14/05/2007

An Argentinian Woman Promotes Peace as a Tool to Fight AIDS

United States – CNN Radio – May 14th, 2007

Patricia Pérez, an Argentinian woman with HIV, is a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. She is a leader in Latin America for the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS and was nominated through the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the award due to her constant struggle against the disease since the late 1980s.

Pérez is one of the only five survivors of the original thirty women who began to organize ICW at the global level. She is part of the Executive Board and is currently the Regional Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean.

This is the first time in the award’s history that an HIV-positive woman is nominated for the prize.

In a public statement made by ICW, they stressed that “the nomination of an HIV-positive world leader is a definite possibility to improve the global response to the AIDS epidemic”.

Pérez, born in the city of Buenos Aires, is a well-known leader from ICW, the only global network for HIV-positive women, an organization that is based out of 57 countries, across 5 continents and is composed of more than 8,000 female members.

ICW Latina is working in over 20 Latin American countries “in which Pérez works constantly to form HIV-positive women working groups to negotiate with governments and UN agencies so as to improve the quality of life and the rights of women and girls in the continent” pointed out the organization.

The Argentine leader was one of the 15 personalities invited by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, for prior consultation before the UNGASS ceremony that took place in the United Nations in 2001.

Pérez’ nomination is on behalf of Xiomara Castro Zelaya, The First Lady of Honduras and the Coordinator for the Coalition of First Ladies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This initiative began after the conference that took place last October at ICW Latina in Panama when Perez’ leadership was confirmed as a visibility strategy to step up the fight against AIDS.