The inaugural Through Positive Eyes workshop, in June 2008, was held during the build up to that year’s XVII International AIDS Conference, which emphasized continuing breakthroughs in antiretroviral treatment in relation to the epidemics in Latin America. On the intimate level of the workshop, however, the Mexico City participants focused on fundamental human issues—loving and being loved; the impact of HIV on the transgender community; the sexual expression of women with HIV; and the desire to be radiantly, defiantly, muscularly healthy, even while taking HIV medication.
Mexico’s AIDS Epidemic, as of 2008
- Number of people living with HIV
- Adults (15–49 years)
- Female sex workers
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject drugs
Universal access to antiretroviral drugs through national social security program since 2003.
- Numbers on treatment
- % of those living with HIV who are receiving it
- Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation outlawed.
- National anti-homophobia campaign launched.
- Supreme court rejects dismissal of HIV-positive soldiers from military.
- Needle exchange programs in six states.
- XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City: “Universal Action Now.”
230,000 Mexicans are living with HIV. HIV prevalence has risen to 20.7% in men who have sex with men. 70% of people living with HIV are on treatment and 89% of these have no detectable virus in their blood. (AIDS deaths not published for Mexico.)
I am an electrician and I have been living with HIV for the past fifteen years. That afternoon when I got the news, I was in shock. I left the doctor’s office and wandered aimlessly along the …
I am twenty-four years old and I love rainy days. As raindrops fall, I am reminded of the place where, ten years ago, I started understanding myself as gay. It was the first time I ever shared …
I am not sure if I contracted HIV through a blood transfusion or by contact with contaminated medical instruments. But when I was diagnosed twelve years ago, I was sure it was God’s punishment. I was …
When I learned I had HIV, I thought that all feelings and emotions and doors would now be closed to me. After a while, I learned that HIV is only one part of me, that I have no reason to fall apart, …
Ilsa is the name I have given myself. Now that I am eighteen years old, I feel empowered and my decisions are legally recognized. What I want is to feel fulfilled and productive, in order to take the …
I was diagnosed with HIV over five years ago. Before then my life was no different from that of any other housewife. I consider myself to be a strong woman, but if they tell you that you have a …
I am forty-one years old, I’ve been married for nineteen years, and I have been living with HIV for the past seven. Before being diagnosed I was another woman, the typical housewife who takes care of …
When the doctor told me we needed to discuss the results of my blood test, I already knew I was positive. I guessed it because Alfredo, my lover, had been diagnosed already. It was a hard blow for …
My HIV infection was the consequence of a gang rape. When the doctors gave me the diagnosis, I felt my life was over. What else could happen to me? I had been a very abused child. My mother was …
Eighteen years ago I was working in a laboratory, and it was in that very place that I tested myself for HIV. The result was positive. It was hard for me to accept the news. The hardest thing to …
I was diagnosed with HIV just a year ago. I was not surprised. I always took care, but then on one occasion I didn’t protect myself. I became seriously ill and there seemed no hope I would live. My …
When I learned the results of my HIV test, I asked myself if I could live with the infection. At that moment, all my prejudices and internalized stigmas came to the surface, because although I knew …
My reaction twelve years ago, when I learned I was HIV-positive, was to feel I had been so stupid, because I had the information and didn’t use it. I played with fire and look at the result. My lover …
I am thirty-nine and have been living with HIV for fifteen years. When I received the diagnosis, I felt like I was already dying. I thought of my three children and imagined I was losing them. I was …
Through Positive Eyes in Mexico City—Una Mirada Positiva—was organized in partnership with Letra S, with major funding from The Ford Foundation and the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS).