Working for Change 281
After a health worker came to speak with a group of women in our community
about STIs and AIDS, we began talking about our lives. Some of the women began
by saying they did not have anything to worry about. But the more we talked the
more we realized that every woman and every man should worry about STIs and
AIDS. We thought about how to get men to use condoms and decided that we
needed to educate the entire community about the dangers of STIs and AIDS
and how to prevent them. We
organized a play and got people
from the community to act in it. We
created a special character called
“Commander Condom” to come to
the rescue with condoms. Everyone
came to watch the play. People
enjoyed it and they also learned.
Now the men make jokes about
“Commander Condom,” but they
are also more willing to use them.
— Oaxaca, Mexico
To the health worker:
• Find out from your local health center, hospital, or Ministry
of Health what medicines work best to treat STIs in your
• Try to start a community pharmacy so that it will be easier
for people to get medicines, both female and male condoms,
• Talk to the people you see who have an STI. Give them good
information on how to cure their STI, how to keep from
infecting others, and how to keep from getting an STI again.
Make sure their partners also get treatment.
• Include information about preventing STIs and HIV in family
• Do not judge or blame those who come to you for help with
• Respect the privacy of those with STIs or other health
problems. Never talk about their problems with others.
See the chapter on “Sexual Health,” page 181, for information about:
• sex and gender roles
• harmful beliefs about women’s sexuality
• how to have safer sex
• feeling pleasure from sex
Also see the chapter on “Sex Workers,” page 340.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012