Alex Freyre

Ashoka Fellow
Argentina,
Fellow Since 2007
Fundación Buenos Aires Sida

Citation

This profile was prepared when Alex Freyre was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Alex is pioneering the extension of HIV/AIDS prevention, diagnosis, and care, to vulnerable groups that would otherwise not have access to it. In a traditional society like Argentina, discriminated groups such as prostitutes, transvestites/transsexuals, and prisoners, are invisible to many people, and have not been targeted for HIV/AIDS interventions by other organizations. Alex addresses many aspects of this problem at once—reaching out to these groups to spread awareness of the virus, empowering them through discussion and alternative lifestyle opportunities to cope with HIV/AIDS if they have it, and lobbying for changes in public health policy that makes all the difference in access, diagnosis, and care. Change in public policy represents important progress toward the inclusion of these vulnerable groups, for example, hospitals calling transvestites by their gender names; more accessible time schedules for HIV/AIDS testing; establishing testing centers in red light districts; and the free distribution of condoms in prisons, are among a few.

Another significant part of Alex’s work is centered on youth aged 15 to 25, one of the segments of Argentine society statistically most at-risk to contract HIV/AIDS. Because this age group has such a high rate of infection, for the past five years Alex has increasingly focused on strategies to reach a maximum number of youth in his prevention and education efforts. He started with trainings in public schools, particularly in low income areas, that have reached almost 50,000 adolescents. In the last year, Alex entered a partnership with the Ministry of Health to develop a project to train peer leaders to spread awareness-raising workshops throughout the country. This project has already reached more than 300 teens in five provinces.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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