Tears, smiles and profound feelings were shared by all of the Atlacatl team. To Odir Miranda, president and executive director of Atlacatl, this is an important step in the effort to reduce the levels of stigma and discrimination that persist in Salvadorian society.
On 6 April, Atlacatl presented a petition to the State and on the 7 May, with outspoken support from members of parliament of the ARENA and FMLN parties, legislators united in approval of the petition with the majority of votes in favour.
The National Day of Solidarity with People living with HIV will be recognised in El Salvador as of the 12 May each year. The date was chosen because the Altacatl, which has been influential in shaping HIV-related national policy, was founded on the 12 May 1998 and celebrated its 12th year this year.
Odir Miranda is one of the estimated 35,000 people living with HIV in El Salvador and was one of the first to face the resulting stigma and discrimination when he was diagnosed in 1998. He, better than anyone, knows the importance of having a National Day of Solidarity with People living with HIV: ‘It is a triumph, but there is still a long way to go,’ says Odir.
DARED TO STRUGGLE
Atlacatl’s success with this petition is the result of the hard work and commitment of people who have dared to take on the struggle to enable people living with HIV in El Salvador and the Central American region to enjoy their Rights. This declaration is the first in the region and will serve as an example to other countries.
It is a triumph, but there is still a long way to go