XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Using artistic exhibitions as a way to reduce HIV related stigma and discrimination in Mexico City prisions

O. López Uribe

Balance Promoción para el Desarrollo y Juventud AC, Youth, México City, Mexico

Issues: Stigma, Discrimination, Diversity, People deprived from freedom, art.
Description: The project “Bodies 4 diversity” is an artistic exhibition which aims mainly at creating awareness and sensitizing people on the importance of the body.
It has as underlying topics HIV, discrimination and sexual diversity.
It consists of six art pieces representing various approaches to one or more of the topics. Each piece is designed so that people can interact and through the interaction raise the personal interest to understand the messages and to reflect on them.
The project made one week visits to 4 men prisons, 1 women prison and on high security prison in Mexico City.
Lessons learned: The project was successful in attaining the acceptance and interaction of the inmates. They even supported logistically and artistically the project and shared with the facilitators their considerations and comments.
In one of the pieces they were invited to write their considerations and the inmates actively took part and shared their thoughts on sexual diversity, self-care and respect for other people decisions. The inmates for more art exhibitions and activities that enhance their own knowledge and reflection about HIV and sexuality.
The inmates showed religious influence in the written and verbal comments.
In the case of women, their considerations on their body showed a heavy component of repressed sexual drive and a related painful resignation. They talked of their body as something uncomfortable and not belonging to them. They considered the mind as their only space of freedom.
Next steps: Involve more closely some of the inmates and provide them with adequate training in order to become informers and awareness raisers for other inmates in the prison.

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