Brigades for Life' program. Your donations and support as volunteers can help to benefit a larger number of people in and around Puerto Vallarta. For more information, call (322) 224-1974.Translated and edited by The Banderas News Team
The purpose of the SETAC Puerto Vallarta Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Community Center, located at Constitucion #427 on the corner of Manuel Dieguez, is to provide essential services to the GLBT community, including support in recovery from alcoholism and other afflictions, physical and mental health treatment and referrals, education and recreation in an atmosphere of safety, free from discrimination. For more information, contact Paco Arjona at (322) 224-1974 or paco(at)setac.com.mx.
Click HERE to learn more about Centro Comunitario SETAC-GLBT.