Mexican Federal Official Comes Out at AIDS Conference

SaavedraJorge Saavedra, general director of the Centro Nacional para la Prevencion y el Control del VIH/SIDA (a Mexican Ministry of Health Agency), spoke publicly about his sexuality for the first time at last week’s International AIDS Conference in Mexico City:

“Saavedra’s moment of truth came in the middle of an impassioned speech to 5,000 people at the International AIDS Conference about the paltry amount of money being spent to stop the spread of AIDS among gay men, when he said publicly for the first time that he was gay. As he held up a photo of himself with his partner, the crowd applauded wildly. Afterward, men from Africa and India congratulated him with tears in their eyes. ‘They told me that I was a hero, and that they wished they could do the same in their countries,’ said Saavedra, who is infected with HIV and also heads the AIDS prevention program in a country where many gay men live in denial.”


  1. jason says

    While I feel sorry for the Mexican man, I feel that he is using the tactic of “pity class disease demographics” to draw attention to himself and to the gay rights cause. AIDS should not be used as a tool in the fight for our rights. To link AIDS to gay rights is actually quite homophobic and prejudicial.

    Keep in mind that AIDS is not a gay disease under any circumstances. It is a disease that affects potentially anyone, including certain gay men, and especially those who engage in promiscuous sex with total strangers. The immune system of humans cannot cope with a barrage of syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes etc that comes with such out-of-control mindsets. The immune system also cannot cope with non-stop partying, sniffing of amyl, and consumption of crystal meth. If you want to partake of this activity, do it on your account. But don’t you dare try to paint a veneer of “gay rights” over your sleazy behavior.

    And to those who are constantly frustrated by these sleazeballs hijacking our movement, let me reassure you: you are not alone.

  2. says

    Well Jason, it´s clear you dont know the Mexican case, where the majority of cases are of men having sex with men.

    Mr Saavedra is helping not only gay men, breaking the homophobia taboo at the high level of federal institutions, but is helping questioning men, that have fear to recognize their sexuality.

    In Mexico AIDS is growing more recently between gay men because the infamous practice of barebacking. Why intelligent men expose themselves? I think it´s because self homophonia, lack of some love. Seeing that a high official can be out is always a good message.

    For more on homophobia and aids in Mexico, the NYT wrote a very good article:

  3. says

    There he goes again…
    “especially those who engage in promiscuous sex with total strangers”

    Wrong. Especially those who engage in unprotected anal sex — which could be ONCE and with a long term partner he’s married to.

    It has nothing to do with number of partners, and everything to do with not using condoms. And since the easiest way to transmit HIV is through anal sex and many gay men practice anal sex, the infection rates will be higher. The argument that “it’s not a gay disease” has allowed the Bush administration to focus all prevention efforts on straight people, abstinence only, and Africa, with disastrous results for gay communities in the US.

    I don’t “feel sorry” for Saavedra. He has come out as HIV+ and gay in a culture that stigmatizes both. His courage is an inspiration (as witnessed by the reaction of all but Jason).

  4. jason says


    The “infamous practice of barebacking”? Give me a break! Since when has barebacking been infamous? Maybe you should tell that to the millions of husbands who bareback their wives on a regular basis. Barebacking doesn’t lead to any diseases in their case.

    And that’s because barebacking per se does not lead to disease. It is promiscuity which does it, not barebacking. Two healthy gay men who are faithful to each other will not pass any diseases to each other no matter how much they bareback.

    The problem with the gay community is that the sleaze notion has been woven into its fabric. The gay community frames all its arguments on the basis of the notion that every gay man wants to fuck as many strangers as possible. Hence this silly notion that barebacking is dangerous. Barebacking is only dangerous if the people involved are not healthy due to promiscuity.

  5. says

    Wrong again, Jason.

    Barebacking is only dangerous if one of the partners is HIV+ (I know you don’t believe in that, but it’s still true). Doesn’t matter how sleazy they are or how promiscuous they are. If they practice safe sex, they can have 100 partners and be safe. If they don’t they can have 1 and get HIV.

    And give Alfredo a break, it’s obvious English is not his native language, yet his post is completely comprehensible. Plus it’s more logical than yours. I understood exactly what he meant by “infamous practice of barebacking.” I wonder how many straight married men call what they do in bed with their wives “barebacking.” My guess would be none. Unless maybe they’re bi. *wink*

  6. Blue Dog says

    To Jason, again:

    Your argument that promiscuity, and not barebacking, leads to disease is the equivalent of arguing that frequent bike riding, and not the fact that one doesn’t wear a helmet, is what causes head injuries among cyclists.