STD/AIDS prevention in gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals pride parades: the Brazilian experience in fostering rapid testing
K. Bruck de Freitas1, C. Ribeiro2, B. Graner3
1Brazilian Aids Program, Brasilia, Brazil, 2Brazilian Aids Program, Laboratory, Brasilia, Brazil, 3Brazilian Aids Program, Human Rigths and Civil Society, Brasilia, Brazil
Issues: In Brazil the AIDS epidemic is classified as concentrated, with prevalence in the population at large of 0.61% compared to over 5% in specific groups (IDU, SP and MSM). It is estimated that at least 255 Brazilians that have never been tested are infected by the AIDS virus. Gays and other MSM still come up against barriers to their accessing prevention and diagnosis services.
Description: Since 2004, the Brazilian AIDS Programme has been providing technical and financial support for prevention activities associated to the Pride Parades of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals. Financing is done by means of a public selection process directed at civil society organizations (CSO). In 2009 the offer of fast anti-HIV testing services during the parades was introduced for the first time. An agreement was drawn up with the CSOs responsible for organising the parades, representatives of the federal sphere responsible for the procurement and distribution of laboratory materials, and state authorities responsible for making the action feasible. Technical aspects, and the questions of confidentiality and eventual referral to health services associated to testing for HIV infection diagnosis, were all duly taken into account. The 23 projects that received support unfolded actions to promote sensitivity and awareness in regard to discovering serological status in 11 Brazilian cities and 2,882 tests were eventually conducted. Results indicated a prevalence of 1.55.
Lessons learned: This action promoted a partnership alliance with the MSM movement and showed itself to be a widely acceptable and effective health promotion strategy.
Next steps: Expand the action to embrace the next 120 parades scheduled to take place in state capitals and other large and medium-sized cities around Brazil.
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