SETAC details HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention efforts for Pride Week

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SETAC, Puerto Vallarta’s LGBTQ Community Center, will contribute to this year’s Vallarta Pride celebration organizing several events that, as in years past, will position itself as the most important preventive organization focused on HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections in the region. Here are the details of each event.

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International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

  • Date: Sunday, March 20
  • Time: 8:30 – 10 pm
  • Location: Procession begins at 8:30 pm behind the Naval Museum, next to Los Arcos Amphitheater. Ceremony begins at 9 pm at Plaza Lazaro Cardenas

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is a community mobilization campaign to raise social consciousness about HIV and AIDS that breaks down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and gives hope to new generations. The event starts with a candlelit procession that begins next to the Naval Museum (8:30 pm) and continues heading south along the Malecon until Plaza Lazaro Cardenas, where a formal ceremony will commence at 9 pm. During the ceremony, SETAC will feature its community programs and services, along with several live music performances. “This year we are focusing on hopeful songs,” commented SETAC Director, Paco Arjona. “The most memorable moment of the evening comes when we invite the public to place their lit candles over a red ribbon on the stage, representing loved ones that have been affected by the virus, plus we are preparing musical selections that will be appropriate for that moment.”

The organizers are also hoping to convene the largest possible number of assistants, in order to turn the event into a festival of lights, particularly during the procession from the Naval Museum to Plaza Lazaro Cardenas. “We will stop the procession over the Rio Cuale pedestrian bridge to paint it it with light and hope, creating a one-of-a-kind opportunity for local photographers and videographers to capture a truly magical moment,” added Arjona.

Health Fair

  • Date: Saturday, May 26
  • Time: 4 – 8 pm
  • Location: Parque Hidalgo

The Health Fair is an event organized to inform the local population about prevention of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections through activities that encourage responsible sexual health decision making. Other public and private health organizations are invited to participate and share their services with the community as well. Presently, SETAC is reaching out to local hospitals, clinics, labs and other health-related services to participate in the event, allowing for direct contact with Puerto Vallarta’s permanent and visiting population.

Organizations interested in participating can request additional information by contacting SETAC by phone at (322) 224-1974, or by emailing contacto@setac.com.mx. The deadline to submit an application to participate is Wednesday, May 9.

SETAC has a Community Center located at Aldanaca 178, 4A&B (at the corner with Viena) in Colonia Versalles, where you can schedule an appointment for an HIV or syphilis test. SETAC also offers sexual health-related counseling services, along with a variety of cultural and recreational activities to strengthen the local LGBTQ community. For more information, please visit SETAC’s website at www.setac.com.mx, call (322) 224-1974, send an email at contacto@setac.com.mx, or follow the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SETACtucentro.

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