A brief history of AIDS in La Rioja and Spain from a lesbian perspective

Lesbianism has a complicated history with AIDS in Spain. For a long time, the view was lesbians could not contract AIDS because of our sexual practices. Consequently, lesbians were largely ignored by the medical community and LGTB health groups because of our perceived lack of risk. The risks were unknown and for a very long time, the statistics involving HIV / AIDS did not have any means of collecting data about lesbians, only about men who had sex with men, heterosexuals, and drug users. A lot of funding for LGTB groups also came as a result of HIV / AIDS prevention programming, which meant lesbians were not directly benefitting and there was a fear that focusing on lesbians would result in less funding overall for AIDS / HIV prevention for gay men and trans women. At the same time, lesbians were involved with the LGTB community in La Rioja and nationally, part of which involved the battle against the AIDS epidemic. Consequently, the HIV / AIDS situation is one that is intimately intertwined with the situation of La Rioja and Spanish lesbians, but where our presence is not necessarily explicitly defined.
This article looks at the history of AIDS from a lesbian perspective in La Rioja and Spain more broadly as part of an overall background to understanding the landscape for lesbians in La Rioja, especially as it pertains to LGTB activism and sexual health to try to provide a narrative history which can be used to understand the broader situation for lesbians and to try to uncover some of the hidden lesbian history in the region.

A brief history of AIDS in La Rioja and Spain from a lesbian perspective

Historical HIV / AIDS data from La Rioja. Some source conflict such as the count in 1991: Is it 172 or 177?

Rioja and Spain from a lesbian perspective

AIDS had first appeared in Spain in October 1981 in Barcelona, in a case that turned out to involve a gay man. The association between gay men and AIDS stuck even as AIDS cases were discovered a wider population, including in pediatric cases in late 1982 and early 1983, along with the discovery that AIDS could be transmitted from mother to fetus. It would be from these other types of cases that the first AIDS activists in Spain would emerge. One of the earliest would be an organization supporting children who contracted AIDS, offering them activities and supporting them in the face of social exclusion. By 1983, HIV was discovered to be a virus, along with the knowledge that it was transmitted through sexual penetration and sharing of needles during illicit drug use.

AIDS immediately became associated with homosexuality in Spain, and specifically male homosexuality and the perceived way of life that came with being a gay man; this was because the first discovered case was in a gay man and because the first cases discovered in the United States were found in a cluster of gay men. This association stuck even as AIDS cases were discovered a wider population, including in pediatric cases in late 1982 and early 1983, along with the discovery that AIDS could be transmitted from mother to fetus.  Nationally, the homosexual rights community of the 1980s wanted to avoid the stigma of being attached to AIDS and the discrimination faced by people with AIDS despite the homophobia AIDS was generating inside the country. The issue also was not viewed as a lesbian one. Despite an awareness for a number of years that AIDS could be transmitted from a mother to a fetus, it was only in 1993 that the clinical definition of AIDS changed in Spain to allow for the possibility that women could contract the virus.  For some feminists in Spain, this was viewed as another type of violence enacted upon women’s bodies as the medical establishment, aware of the virus since 1981, had not bothered to verify its transmissibility to women.  

The AIDS epidemic got underway in 1982 in Spain around the same time that Felipe González, Spain’s first socialist president since the Second Republic, got into office. His administration did not respond well to the pandemic, creating a situation where they created paralyzing and debilitating fear among homosexuals for being associated with HIV / AIDS.[1]

Lesbian activists nationally in the Felipe Gonzalez period were largely invisible, with years of hard work receiving hardly any credit. The lesbian response to desexualization and invisibilization by feminists more generally in this period was multifaceted.  For some, this status vindicated the needs of their activism and the creation of their lesbian groups and associations.  For other lesbians, they felt bored or angry, and these attitudes turned them away from the broader feminist group to focus on more lesbian related social, artistic and political activities. The actors in the LGBT movement and the feminist movement generally had two approaches to lesbians speaking out against being sexualized and erased; they either pretended not to know this was happening or they got really angry at these lesbians. Queer activists were angry at times because they saw lesbian desire for visibility and recognition as challenging what they saw were more important issues, like transsexual and transvestite rights, the AIDS epidemic and homophobia.[2]

