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
"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."