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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

LATIN AMERICA: Fashion Advice and Info for HIV-Positive Women




 

Inter Press Service (03.23.09) - Monday, April 06, 2009

Launched in February, the "No estas sola" (You Are Not Alone) magazine provides Latina women with information about HIV/AIDS as well as articles on fashion and entertainment. It is distributed in the 20 Latin American countries where there are national chapters of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW). The publication's name is from an ICW Latina campaign that provides information on preventing mother-to-child HIV infection.

The quarterly magazine is the brainchild of ICW Latina's regional secretariat, Argentine Patricia Perez. "Information is a right," said Perez, who is the magazine's chief editor.

The magazine's articles touch on medical advice and discuss pill reminders and new medications. Argentine designer Maria Cher has a column that gives HIV-positive Latinas advice on how to remain stylish by working with changes in the body's distribution of fat that are often a side effect of antiretroviral drugs. There is also a section for girls and adolescents, informed by youths who took part in ICW meetings in which they expressed their hopes: "to not be discriminated against," "for talks on HIV/AIDS to be held in every school," and "to be able to help encourage the girls not to be overcome by a sense of desperation." "The women who belong to the network were grassroots activists without experience in organizing, and they have been empowered," said Maria Mansilla, content editor for No estas sola. "Many today are leaders who are seeking to transmit their messages in creative, alternative ways, with music, songs, and the commitment of artists. These are nonconventional ways of raising awareness and informing people." "Magazines in doctors' offices often show HIV-positive women in the role of victims, leading tragic lives," said Mansilla. "But the ones I know are happy, full of energy, and living healthy, keeping track of their immune systems."



 


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Information in this article was accurate in April 6, 2009. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.