The first of four waves of activism as it relates or does not actually relate to lesbians and their intersections with HIV / AIDS and STIs more generally began soon after. This initial wave, ending around 1992, is characterized by general state neglect of women’s sexual health, denial that women in general can contract AIDS and a lack of research into the potential implications of HIV / AIDS on the safety of lesbian sexual practices. Lesbians themselves were generally unconcerned, and unlike their sisters in other countries like the United States, did not immediately become involved in activism to try to combat an epidemic that impacted their homosexual brethren. Instead, lesbians continued to focus on issues of importance inside feminist communities for which they were often deeply embedded.

The focus of the gay rights movement on HIV and AIDS in the Felipe Gonzalez period in Spain was used institutionally to downplay lesbian and feminist voices, citing the intense urgency to combat the ongoing epidemic. They were more effective at using this approach in this period because lesbians and feminist groups to which lesbians belonged had effectively become demilitarized as a result of institutionalized views that the major goals of both groups had been accomplished during the transition period.[3]

By 1986, gay rights groups, seeing their members starting to die from the infection and perceiving national and local governments as doing little about it, started getting involved in campaigns to combat it. Their campaigns though tended to be limited to prevention ones, aimed at reducing the spread of HIV / AIDS in their communities.

AIDS was finally given the name HIV in 1986. Early patients had short life expectancies, most not living more than a few years after contracting the virus. Within a few years of the virus being discovered, Spanish health authorities realized that the biggest cause of its transmission was not, like the United States and other places, unprotected sex but shared needles from intravenous drug use. Despite this, the AIDS crisis in Spain led to heavy stigmatization against homosexuals, more so than other nearby countries like France or the United Kingdom.

While AIDS was first discovered in Spain in June 1981, the first case would not be discovered in La Rioja until almost five years later in 1986.  Despite this, the Gobierno de la Rioja was one of the first regional governments to launch a program to combat HIV / AIDS, doing so through the Consejería de Salud y Consumo in 1985 with a six-page brochure titled, “¿Qué es el sida? Información básica sobre el Síndrome de Inmunodeficiencia Adquirida”. The brochure did not mention women, as at the time HIV and AIDS were largely viewed as a problem for drug users and gay men. Navarra and La Rioja both created rigorous registries of people with HIV and AIDS by 1986.  They would be the only two regions to create such registries. [4]

For many people with AIDS in the late 1980s and early 1990s in La Rioja, one of the primary roles of mental healthcare professionals was to prepare people to die, since most people who contracted AIDS in that period died as a result of AIDS and other complications like poor health and drug addiction. Until about 1998 in La Rioja, when a person contracted AIDS, their continued life expectancy was two to three years.[5]

From 1985 to 1994, 70% of the AIDS cases in La Rioja were as a result of intravenous drug use, where people shared needles and engaged in other risky behavior.  9% of the cases were a result of unprotected heterosexual sexual practices.[6]

Homosexuals, mostly men, continued to have visibility and some activism in La Rioja during the 1990s was in relations to the AIDS crisis, one of the only areas in La Rioja society where homosexuals were visible. 1991 was the worst year for HIV / AIDS in La Rioja, with 172 or 177 new HIV cases detected and 32 new AIDS cases detected.[7]

In the early 1990s, lesbians nationally faced a number of specific challenges as it related to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. First, women in general were maligned as the focus of attention tended to be on depicting women as transmission vectors, not as people who were victims of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Women were viewed as passive participants in the fight against AIDS and HIV, with the disease largely being a male one which men should fight. For lesbians, there were additional specific challenges. One was the existence of large amounts of misinformation about how lesbians could or could not acquire HIV or AIDS because of male based assumptions about lesbian sexual practices. Lesbians were often portrayed as a group completely not at risk of getting AIDS or HIV which opened them up to harassment and abuse when they went in for testing or treatment. Another was the AIDS made lesbians even more invisible. Lastly, AIDS displaced some lesbian feminist goals as activists diverted their attention away from other causes and towards the epidemic. [8]

