Friday, June 27, 2008

Mexico - The Last Day

Today was short and marked by several problems such as our translator canceling Tanitra’s ticket back to New York. Dr. Elu decided today – of all the days that she has spent in Oaxaca – she wanted to go to the Santo Domingo Church. We sent our camera guy along and I think he’s talented enough to turn the half hour she spent in the gift shop into good footage.

On our last day here we were lucky enough to catch a documentary about the teachers uprising 2 years ago. I was amazed to see so many women out on the streets protesting, try to stop the military from entering the city, and setting up food and aid stations. As we walked around the city you could still see evidence of the teachers strike, the economy has not fully recovered.

Since it was a short day, I’ll take this opportunity to make one final point about Mexico and reproductive health. Less than one percent of Mexico’s population is infected with HIV (like Niger where I visited last year). This is what they call a contained epidemic, still largely within the community of men who have sex with men and now sex workers. Like Niger, Mexico is spending a great deal of energy on HIV prevention, particularly among young people, before the epidemic spreads. (A concern is that some of the men who immigrate to the U.S. become infected and bring it back to their wives in Mexico.)

In fact, the UNFPA office is preparing for a huge HIV conference in August.

We’ve noticed is that there are no condoms on display in the pharmacies and wonder if there is a stigma involved with buying them and if that means condom use is low.


lin said...


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