Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – The organization Solidaridad Ed Thomas, AC, (SETAC) recently celebrated 13 years of responding to HIV and fighting exclusion in Puerto Vallarta, with the sole mission of providing comprehensive health and wellness services and programs, focused on the LGBTIQ community and free of stigma and discrimination.
Paco Arjona Barbosa, executive director of SETAC, pointed out that, since 2009, the association’s vision is to have by 2025 a self-sustaining Comprehensive Health and Well-being Services Center, made up of people who share an institutional commitment to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Transvestite, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) community.
“All these years, our values have been respect and fraternity, since we have maintained an ethical attitude towards any user regardless of their sexual, economic or social condition, and because we encourage good relations between all people by developing affection, union and correspondence. With this, SETAC has achieved international recognition and, therefore, positioned Puerto Vallarta in a unique place in prevention and LGBT+ health care worldwide,” Arjona Barbosa said.
He reported that SETAC currently has 15 collaborators, including bilingual doctors specializing in STIs, PrEP, PEP, and general medicine; two bilingual psychologists who are experts in healthy LGBT+ relationships and in sign language, respectively; a nurse, sex therapist counselor, pharmacobiologist chemist, communication and marketing team, and administrative staff.
For his part, the director of community outreach, Fernando Martínez, confirmed that SETAC will maintain its commitment to equality because “we know how to value the interests and needs of others, in addition to having the unwavering firmness to comply with or do what we have proposed to benefit of all”.
He added that in recent years the organization has carried out more than 1,500 HIV tests per year, in addition to testing for syphilis, hepatitis b and c. “We have distributed more than 120,000 condoms annually and we have opened new spaces to continue raising awareness that HIV is treatable and even undetectable,” he said.
Dr. Miguel Buenrostro, director of medical services, referred to unity, service and solidarity as other values of SETAC, since “each person who works, donates or requests a service is an important link to achieve a common goal; we are willing to solve and help, always with the ideal of supporting others through fraternity and empathy”.
“One of the great achievements we have had in these years has been bringing PrEP to Puerto Vallarta, a one-pill-a-day treatment to prevent HIV transmission. We are currently attending more than 250 patients per month for consultation on STIs and other pathologies. Our medical services continue to grow in support of the community,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Víctor Espíndola, director of institutional development, recalled that SETAC also provides services of courses, workshops, linking urgent cases, channeling patients to existing public and private medical services, as well as the development of programs and public policies in collaboration with other institutions.
“In 2009, SETAC proposed to have a community center and this 2022 we celebrate our anniversary with the conditioning and remodeling of a property in the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood, where, with more than 350 square meters, we will have a Safe Space with an LGBTI kitchen, a dressmaking workshop and a beauty salon that will operate in a cooperative mode, with which we take a step forward in social entrepreneurship and labor inclusion in our community,” he concluded.
Located at Aldanaca 178 4A & 4B, in the Colonia Versalles of neighborhood of Puerto Vallarta, SETAC is a non-profit community and wellness center whose mission is to reduce HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the greater Banderas Bay area. Free counseling, testing, treatments and referrals for HIV and other sexual transmitted illness are just some of the free services SETAC provides to the entire population, without prejudice or discrimination. For more information, follow SETAC on Facebook, visit the website, call (322) 224-1974 or email contacto(at)setac.com.mx.