San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Campaign Seeks to Educate Public on AIDS

The Public Health Ministry and members of Costa Rica’s gay community have launched a campaign to educate citizens about HIV/AIDS and its prevention.

Health Minister María Luisa Avila said at a press conference June 22 that the campaign aims to promote condom use and fidelity and to teach the public about the rights of those who have contracted HIV/AIDS.

“The first case of AIDS in Costa Rica was discovered in 1980, and 27 years later there are people with false concepts about the ways it is transmitted and many who continue discriminating against those who are sick,” the minister said.

The campaign involves placing 1,500 posters in health-care centers and educational facilities and holding workshops around the country explained Abelardo Araya, president of the Diversity Movement, a national gay-rights organization.

Araya said the posters are intended to send a message of solidarity to those suffering from AIDS and to promote the respect of their rights.

The goal is to educate the public that AIDS can affect anyone, not just those belonging to a certain race, economic level, gender, sexual orientation or age group.

Statistics show that from 1995 to 2006, there were 2,700 cases of AIDS recorded in Costa Rica, 1,500 of which resulted in death.


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