Alejandro Brito

Ashoka Fellow
Mexico City, Mexico
Fellow Since 2013

Citation

This profile was prepared when Alejandro Brito was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Alejandro and his organization, Letra S have formed a broad network of public health CSOs and government agencies in breaking down the stereotypes about HIV/AIDS, helped start the most innovative and effective HIV/AIDS treatment centers in Mexico, and is making real progress toward the ambitious goal of eradicating AIDS.

Through a wide array of mass media, Alejandro is mitigating social prejudices about people living with HIV/AIDS and who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender or transsexual (GLBT) in Latin America. With a particular focus on humanizing those populations, Alejandro gives people living with HIV/AIDS a voice through his monthly publication in one of Mexico’s most important newspapers, “La Jornada.” Coupled with its various other communication strategies, Letra S has established itself as the most important HIV/ AIDS and homophobia news agency in Latin America.

Alejandro is also working to build infrastructure for those living with HIV/AIDS. Alejandro played a key role in the opening of the first clinic specializing in the treatment of HIV/AIDS in Mexico. Within the clinic, Alejandro also assisted in establishing the first human rights clinic that attends to abuses of human rights of patients with HIV/AIDS. This clinic works with lawyers and the Secretary of Health to report instances of human rights violations and effectively direct them to the appropriate governmental institution. Alejandro has replicated this human rights clinic model within the offices of public health institutions in Mexico to increase the attention given to HIV/AIDS patients and to shake the bureaucratic hold of the country's health system in order to improve public policy programs. To replicate Letra S’ services, Alejandro is using teams of local human rights promoters to train members of the target population on how to document discrimination cases and provide basic informative legal support. Because many of these promoters often belong to the corresponding communities, they have become points of confidence and support throughout their areas.

Alejandro connects key public health actors through multi-disciplinary partnerships all focused on the common vision of eliminating AIDS in Mexico. While this sounded unrealistic to many people a few years ago, Alejandro has persuaded a critical mass of people and organizations that this vision is possible, because the problem of AIDS is localized to one population segment in a few major cities.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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