Gay men fight HIV/AIDS, taboos in Guatemalan town

The two volcanoes that rise from the countryside surrounding El Tejar, a town that is slightly more than an hour west of Guatemala City on the Pan-American Highway, were clearly visible on Thursday afternoon.

Children were riding their bicycles through a small park in the center of El Tejar as venders sold food and other items on the street. Bryan López, a 27-year-old nurse who lives in the nearby city of Chimaltenango, was talking about his efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

He told the Washington Blade while in the park that people who have sex while under the influence of alcohol and don’t use condoms put themselves at risk of contracting HIV. López added four of his friends have died from AIDS.

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