Diego went through a time of rebellion during his teen years where he dropped out of school and started abusing substances. A series of events changed his whole life, gave him a reality check, and he decided to get his life together, go back to school and get a job. In 2015 Diego graduated from secondary school and is looking forward to go to the University of Belize to take up the Social Work Career. Diego has been working as an educator with Collaborative Network of Persons living with HIV (C-NET+) since 2012, providing secondary prevention through the strategy of home visits. During this time he also started working with the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) focusing on primary prevention with key affected populations, primarily MSM and female sex workers. Working with these organizations has made him very passionate about advocating for young people living with HIV and LGBT, since Belize has no mechanisms in place to ensure comprehensive care, treatment and tailored SRH services for these populations. Both populations are at a critical place in their development, facing serious stigma and discrimination and yet not having safe spaces to deal with the daily issues that affect their quality of life. Through his work as a young advocate he has become a member of J+LAC, GNP+ Y+, and has been elected to be a REDCA+ focal point to Belize. These regional and international spaces have allowed him to voice out the gaps that are affecting young persons with HIV and LGBT in Belize.
Diego Luis Grajalez
Posted in Belize 2015.