XVIII International AIDS Conference

Abstract

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Memory of the fight against HIV in Mexico: citizenship lines unfinished

M.A. Garcia Murcia

UNAM, ENP, Mexico, Mexico

Background: In 2009 the National Council to Prevent Discrimination funded the study: Memory of the fight against HIV in Mexico. Its importance lies in that so far there are few retrospective approaches on how the epidemic has changed the Mexican political culture, especially regarding the exercise of citizenship.
Citizenship is understood as the participation of people in social and political decisions through legal instruments.
Considering that knowledge of this transformation could promote an effectively articulate response, this study had as proposal to investigate the way the exercise of citizenship was driven in Mexico and the factors that have impacted it.
Methods: The study is based on a historical analysis of the environment in which the epidemic emerged in Mexico, the role of media, government and social practices of stigma and discrimination.
This led to interpret the actions of women and men from civil society, who promoted citizen participation in fighting HIV. Their actions were reconstructed from documentary analysis of private files, and with the using of oral history tools.
Results: The HIV epidemic began a decisive change from 1988 when a small group of activists proposed a social vision of the disease against the Government´s view that AIDS was assumed as a matter only clinical and biological. From that moment, he pushed social networks in which citizenship was re-conceptualized through specific actions to defend human rights and advocacy.
Conclusions: An articulated response to AIDS can not be achieved without transforming the social and political relations in countries like Mexico. But even when a new era of citizenship exercise began in 1988, only a small number of people included it in its political culture.
Therefore, Mexico´s current challenge is to extend this new understanding of citizenship. That is a condition without which social participation in the fight against HIV will have little success.


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