Ruben Ernesto Alfonso Rosas
Fellow Since 1995
This profile was prepared when Ruben Ernesto Alfonso Rosas was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1995.
The New Idea
Ernesto Rosas is "normalizing" HIV/AIDS and thus rooting out the social attitudes that stigmatize HIV/AIDS sufferers. Ernesto saw that the stigma of AIDS in Uruguayan society had been largely assimilated by HIV/AIDS sufferers themselves, who tended to be inward looking and isolated. His first effort, then, is to inject activism and mission into the country's organization of HIV-positive persons. Under his leadership, the organization has embarked on a revitalized program that has three elements: (1) advocacy for the rights of HIV/AIDS sufferers–for health care and for equal concern and respect from society generally; (2) education of the public about living with HIV and AIDS, as well as some prevention work; and (3) services for HIV/AIDS sufferers.