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.