We all made it to Mexico City last night, many exhausted from the grueling cross-Atlantic journey, but happy to see each other and excited for the upcoming week of events around AIDS 2008. We are staying in a beautiful area, La Zona Rosa, and looking forward to exploring this amazing and enormous city. Today we had our orientation meeting, and it was the first time the JASS Africans and Latinas met face to face and exchanged personal and political stories. Everyone was moved and energized by this connection. We spoke about how the AIDS 2008 space is dominated by the same actors who dominate the global AIDS agenda, mainly governmental organizations, massive foundations, corporations, and pharmaceutical companies. Decisions are made by the predominantly male, Global North, technical and corporate perspective. Women’s voices are not heard in this space. We strategized on ways we can enter this space, and have our collective voice heard to bring HIV positive women’s issues to the forefront of the agenda.
Then we participated in the March against Stigma, Homophobia and Discrimination. We donned our Women Crossing the Line t-shirts and made posters with slogans we came up with during the orientation. It was a moving and exciting event culminating in a lively rally on the Zocalo, the huge central plaza of the city.
Tonight we will continue to meet and plan our strategy for the upcoming week, as well as go out on the town!!