[lang_en]Over 100 attend: Vida/SIDA hosts Forum ¬“Hermanos de Luna y Sol”[/lang_en]



Alejandra Burrows

After nearly five years of independent research, Dr. Rafael Diaz (San Francisco State University) and Dr. Jesus Ramirez-Valles (University of Illinois-Chicago) presented on the pejorative stereotypes and stigmas against Puerto Rican/Latino gay men before 100 people at Paseo Boricua’s La Estancia. On Wednesday January 28, the forum “Hermanos de Luna y Sol: Addressing Stigma and Promoting Community Involvement as HIV Prevention for Gay Latino Men” was sponsored by Vida/SIDA and other community agencies including, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Orgullo en Acción, ALMA and Project CRYSP.

Although the research and results conducted and concluded by both men were similar, their individual portions of the presentation were different and discussed complimentary topics related to human sexuality, HIV/AIDS and high-risk behavior within the context of Latino culture and Latino communities in the United States. Dr. Diaz addressed the residual presence of socio-political discrimination despite efforts made by Latino communities to develop outreach programs, advocacy services and HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness initiatives. From this dialogue the notion of resilience and the factors that sustain individual and community challenges to bigotry and disenfranchisement were discussed within the context of Diaz’s research. Following Diaz’s presentation, Dr. Valles went on to discuss the role of immigration, gentrification and machismo in the context of Chicago and its Puerto Rican/ Latino communities to conclude the forum.

The event also featured dinner, catered by Nellie’s Restaurant and a performance by the LGBT students from Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School and the Bomba y Plena group, Nuestro Tambo. A welcome was given by Dr. David Munar (Vice President, AIDS Foundation of Chicago) and Dr. Roberto Sanabria (Board Member of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center), on behalf of Vida/SIDA and AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Vida/SIDA was very happy to collaborate in this important event and looks forward for many more on these important issues.[/lang_en]

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