AIDS at times rendered lesbian sexuality even more invisible in the 1990s because AIDS impacted men and women different. Because lesbians were less likely to contract AIDS through sex, their sexual practices were sometimes viewed as less important by both society and by LGBT organizations. The focus of the gay rights movement on HIV and AIDS in this period was used institutionally to downplay lesbian and feminist voices, citing the intense urgency to combat the ongoing epidemic. They were more effective at using this approach in this period because lesbians and feminist groups to which lesbians belonged had effectively become demilitarized as a result of institutionalized views that the major goals of both groups had been accomplished during the transition period.

One of the results of the AIDS epidemic in Spain by this point in the 1990s, according to a paper by Ricardo Llamas, was that in the mind of the public, AIDS had often rendered gay men to little more than bodies and lesbians to a place where they did not even exist because of a lack of visibility as a result of the media attention given to their male counterparts. Male homosexuals became defined almost solely by their sexual practices, and the contagion they could get from them.

The national Instituto de la Mujer in Madrid prepared a report for the first time on women with HIV / AIDS in 1992. Instituto de la Mujer had been founded on 24 October 1983 and attached to the Ministerio de Igualdad to promote equality between the sexes, and to encourage the participation of women in political, cultural, economic and social life. At the time the document was released, the institute was between plans with the first plan having been focused on six areas, one of which was women’s health, and a second of which was family and social protection. The document then takes a heterocentric perspective to advice regarding the prevention of transmission. Lesbians and women who had sex with other women were not mentioned.

Comisión Antisida de La Rioja was founded in 1992 by health professionals in La Rioja. They wanted to address the loneliness, and societal and family rejection faced by AIDS patients. One of the early volunteers for the organization was psychologist Lourdes Viana who is quoted in rioja2 in 2011 as saying, “Despite all the campaigns and the passage of time, rejection at a social level is similar and there is still fear of HIV-positive people. They continue to hide their condition because it is quite difficult to say it naturally due to the social consequences it has.” [9]

A 1995 report on the epidemiological situation for AIDS in La Rioja mentioned homosexuality only in the male sense and lesbians were never discussed.  Women had a fatality rate of from AIDS in La Rioja of 61.3% compared to 47.4% in men.  Despite this, homosexuality was mentioned three times to women being mentioned twice. The same report said that from 1986 to 30 June 1995, the region had 203 total confirmed cases of AIDS. People between the ages of 20 and 40 compromised 86% of all those diagnoses. Minors compromised 3% of those cases.  [10]

From 1995 to 1996, 90% of the cases of HIV transmission in La Rioja were a result of sexual transmission. The number of cases also was equally distributed among men and women, with an upward trend in the number of women contracting HIV. [11]

GYLDA was founded on 13 December 1995 in Logroño. The association had a lot of early ties to the feminism association. One of the major focuses of the group early one was prioritizing making the LGTB community more visible and fighting for their rights.  At the same time, they also were committed to preventing the spread of HIV / AIDS and STDs more generally.  They would go on to play an important role in HIV / AIDS prevention in the region.[12]

The Aznar period started off in 1996 on a positive note as it related to lesbians and their relationship to AIDS / HIV compared to previous years. After that, it returned to the awful situation it had always generally existed in.

Coordinadora gai-lesbiana, stop sida produced a pamphlet in collaboration with the Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo in 1997 titled, “Estás Cambiando la Historia”[13] about the history of HIV and AIDS in the gay collective. It featured a shirtless man on the front, talked about safe sex, condom usage and lubricant. It did mention that women, bisexuals and heterosexuals could get HIV, and that HIV could be transmitted from vaginal fluid. Despite being produced by an organization based in Barcelona by a gay and lesbian organization intended for national distribution, the word lesbian never appeared in connection to getting the virus.

Beyond the lack of educational materials available for lesbians, there was also a lack of research done in Spain in the period between 1998 and 2012 on the sexual behavior of lesbians and other women who had sex with women, or statistics on prevalence inside this group for any sexually transmitted disease. Scholars have attributed the lack of research in this area to machoism and sexism in general, and as a result of pressure from the LGBT community who do not view lesbians as important as they are viewed as lower risk for contracting AIDS with the belief that resources should not be diverted away from gay men and transwomen towards lesbians.

