Prevención del VIH / SIDA, difusión en los Andes bolivianos y las tierras bajas

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Prevention of HIV/AIDS spread in the Bolivian Andes and lowlands

P. Erb

The access to information on HIV-AIDS and sexual health in indigenous communities in Bolivia demands comprehension of their cultural expressions and sexual reality. Without this, the implementation of processes to change practices and attitudes is undesirable. The holistic and cosmic vision Bolivians have of the world is interlaced with traditions, rites and festivities that not even the violent religious domination destroyed.

Save the Children’s work is based on the respect to cultural manifestations so that positive cultural values are not damaged by frameworks that are totally external. Our work is based on a participatory methodology validated in the Andes and lowlands 10 years; based on games and songs this methodology is helping prevent the spread of HIV-AIDS by combining local wisdom with outside information. Our actions are subtle, respectful and reflexive; positive listening and creativity lead to reciprocity and solidarity. We recognize that culture also sanctifies negative practices and can promote violence and injustice. Our challenge is to reflect with children and communities adapting to their reality the desired changes. Children/youth are our best resource to protect the positive of the past that generated happiness and harmony.

Lessons learned:

-Understanding the cultural expressions and sexual reality of indigenous populations is central to ensure development programs are inclusive and knowledge based.

-The involvement of children/youth through the identification of indigenous leaders and the formation/consolidation of youth networks is fundamental to change harmful attitudes and practices among marginal populations.

-Sensitisation/information materials must be easily comprehended. The methodology used was successful because its language is simple and it motivates participants inviting them to sing and play.


-Development programs should be based on a deep understanding of culture and local knowledge.

-Involvement of children/youth/networks at all levels is very important.

-Involving the church/church based groups is important to hasten change.

-Methodologies and materials should be culturally relevant.

AIDS 2006 – XVI International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. CDC1803

Suggested Citation
” P. Erb Prevention of HIV/AIDS spread in the Bolivian Andes and lowlands. : AIDS 2006 – XVI International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. CDC1803″

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