Fabian Fernandez

Fabian Fernandez (DC '15) is currently studying Medical Anthropology and Pre-Medicine at Yale University. Drawing upon his roots in Latin American (Venezuela and Cuba) as well as his interests in health, he is passionate about sociocultural determinants of health ranging from gender and sexuality to urban and indigenous access to health throughout Latin America. As a summer trip-member and former director of the Yale Ecuador HIV Clinic, he has worked to provide access to HIV testing and sexual health education. He also worked with Hannah Mogul-Adlin (TC 13') to conduct semi-structured ethnographic interviews with sex workers and their clients on the legal brothel system in Ecuador. Within New Haven, Fabian works as an single-clasroom educator at Community Health Educators (CHE) and as an interpreter at Haven Free Clinic. This last spring Fabian studied abroad with the IHP: Health and Community Program looking comparatively at health issues in New Orleans (U.S.A.), Chennai (India), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Cape Town (South Africa). 

  • People Living with HIV/AIDS in Cuba

    This past summer I conducted my own independent research in Havana, Cuba, studying how People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) were affected by Global Fund donation policies, the organization of the National Mutual Support Network, and LGBTQ rights advocates. This HIV/AIDS research drew important connections in the fields of history, state policy, race, gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ rights, firmly emphasizing the importance of an intersectional rights-based approach in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Through persistent network building and determination I completed 25 interviews: 12 seropositive members of the ‘Linea Apoyo’ mutual support group ‘Amigos de Verdad’, 4 officials from the UN (UNESCO and UNDP), 4 artists working with HIV (including documentary film makers, performance artists, and writers), 3 public servants from the Cuban government (both from the National Center for the Prevention of STI/HIV/AIDS (CNP) and Center of Sexual Education (CENSEX)), as well as 2 members from the prominent NGO ‘Cabildo Quisicuaba’.
    I also had the opportunity to participate in a lot of HIV activities including regular support-group meetings, recreational outings, and municipal award ceremonies. It is my hope that by connecting this fieldwork with historical analysis, politics, and theory I can begin to highlight the forces that have promoted, limited, or obscured the voices of people living with HIV in Havana, Cuba.