Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - SETAC kicks off 2013 with the first of ten planned "HIV Brigades" this year on Saturday, February 2nd, in front of the landmark arches of the Malecon. From 12 -7 pm, volunteers and the staff of SETAC will be providing free, instant, HIV testing for all those interested. Everyone is invited and no one will be turned away.
The HIV Brigade is only one of the many outreach programs provided by SETAC, the GLBT Community Center in Puerto Vallarta. The friendly HIV Brigadiers will also be giving out free condoms, prevention packages, onsite counseling, and up-to-date informational brochures dealing not only with HIV and AIDS, but also with Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and other related concerns of the community.
"This is a very important tool in our ongoing program to effectively reduce cases of HIV in Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas," says SETAC Executive Director Paco Arjona. "The key to this is prevention and early detection. The HIV Brigade provides a free, direct, and confidential way for people to get immediate results on their HIV status, and if it is positive, to take the first steps in getting it under control."
Today living with HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence due to innovative research and game-changing medicines that are available. As Arjona points out, however, early detection is critical. "The earlier it is detected," he reiterates, "the easier it is to treat."
SETAC works hand-in-hand with the Mexico AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Partially because of efforts like these, the number of HIV infections detected in its early stages sharply increased from 2008 to 2011. The treatment can then begin immediately, making HIV a chronic, treatable disease. In addition to saving lives, this reduces the cost of the care and treatment of those infected with HIV.
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.