Our traveling DAA ambassador Nynke is now in South America!
Hello everybody, let me first introduce myself: my name is Nynke Westerveen and since 2008 I've been a freelance visual artist/photographer. During my studies in Fashion Communication, I was always striving to find my personal interpretation and then concluded my educational path with a documentary about teenagers and fashion. It's a documentary about fiction and non-fiction which focuses on adolescence, a project describing my social interests and curiosity for kids and young people.I love meeting people and exploring, but this time I'm not only travelling for myself... my aim is actually to introduce Designers against AIDS to South-America! My first encounter - Buenos Aires, San Telmo, 3rd November, around 2 pm While strolling around Plaza Dorrego I decided to approach some local fellows who were selling handmade jewellery. These guys, all between 27 and 35 years old, were at first a bit uncomfortable about safe sex. Of course it's not a topic you would easily talk about with a stranger! After a while it became more serious and one of the guys told me he had become father because of one of his crazy nights. After that night he's changed - a bit, at least - and now he's more aware about consequences. He doesn't live together with his son's mother, but both parents are taking care of the child, who is now 3 years old. What really surprised me was his reason for using (well, in this case for NOT using) a condom: avoiding pregnancy. He didn't even mention sexually transmitted diseases, as if the only big concern is to avoid becoming a father after a one-night stand. Hospitals hand out condoms, but still the government doesn't take HIV seriously. In my opinion giving free condoms is a good start but not enough, though. So I decided to go to the hospital in the same street to ask for more information about free condoms. There I met Melanie, a nurse who's working on the HIV ward. She's a member of CEPAD, an organisation based in Buenos Aires which provides support on HIV/AIDS prevention and testing. I gave her a DAA brochure and we discussed on how to reach people more effectively. She confirmed my suspicion: condoms are mainly worn to avoid becoming a parent. "Diseases?" "What are you talking about?". The government pays for rubbers and that's it. Next week I'm invited to a meeting at the hospital. I hope I'll get to know more about how the ward works and what insiders think. Get back to you soon! Love from Buenos Aires, Nynke