Las Tunas - The Cubadebate website reproduced part of the research, delving into the sexual preferences of Cubans. Among the valuable information shared by the study in question, this reporter was struck by the data that speak of transactional sex in today's Cuban society. Although this scourge is inherent to the entire universe and has never been completely alien to the daily life of this archipelago, it is not treated as a phenomenon in itself within the Cuban press.
This province remains among the least affected; however, this does not mean that such a panorama is not present. Something that becomes more complex, as experts say, because it is mostly practiced by young people and by men who have sex with other men (MSM), the two sectors of the population most affected here by the AIDS pandemic.
DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR CHILDREN GO?
Although in the eight municipalities of Las Tunas, to some extent, live those who decide to have sex in exchange for money or other benefits (transactional sex), there is no doubt that this is the city with the largest population in the territory, which deals with the dilemma more constantly.
Even those who live in nearby demarcations or rural areas of the locality, venture late at night, sometimes exchanging a little sex for some pesos and others just for a beer.
Psychologist Mayelín Ayala García, member of the HIV/AIDS Project in Las Tunas, insists that the first age group (15 to 25 years old) is the most vulnerable to get sexually transmitted infections here. This type of practice, often unprotected, increases the risk of spreading these diseases.
"We have characterized vulnerable groups (young people and MSM) and the places where they are used to meeting and having sex. We know that there is a circulation of children under 15 at late hours of the night in specific places.
"The Identity Card was required In order to enter the disco, it always happened that those who were not old enough for it passed by, and it still happens. In the same way, sometimes they do not enter the discos, but they are in the surroundings.
"Sometimes they have relationships with people who leave those places with a high consumption of alcohol and are prone to any unprotected sex because, at such hours (2:00 am or 3:00 am) no one is aware of whether you carry a condom or not.
"We're talking about young people in areas where there's a party, a popular rally. The same in Maceo Park as in Plaza Martiana, near the AHS, all that part is a meeting place. However, they are already moving to other spaces. Youth have the characteristic of being very itinerant.
"They usually meet in the area from the Fair Bridge to the surroundings of what it was called Pista Joven.
Similarly, El Tanque de Buena Vista is another characteristic meeting area and some cafeterias such as El Paso, Dos Palmas and near La Casa Insólita. Besides, the park of the artisans, located near the railway terminal.
"Not a few boys come from the municipalities to here, mainly on weekends. The biggest flow begins from Thursday until Sunday dawn.
"That doesn't mean that between Mondays and Wednesdays no cases are reported. They mainly come from the municipalities of Majibacoa and Cerro de Caisimú, these are just two of the most constant geographic points. They are people who first go to their meeting places, which are the places where they know and establish the guidelines of the transaction and from there they move on to sex.
"These last young people have the characteristic that they need more darkness, sometimes not so much. Many neighbors complain about the little park behind the Provincial Hygiene Center, for example, a place devoid of light, where such noises are reported when it is dawn. They do the same in the steps of the stairs of the buildings.
The specialist concluded saying that "Last year we made an assessment of the population that practices transactional sex in Las Tunas. The material interest today moves a lot. I give you pleasure and you give me some benefit. That is how it works. Anything is accepted, but it is clear that, in general, it is a matter of money".
MY BODY IS MINE
Literature describes the group of friends as the most important pattern of teenagers. And experts insist that, in addition to each individual's sexual orientation, when the family supports, knows, is present, life becomes less complex.
Therefore, a family nucleus that is not attentive to the access of the youngest in the household to information, its most intrinsic values and the characteristics of the group in which he or she belong to, can hardly live with success, a determining factor in the construction of the future man or woman.
It is still the MSM who are the most affected by the AIDS epidemic in Las Tunas. Moreover, it is precisely these men who most visit the places of encounter and sex at dawn.
Let's add that, during the last two years, this province has reported a high incidence of zero positive bisexuals. They represent a major alarm because they infect both men and women and it means a notable rise in the pandemic here.