AHF Spotlight: Widespread Testing, Accessible Treatment, and Passionate Advocacy in Mexico

In Global, Mexico by AHF

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Since its inception in 2004 as the first AHF partner country in Latin America, AHF Mexico has had a lasting impact on the fight against HIV and AIDS in the region through mass testing events, passionate advocacy and open discussions with government and nongovernmental agencies, and accessible treatment and care through supported clinics in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Merida, Cancun, Pachuca, and Coatzacoalcos.

With over 17,000 clients already registered and new clinics coming in Nezahualcoyotl, Puerto de Veracruz, Puerto Vallarta, and Cuernavaca, the Mexico team shows no sign of slowing down in its fight against the country’s epidemic, which the United Nations Joint Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates impacts approximately 180,000 people. One of the team’s most important and strongest clinical ties is with the leading facility La Clinica Condesa in Mexico City, which is the largest provider of HIV/AIDS care in Latin America. In partnership with this provider, AHF Mexico launched Pruebabus, a mobile testing unit that makes free, confidential HIV testing accessible to the public out on the streets of Mexico City.

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In addition to providing treatment and care through the clinics it supports, AHF Mexico conducts large testing events several times each year in both rural and urban areas throughout the country. In 2012, 64,000 people were tested for HIV, with those who tested positive being immediately linked into local, sustained care. Adding to the country’s prevention efforts are the opportunities for the public to access free condoms through AHF Mexico’s testing events, clinics, and through the innovative mobile condom distribution initiative Condomóvil, which travels to states throughout Mexico hosting condom distribution and education events. At AHF Mexico’s celebration of International Condom Day on February 13, 2013, more than 100,000 condoms were given away.

AHF Mexico’s tireless advocacy supports the groundbreaking medical and prevention efforts through protests and meetings with officials to help maximize services to people living with HIV. AHF Mexico representatives have been invited as guest speakers in the country’s Congress, Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Public Health, and in the media, among other outlets. In addition to having a presence at Gay Pride events each year, AHF Mexico also led major advocacy efforts in 2012 to protest the discrimination of an HIV-positive child who was denied the right to attend a Hershey, Pennsylvania boarding school simply because of his status. AHF Mexico’s “No Kisses For Hershey” protests helped bring attention the need to fight and end HIV stigma on an international level.

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