Monday, September 08, 2008

AIDS 2008, Deaf Outreach, Thurs Aug 7

The most important, and most successful Deaf event of the week was our outreach to the Mexico City Deaf community on Thursday night. While the main event was Donald Pilling talking about his own life as an HIV+ gay Deaf man and how to prevent the spread of HIV, we also had Cambodian hip hop dancers, an Israeli sign poet, the premiere of the first Mexican video on HIV and the Deaf community (a fictional story of a Deaf girl finding out she is HIV+ and the consequences), and a puppet show. The evening was both very informative and entertaining. While the Global Village was often noisy and had many distractions, these didn't affect our events--the busy atmosphere added to the general buzz of the event and of course the Deaf audience was not affected by the noise. We were also able to hand out specific information on HIV/AIDS including a handout in Spanish and copies of a beautiful South African comic book in sign language. One of the aims of the program was to break down some of the stigma and stereotypes involved with HIV and AIDS. Donald's honest and open presentation and the lively question and answer session that followed I think went a long way to helping people understand the issues involved.

Looking ahead to AIDS 2010 in Vienna, we hope to again do a Global Village community outreach and to reach even more people with information about HIV/AIDS, the Deaf community and people with disabilities.


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