viernes, febrero 24
AIDS testing for migrants
THURSDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2012 00:25
BY PATRICK FERGUSON
MEXICO CITY – Condomóvil is traveling the infamous “Bestia” (“Beast”) train route to administer free HIV/AIDS tests to migrants.
On Friday, Condomóvil, a social organization, is sending out a team of five people and a vehicle to Tapachula, Chiapas as part of the “Ruta por la VIHda del Migrante 2012: Ven, hazte la prueba” (“2012 Migrant HIV route: Come on, take the test”) program.
Over a month’s time, the team will make its way to Lecheria, State of Mexico while administering 2,000 HIV/AIDS tests, handing out more than 20,000 condoms and educating migrants, who are largely from Central America, about sexual health issues along the way.
“We know that is it going to be difficult because of certain factors. We know there is sexual abuse, drugs and other obstacles,” said Polo Gómez, the president of Condomóvil. “But these circumstances will only make us work harder. We believe in the work we do.”
Each year, it’s estimated that around 350,00 to 400,000 people from Central and South America travel through Mexico to seek entrance into the United States – most make journey along the Bestia route.
Migrants traveling through Mexico are a vulnerable population and migrant women are often expected to use their bodies as currency in order to reach the U.S.-Mexican border, said Diego Palacios, Representative and Chairman of the United Nations’ (UN) AIDS Theme Group.