News in South Africa

News in South Africa

Hola from Mexico

MElissa mingling with the Locals
Day 2, 5 August, 2008

Today's sessions I attended encompassed themes such as:

* Integration of HIV Prevention and Treatment
* Sex Between Men
* Interventions for Youth that addresses YPLWHA
* Interventions for Youth that address SAFER SEX with an emphasis on Pleasure
* Male Circumcision & the reduction of HIV acquisition in Men by 50-60%

Quote from one of the speakers "Male Circumcision is not the silver bullet but it definitely is a key prevention method that needs to be included in HIV Prevention"

In a nutshell, there was an appeal for more and better prevention strategies that are holistic and which provides a continuum of risk reduction strategies, for a range of audiences.

It was also the OLIVE LEAF Foundation's poster day today and I assited Wessel in presenting one of his posters. It allowed the ability to network and build social capital with HIV Prevention specialist throughout the world. "Watch out OLF's prevention might experience a face-lift!"

Key websites for further perusal:;;;;

Obviously, a 'climaxed'  conference experience would never be reached unless one interacts with the locals! Mexicans are generally warm and receptive to foreigners even though 99.9% of the locals I've met do not speak English. Experiencing the culture can be limiting if you do not have someone with you, who can speak both English and Spanish! The food on the street corners are the ultimate treat and way better than the Spur's fajitas on any day! With 20million people in the city (plus 20 000 extra 'out of towners' attending the conference), the traffic is bad...scary...and a human hazzard! So plan all your dinner dates for after nine (if work ends at 6h30pm, depending where you live - that's 'give-or-take' the time you'll be home). The weather is warm, unpredictable and rainy, so be sure to tag along your umbrella or raincoat!

At least I'v learnt one spanish word this week..."Banos" (with a stroke on the n) meaning "Ladies Bathroom"!


Posted by Melissa Johannes

News in South Africa

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