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.

Medical Anthropology and Pre-Medicine