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SOMOSGAY Simon Cazal, SOMOSGAY

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SOMOSGAY delivers a letter to the Ministry of Health
PARAGUAY: SOMOSGAY delivers a letter to the Ministry of Health against homophobia in Paraguay

in PARAGUAY, 25/08/2009

On Tuesday, 25 August at 10 am, Simon Cazal and other representatives of the organization SOMOSGAY submitted a letter requesting the Ministry of Public Health recognize homophobia as a public health problem and proposes an approach to this Department of State to develop with her strategies that address the multiple consequences of this problem in the health of LGBT people of Paraguay. The state agency has undertaken to respond to the letter sent, making room for a meeting with the team SOMOSGAY in the coming days

 Homophobia is a public health problem. Its consequences are manifested in the population in different areas. This assertion, supported by WHO and based on studies around the world, calls for a plan of action and stronger commitment by all the States that comprise the UN. The relationships between same sex partners are illegal in 86 countries, seven of whom condemn it with death penalty. And in many more places worldwide such as Paraguay, are not penalized but are socially punished. These pursuit situations create conditions unfavorable to the health of LGBT people.”Not only it is unethical not to protect these groups, but also do not do not make any sense from a health perspective. It hurts us all, “said Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Homophobia makes a dent in a forgotten aspect of Integral Health: Mental Health. The high morbidity of non-heterosexual people in the field of Mental Health, is a fact that speaks about the disproportionate impact of homophobia in our country. SOMOSGAY emphasizes the importance of beginning to generate data from scientific rigor, so as to provide an effective response in this area.

Homophobia creates social conditions that make HIV impact harder among gay men. Studies have shown that the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in our group is about 10% higher than in the general population, even with the large number of people who not know their HIV status. In the case of the transgender people, the percentages go up further. Despite these figures, our country holds the statistic that the Health Services and Virus Prevention Programs only reach less than a third of the homo and bisexual population. SOMOSGAY’s approach to the Ministry of Public Health seeks to increase commitment and resources devoted to gay and transgender people in the Public Health Policy of the Paraguayan government.

SOMOSGAY argues that health plans and interventions based on a vision to confront a disease rather than prevent it, need to be changed. It also believes that preventive medicine and focus on the stages of life, proclaimed in the election platform of the Patriotic Alliance for Change, is a paradigm that needs to be implemented more vigorously.

SOMOSGAY calls the Paraguayan government, represented in this case by Dr. Esperanza Martinez, to endorse the objectives of the plan pushed by the UN. These goals are threefold:
1. Improve the legal status and rights of homosexuals and transsexuals;
2. Strengthen and promote HIV programs in these groups and
3. Promoting agreements to ensure more effective responses to us and we, the LGBT citizens.

Attachments: Delivered letter
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