Lesbians continued to rarely ever the target of general campaigns by the Spanish state to combat HIV and AIDS in the late 1990s and all the way into the early 2010s. One of the first such general campaigns not aimed explicitly at gay men was launched in 1999 for World AIDS Day, and was about the use of condoms in AIDS prevention. General campaigns in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 also failed to address women who had sex with women. The government did have specific campaigns for men who had sex with men in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2017. The government also had campaigns aimed at young people, for which women who had sex with women were not mentioned in their campaigns in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012. Among 38 campaigns to fight AIDS and HIV by the government between 1998 and 2012, only two even featured any pictures of women having sex with women, but the text and surrounding discussion made clear that these images were not designed to educate lesbians on safe sex practices but instead intended to capture heterosexual male audiences to educate them.

The situation for lesbians in Spain as it related to the AIDS crisis remained much the same for the 2000s with the exception that medical advances during the late 1990s had begun to make AIDS a less deadly. This included the approval of a protease inhibitor, highly active antiretroviral therapy, and new methods of HIV testing. AIDS deaths for women had peaked for women in 1996 with 1,137 deaths but were 555 in 1997 and in the 300s until 2002 when they dipped below that number for the first time since 1990. Similar patterns in AIDS related deaths played out for Spanish men. By the end of the decade, there would be only 207 AIDS related deaths for women.

From 1995 to 2005, there was a decrease of 80% in the number of new registered cases of AIDS in the region.  In 2005, 493 people were being treated by Rioja Salud for HIV. The team treating HIV positive people in La Rioja public health included five doctors, three nurses and a psychologist, along with other units in the region’s hospitals as needed. €2,830,238.77 was allocated in 2005 for drugs used to treat people with HIV and AIDS by Rioja Salud. From July 2004 to 2006, the resources dedicated by the government to the diagnosis and treatment of AIDS doubled. By 2006, AIDS testing was available on a walk-in basis at the hospital in Logroño. There were eightteen cases of AIDS in La Rioja in 2006.  That year, there were twenty-eight new cases of HIV that were discovered in the region.  Of the eighteen cases of HIV detected in 2006, twelve involved women and eleven involved foreigners. Most of the cases of HIV were a result of subtype B. [14]

In AIDS prevention in 2006, the La Rioja Ministry of Health had four major programs to combat HIV and AIDS.  The first was a parental drug prevention program.  The second was a program aimed at preventing the spread of AIDS among youth through and campaign on personal and social development that took place at schools, which also included a program to prevent unwanted pregnancies.  The third was through the promotion of the use of condoms.  The last was working to prevent the spread of STDs among prostitutes through a free and confidential program. [15]

Instituto Carlos III and Rioja Salud signed an agreement to study the adequacy of certain drugs used to fight HIV and AIDS and the prevalence of the virus in the region in 2006.  They were the third region in Spain after Galicia and the Basque Country to sign such an agreement. [16]

For a long time in La Rioja, HIV / AIDS was associated with homosexuality and led to homosexuals in the region being stigmatized. This was despite the fact that by late 2006, most of the cases in the region were a result of heterosexual sexual activity.[17]

GYLDA was very active in the mid-2000s in their efforts to prevent the spread of AIDS in La Rioja. They did a massive mailing effort November 2006 in Calahorra to provide people with information about AIDS and HIV. It was unclear if any information was lesbian specific.  GYLDA had an information table in November 2006 in Gota de Leche about AIDS and HIV. It was unclear if anything was lesbian specific. In 2007, GYLDA created an HIV / AIDS awareness campaign at the Universidad de La Rioja. [18]

Around 2006, GYLDA founded the Centro Arco Iris, which provided counseling to members of the LGTB community and for dealing with health issues impacting the LGTB community like STDs and HIV/AIDS. The center was located on property ceded by the town hall for this purpose for which GYLDA had an agreement with the town hall to carry out. [19]

