In the mid-1990s Costa Rica was the headquarters of an enormous, nongovernmental AIDS-prevention and advocacy enterprise known as ILPES, the Instituto Latinoamericano de Prevención y Educación en Salud (Latin American Health Prevention and Education Institute). Years before the man who would become its director, historian Jacobo Shifter, had fought a historic and ultimately successful battle with his own university over discrimination for sexual orientation. As a result, he was a natural and credible leader to deal with the arrival of HIV. He soon became a respected, almost feared figure in Costa Rica and throughout the region, where ILPES trainers, researchers and advisors fanned out to advise and train grassroots groups taking up AIDS work, reaching as far afield as Ecuador, Bolivia and the Caribbean.
KeywordsTreatment Access Costa RICA Central American Country Advocacy Enterprise Costa Rican Government
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