July 9, 2018

The Detection Nights: Peer-to-Peer HIV & STI Testing Events for Young Gay Men in Mexico City

Written by MPACT Global (formerly MSMGF) and Diego Ruiz

This post originally appeared on MPACT’s website here. Reposted with permission.

Diego and his partners at Inspira Cambio AC are one of twelve teams led by youth advocates from around the world who will join us for Out With It: Community Solutions for the Sexual Health and Rights of Young Gay and Bisexual Men. These twelve teams will have the chance to present and workshop their solutions at our event in Amsterdam on July 22nd, 2018.

The team at Inspira has created a crowdfunding campaign to support their attendance this summer. Help support Diego and his partners: https://bit.ly/2LB6IZl

MPact: Tell us a little about yourself!
Diego: My name is Diego and I live with HIV. I enjoy eating chilaquiles and enchiladas from my country. I love to play video games, especially those from Nintendo and Sony. My saying in life is that we should help whoever who needs help in any issue.

M: How did you get involved in this project?
D: When I was diagnosed with HIV, in December 2015, I realized that there is a big need for destroying stigmas and have more information about HIV. So I started a YouTube channel, where I came out from a different closet than the first one: this time I told the world that I live with HIV. I started to collaborate with Inspira A.C. at the Detection Nights, first. We made something wonderful, so we keep going.

M: Tell us more about the challenge your solution aims to address.
D: The point is to get access to the HIV screening test for free, in a space free of stigma and taboo, on an extended schedule so everyone can be attended no matter which job or school schedule they have. Everyone can access to a screening test. The space we aim to give to those who need an HIV screening test, is full of confidence, where there’s no fear of asking anything about our sexual health, and where young gay and bisexual men can release the tension about going to know their HIV status.

M: What are you most looking forward to during “Out With It”?
D: I think that the most important thing everywhere is to help those in need. By doing all of this, I guess we can help others to approach an initiative that we know it helps a lot of people and give HIV diagnosis to those who can go and get a screening test in a regular schedule. Having the opportunity to present the Detection Nights will help us to improve the current strategy we have applied, and give it the possibility to be applied on any other place where it is needed. We are going to keep working on The Detection Nights, it’s our commitment.

The Out With It Pre-Meeting and Reception is a day-long interactive youth-led event centered around generating and refining innovative, community-led solutions for the sexual health and rights of young gay and bisexual men.

Join us on July 22nd, 2018 at the KIT Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Click here to learn more.