XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Dealing with homophobia and comprehensive care among healthcare and education professionals as a way to approach young homosexuals in Brazil

F. Pedrosa1, C. Castro2, A. Caetano2, A. Joca3

1Grupo de Resistência Asa Branca- GRAB, Diretoria, Fortaleza, Brazil, 2Grupo de Resistência Asa Branca- GRAB, Fortaleza, Brazil, 3Grupo de Resistência Asa Branca, Fortaleza, Brazil

Issues: Coping with the vulnerabilities of young homosexuals in STDs/Aids in Brazil entails many constraints in School and Healthcare centers. The City of Fortaleza, the fifth largest city in the country, according to a 2004 survey conducted by UNESCO: is the city with the highest levels of homophobia in schools. In the area of Health, a 2009 survey spearheaded by the Grupo de Resistência Asa Branca - GRAB, a LGBT Non Governmental Organization, identified school teachers and healthcare professionals as the main cause of homophobia toward gay youth. The survey goes on to identify that 44% stated that their learning is hindered because of the discrimination. 76% of the young people surveyed do not go to public healthcare centers and do not seek the free condoms distributed in these centers because of homophobia. The gay and bisexual population, according to the Ministry of Health, has an incidence of Aids estimated to be 11 times greater than that of the general population, therefore becoming a population which comprises a concentrated epidemic in the country.
Description: GRAB has been executing the SAGAS Project, along with support from the Schorer Foundation, in the area of prevention among young homosexuals, in the poor communities, concentrating efforts in the field of sexual health, following the planned prevention methodology and peer education. Included in intersectoriality are advocacy measures, training and research, together with teachers and healthcare professionals from the public system, aiming toward a pedagogical approach and comprehensive care, which is not homophobic.
Lesson learned: A major lesson learned is that in order to modify this picture, integrated effort is needed in an individual, social and programmatic level which includes planned and sustained action together with the public healthcare and educational systems.
Next steps: Advocacy work, so that recommendations may be included in public health and education policies.

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