In view of the growing number of HIV / AIDS diagnoses in our country, Health Minister Emilio Santelices indicated that the increase was predictable due to the application of new tests. In addition, he assured that the increase in value for next year is likely.
However, in addition to the confirmation of cases through medical examinations, the reality is that in our country there are about 70 thousand people infected by HIV, a number that calls into question prevention campaigns and public policies implemented in recent years.
Víctor Hugo Robles, a homosexual activist, pointed out that in the community history of HIV in Chile there has never been a direct and audacious campaign for the prevention of the virus and sexually transmitted diseases, but that they have always been influenced by prejudices, influences and political pressures and religious
Robles commented that he was able to study written archives that realize that in the first campaigns after the return to democracy, a bishop of the time sent letters to President Aylwin to ask him not to talk about the condom. On his return, the president replied that they should not worry because the condom would not be included.
"When a political authority gives in and kneels before petitions and obligations imposed by the Catholic Church, it is impossible to carry out prevention campaigns, and this action is responsible, like others that have been done by other Concertación, New Majority, be direct, bold, do not campaign free of all kinds of pressure and talk openly about sex education, "he said.
In addition, the activist known as Che de los Gays explained that the main mistake is to think that the campaign will solve the problem and offer sex education, when in fact the only thing that can be achieved is to generate an alert voice, a voice that also can not be achieved. if this campaign is made only once a year.
"There must be formal sexual education throughout the public apparatus, in all formal education, there must be sex education, prevention education, safe sex in all schools that start in the gardens."
Robles added that it is necessary to declare a health emergency in relation to HIV because it will allow more resources and generate the state of alert that is needed in society, because it is not possible for a country that plans to face the numbers that it has today. activist, it would also be very important for the media to join in the prevention with their own campaigns against the virus.
On the other hand, Juan Pablo Sutherland, an academic of the Gender Masters of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Chile, agrees with Robles's vision, and alludes to this in addition to the campaigns themselves as content, these are a reflection of a public policy that has been deficient and has not fulfilled what was offered: preventing and controlling HIV.
"This public alert (campaign) has to be accompanied by services and support, in that sense I think there is a political responsibility to accompany the technical teams that have been around for a long time to work on AIDS prevention, but their measures have had difficulties with conservative religious powers, political parties that even made Channel 13 and Mega at one point did not show the campaigns, that is, there is a political institutional responsibility to get to the situation we are in, "he explained.
HIV numbers rise and everyone is scandalized …
1993 In 1993, Channel 13 and Mega refused to broadcast the prevention campaign … Here are the results. Do you remember this? pic.twitter.com/lAdmpXdiH6
– TheHeartHeads (@lifeheads) December 4, 2018
The scholar emphasized that from his work experience he could see how campaigns were always subject to political approval, which generated many conflicts, because they should justify why the condom should be used and promoted: "often the political directions they prevented further progress from real perspectives where there was diagnosis, where there were studies, and there is a great responsibility, that is, there is not even a study of sexual behavior. "
The author also said that more substantive measures need to be taken, for example, in order for the State to assume the importance of implementing sex education and for the population to have the perception that HIV is an epidemic that adapts to the forms of behavior sexual relations. In addition, it is understood that it can affect all population groups and not just those who are most vulnerable.
"Everything that is exploding today has to do with situations that have not been addressed before and with unfulfilled promises," he said.
Dr. Alejandro Afani, Director of the HIV Clinic at the Hospital das Clínicas of the University of Chile, indicated that although there has been work on policies to increase diagnosis, the application has not been so significant as to justify the increase with this reason, the increase is due to young people's lack of awareness of fear, less use of protective measures for safer sex, ineffective prevention campaigns and lack of sex education.
"Campaigns of the past, of course, they did not work, but we would not be talking about it today." They did not serve for many reasons and you have to learn it.First because they were very short-lived campaigns that were obsolete, did not identify the youth and had no impact, "Afani explained.
Regarding the preparation and reception of the campaigns, the doctor said that society is much more prepared to face the issue than it was years ago: "The issue is not society, it is the question who manages the contents and who manages the public policies that society and education that is fundamental, the sex education that must be worked between the Ministry of Health and Education to be able to structure from the first stages of life.
"This must transcend all political, religious and ideological spheres, because it is a matter of public health, medical and should not be for the balance of government of the day. We have to have robust public health policies to be able to respond and that this is not a problem in the future and that is controlled, "he concluded.