Guatemala: Indigenous Theater Is HIV Prevention Tool
May 2, 2011
Theater is emerging as a prevention resource in Guatemala's indigenous communities, which are at high risk for HIV due to poverty, lack of education, and taboos about sexuality.
Stephane Gue works for Proyecto Payaso ("The Clown Project"), which conducts HIV-related workshops and theater performances in Guatemala. He said theater is a particularly effective prevention approach in rural areas, as it communicates information on sensitive topics in a playful, recreational way. "Neither the health centers nor the schools know how to tackle the issues, or have great difficulty in doing so," he noted.
"There is a taboo against using condoms, and gathering a group together to talk about sexual matters is frowned on, especially in the Mayan villages, where this is not accepted because of the conservative nature of their traditions," noted Vinicio Pérez of the National Center for Epidemiology.
Data from the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance show that between 2004 and 2010, more than 3,500 HIV cases were diagnosed among native Guatemalans.
Inter Press Service
04.25.2011; Danilo Valladares
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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