The Spanish Instituto de la Mujer prepared a second edition in 2007 of their women with HIV / AIDS report. The only time lesbians were mentioned were in the name of a national organization to contact that supports women with HIV / AIDS. Bisexual women were not mentioned at all. The report said that most cases of HIV / AIDS in Spain impacted men, that heterosexual transmission accounted for 60.3% of all cases in 2006. The Instituto de la Mujer estimated that there were 120,000 to 150,000 people who had HIV / AIDS in Spain, with 20 to 25% being women. Of the women a quarter did not know how they were infected. The document then takes a heterocentric perspective to advice regarding the prevention of transmission.

Between 1987 and 2007, there were a total of 499 cases of AIDS discovered in La Rioja. 73% of those contracted the virus as a result of sexual activity, while the majority of the rest contracted it through intravenous drug use, primarily heroin, with the majority of those cases occurring early on during the AIDS epidemic.  There were nine new cases of AIDS in La Rioja in 2007. The first World AIDS Day was celebrated on 1 December 2008, with the day being recognized in La Rioja through media coverage in the local press. [20]

A third wave of lesbian HIV / AIDS interaction began in the middle of the José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero era. This wave, the shortest of the four, started around 2008 and ended around 2012. It coincided with a period where the number of AIDS deaths for women in Spain had begun to decline rapidly as a result of improved medical intervention. At the same time, there were institutional shifts both from the state and LGBT organizations that began to prioritize lesbian bisexual sexual health. This was led in part by lesbian sections of LGBT organizations.

In 2008, Área de Libertad de Expresión Afectivo-Sexual de Izquierda Unida (IU) called for people to take to the streets for lesbian visibility as part of 2008 Orgullo events. Their claims about lesbians and their needs also included rights around transsexuality and sex re-assignment in public health, along with a reformulation of the National Plan on AIDS. [21]

After many years of being omitted from HIV/AIDS prevention literature by the Ministerio de Sanidad y Política, lesbians reappeared in 2009 with a picture of the lips of two women kissing outdoors with the phrase, “Si me besas, te transmitiré ternura”, meaning, “If you kiss me, I will convey tenderness.” The material is designed for a broader audience, and removes all idea of women and lesbian sexuality as it goes on to suggest the only sexual activity lesbians engage in is kissing on the lips in a maternal way. This was far removed from the AIDS prevention material of the 1990s created by Lesbianas Sin Dudas (LSD) that featured overt female reproductive genitalia when all the institutional materials only featured references to male genitalia and condoms.

By the start of the Mariano Rajoy era, the profile of people with AIDS in La Rioja had changed, and was less likely to be those who were drug addicts. It included people who engaged in much less risky behaviors. By 2011, around 500 people, 457 in total, in La Rioja had contracted HIV / AIDS. In the early 2010s, antiretroviral treatment for AIDS and HIV was fully funded by La Rioja public health. There was a tendency though to push patients towards generic versions of these drugs. At the same time, in the early 2010s, sex education was still taboo in La Rioja.  [22]

Most of the people with AIDS that GYLDA helped in this period were gay men. While they were open to helping everyone, their prevention activities were largely aimed at this population and these activities were defined as homosexual sex education, even if they excluded lesbians and bisexual women. GYLDA put forward a proposal in 2011 to SERIS, the region’s public health system, to carry out anonymous AIDS testing. Starting on 28 June 2011, GYLDA offered free rapid tests by appointment for people who suspected they might have AIDS. The test results were available in 20 minutes and used saliva from the mouth. GYLDA President Francisco Pérez Diego was quoted in 2012 as saying that despite the economic crisis and subsequent funding crisis, the campaign to continue to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS could not be relaxed. GYLDA was the only LGTB organization in La Rioja in 2012. After organizing Orgullo that year, the organization decided to formally dissolve. [23]

