Where We Work
The USAID | Health Policy Initiative completed its work in Mexico on September 29, 2010.
In Mexico, the USAID | Health Policy Initiative, Task Order 1 (HPI) brought new partners into the HIV arena, strengthened the leadership capacity of people living with HIV (PLHIV), and facilitated national- and state-level HIV policy formulation and implementation. Innovative approaches used by HPI include promoting cross-border HIV initiatives between Mexico and the United States, and mobilizing the private sector to combat HIV.
Project activities focused on policy analysis and planning, strategic information, systems strengthening and human capacity development, and multisectoral engagement. The project also tackled key barriers to effective service delivery—such as operational issues, gender-based violence, and stigma and discrimination.
Together, these efforts fostered an enabling environment in which to design and deliver responsive, sustainable HIV prevention, treatment, and care programs for those most in need.
Mexico's Largest Healthcare Provider Commits to Addressing HIV in the Workplace. The Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) has been cited repeatedly in HIV-related human rights violation claims presented to Mexico's National Human Rights Commission. In November 2008, following sustained engagement on the part of two project-supported champions—CONAES (the National AIDS Business Council) and Salud y Justicia (a civil society organization)—IMSS signed an agreement to carry out and support HIV prevention programs in the workplace.
Funds Support HIV Services for Indigenous People. Indigenous groups have long been excluded from public policy formulation in Mexico—especially in the area of HIV. One of the most important barriers to implementing effective HIV programming and services for indigenous peoples is the lack of information regarding the number of indigenous PLHIV. Amaranta Gomez, a policy champion trained by the project, has been advocating for funding to conduct research on HIV in indigenous communities. On July 29, 2008, at the 2nd Global Preconference on Indigenous Peoples, First Nations, and Afrodescendants, held in Mexico City, the Minister of Health pledged to increase the amount of resources dedicated to the prevention of HIV among indigenous people.
HIV-positive Women Emerge as Strong Advocates. While Mexico's HIV epidemic has traditionally been concentrated among MSM, recent estimates show that one in four HIV-positive people in the country are women. Yet women's needs have often been overshadowed. To bring women's voices into the HIV policy dialogue process, the project supported the formation of the nation's first HIV-positive women's network—Mexicanas Positivas Frente a la VIDA ("Positive Mexican Women Facing Life") in 2007. Mexicanas is the first registered group for HIV-positive women in the country. The project provided advocacy training to Mexicanas members and to the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Mexico (ICW). Over the past year, these organizations have emerged as strong advocates for women living with HIV. They participated in the Fifth Meeting of the Coalition of First Ladies and Women Leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean, secured the Minister of Health's support for HIV prevention programs for women, and have been invited to participate in various committees under CENSIDA (the national AIDS program).