The first full year of the Mariano Rajoy era, 2011, saw the start of the fourth and final wave of lesbian interactions with HIV / AIDS and STIs more generally. This wave is characterized by a marked decline in institutional investment by both the state and LGBT organizations in women’s sexual health. Instead, priorities and resources were shifted to addressing the sexual health of male prostitutes and transgender women who were viewed as having a greater need for those services. This was despite the fact that at the end of the José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero several regional and state level organizations had identified lesbian sexual health as a priority given the documented neglect in earlier periods. At the same time, lesbian groups in mixed spaces were being renamed women’s groups and were given the job of supporting women’s sexual health from within without much institutional support. As these groups were always minority groups inside the mixed spaces and attracted women who were traditionally less activist oriented, that rarely occurred. Adding to this complicated situation, lesbian groups that continued to exist in feminist spaces who had never really engaged on the HIV / AIDS issue, continued to be inactive on the issue of lesbian sexual health.

The Royal Decree-Law 12/2012 of 20 April was implemented in the first year of the Mariano Rajoy period.  While immigrants in Spain had been entitled to healthcare in Spain regardless of their immigration status, the Royal Decree changed that so that unauthorized immigrants and non-resident foreigners could only receive emergency care under the same conditions as Spanish citizens, and only under specific conditions. This had negative consequences for people in irregular situations in Spain who had HIV / AIDS as it effectively ended their treatment in public health.  It also provided little actual cost savings to the government.[24]

A world first happened in 2014 related to lesbians and AIDS risks. The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, documented one its first likely confirmed cases of women-to-woman transmission of AIDS in 2014. The publication was important because back in 1981, it was the first to document the existence of AIDS. In the case discussed, one partner had contacted the virus from a previous heterosexual relationship, and likely given it to her partner after they both stopped taking antivirals, stopped being tracked by a sexual health program and then had unprotected sex while the partner who had AIDS was menstruating. The virus was 98% genetically similar between the two women.

Slightly more data and casual observation about Spanish lesbian AIDS risks became available in 2014. That year, Jorge del Romero, Director of the Centro Sandoval de Madrid, said that 95% of the AIDS cases the clinic had treated in lesbian women were ones where the lesbian or bisexual woman had acquired the virus after sexual context with male. Because of the low rate of sexual transmission of HIV / AIDS between women having sex with women, there was still no official guidance on what sort of prophylaxis usage safe sex practices were most effective in preventing the transmission of the virus between women in 2014. Because of this and a lack of general education, pre-exposure prophylaxis as a means of safe sex practice between lesbians had not really taken hold in Madrid by 2014. At the time, despite its efficacy in other countries at being a greater preventer of AIDS than a condom, it still had not received approval in Spain for medical use either.

Discrimination against lesbians continued by state organs when it came to the production of sexual health materials for the prevention of HIV and AIDS. A 2018 booklet by stop sida, coordinadora gai-lesbiana done in collaboration with the Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo only mentioned lesbians in organization names. All the pictures used were of men. The descriptions used the masculine gender. Condoms are mentioned. The word hombres is used eight times while mujer is never used. The booklet was published in Barcelona but intended for national distribution.

In 2019, the Parliament of La Rioja hosted an act in honor of World AIDS Day with the reading of a manifesto by Minister of Health Sara Alba and the introduction of Comisión Ciudadana Antisida president Javier Pinilla. There were two cases of AIDS detected in the region in that year.  Neither person was aware they were potentially infected prior to testing. [25]

In 2020, La Rioja had one of the highest incident rates per person of HIV in Spain, and were in the top five among all of Spain’s autonomous comunidades.  Eleven cases of HIV were discovered in La Rioja in 2020, the lowest in the history of the region, with the previous low occurring in 2014 when thirteen cases were detected.  Of those, only two were cases of AIDS.  One occurred in a teenager and the other in a person older than 49 years of age.  Both cases were contracted as a result of unprotected sex.  Of the eleven cases of HIV, six were contracted as a result of unprotected heterosexual sex and five were a result of unprotected homosexual relationships. Three of the eleven cases involved women. There were 660 people in La Rioja in 2020 who were receiving treatment for HIV.[26]

Nationally, lesbian and bisexual women continued to be ignored by FELGTB, the biggest LGTB organizations in the country, when it came to advocating for safe sex and STI prevention. In 2021, FELGTB had a section on their website dedicated to sexual health, with a section related to the sexual health needs of transwomen and male sex workers. There was no section dedicated to cis women, and their sexual health needs.

Lesbian visibility in La Rioja continues to be problematic.  The specific services for women who have sex with women in the region who are at risk of STIs including HIV / AIDS was limited mostly to Rioja Salud. In mid-2022, GYLDA’s website pointed to a section for women’s sexual health but the link was to Fundación Triangulo and it was broken. Their link to HIV / AIDS prevention is not internal, but rather to Grupo de Trabajo sobre Tratamientos del VIH. Meanwhile, the other major LGTB organization Marea Arcoiris’s website had not been updated in a year.  They provided no information on sexual health in general, and instead focused almost exclusively on Pride.  There is nothing that indicates there will be a change in the status quo for lesbians in La Rioja that has existed since almost the start of the AIDS pandemic as it relates to their visibility, recognition and support of their specific needs.[27]


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Navarrete, C., Ruido, M., & Vila, F. (2005). Trastornos para devenir: entre artes y políticas feministas y queer en el Estado español. Feminismosy Prácticas Colaborativas, Globalización Desdeabajo, 158-187. Retrieved from https://marceloexposito.net/pdf/1969_desacuerdos2.pdf

Rioja Salud. (2006). Salud y el Instituto Carlos III investigarán la adecuación de determinados fármacos frente al VIH (SIDA) y las variaciones que presenta el virus en La Rioja. Retrieved from Rioja Salud: https://www.riojasalud.es/servicios/enfermedades-infecciosas/articulos/sida-en-la-rioja

Zurrunero, V. (2020, December 1). La incidencia de VIH en La Rioja, la más baja de la historia. El Día de La Rioja. Retrieved from https://www.eldiadelarioja.es/Noticia/z0e3a6c7a-9c3d-44f5-d0f30879e6ce7374/202011/La-incidencia-de-VIH-en-La-Rioja-la-mas-baja-de-la-historia

[1] (Mérida Jiménez, 2019)

[2] (Flores, 2011)

[3] (Navarrete, Ruido, & Vila, 2005)

[4] (Díaz Gonzalez, 2020; B.V., 2011; Rioja Salud, 2006; Alcalde, 2008)

[5] (Benito, Sánchez, & RTVE_La_Rioja, 2020; B.V., 2011)

[6] (Rioja Salud, 2006)

[7] (B.V., 2011; Zurrunero, 2020)

[8] (Martín Hernández, 2011; J.L.T., 2009)

[9] (B.V., 2011)

[10] (Lezaun Larumbe, 1995)

[11] (Alcalde, 2008)

[12] (Álvarez Terán, Goicoechea Gaona, & Clavo Sebastián, 2019; La Noticia, 2008)

[13] English: You’re changing history.

[14] (Alcalde, 2008; Rioja Salud, 2006; A.B.H., 2006)

[15] (Rioja Salud, 2006)

[16] (Rioja Salud, 2006)

[17] (A.B.H., 2006)

[18] (A.B.H., 2006; Álvarez Terán, Goicoechea Gaona, & Clavo Sebastián, 2019)

[19] (La Noticia, 2008)

[20] (Alcalde, 2008)

[21] (Álvarez Terán, Goicoechea Gaona, & Clavo Sebastián, 2019)

[22] (Álvarez Terán, Goicoechea Gaona, & Clavo Sebastián, 2019; B.V., 2011; Moreno, La Rioja no es lugar para salir del armario, 2012; Moreno, Nadie dará la cara por los homosexuales en La Rioja, 2012)

[23] (Álvarez Terán, Goicoechea Gaona, & Clavo Sebastián, 2019; B.V., 2011; Moreno, La Rioja no es lugar para salir del armario, 2012; Moreno, Nadie dará la cara por los homosexuales en La Rioja, 2012)

[24] (Montaner, 2012)

[25] (Europa Press, 2019)

[26] (Zurrunero, 2020; Benito, Sánchez, & RTVE_La_Rioja, 2020)

[27] (GYLDA, 2022; Marea Arcoiris, 2021)

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