Primero de diciembre, Día Mundial del SIDA. (©Borderzine.com)

Una década de vida sufriendo con VIH/SIDA – Tiempos de pánico y de fe en Dios

EL PASO – Atrapado en la confusión de un suceso que parecía no tener salida, una víctima del VIH/SIDA que gozaba de una vida plena se refugió en la Fe de Dios para salir adelante. “Para mí esto empezó en el 2000, empecé a sentirme débil”, dijo en anonimato el hombre de 51 años que vestía una chamarra oscura. “Me quedaba dormido, en ese entonces yo me atendía en Juárez, y un doctor de allá me dijo que probablemente yo tenía (VIH)”. Para él este camino no fue fácil, aún con temor de que la prueba saliera positiva fue a enfrentar la realidad y salir de dudas ese día que para él fue de luto. “El día negro para mí, en ese momento yo lo tomé como una prueba de Dios,” dijo este hombre apesadumbrado.

"Machos enmascarados" are putting their wives' health in risk. (Christian Guerrero/Borderzine.com)

“Machos enmascarados” can infect their own wives with HIV/AIDS

EL PASO – The number of Latina housewives infected with HIV is increasing in El Paso and the perpetrators are “machos enmascarados,” usually their own husbands. “I had never seen the increase in that type of vulnerable heterosexual family-oriented woman, as I am seeing it now,” said Jorge Salazar, health services administrator of the Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe. “La Fe is focusing on the very difficult topic of educating and empowering our women.”

Women are finding out to their dismay that their prince charming is experimenting with his sexuality in what is called MSM (men having sex with men), contracting HIV/AIDS and passing it on to them, according to Salazar. December 1 is World AIDS Day, and Salazar said that he hopes that a new awareness of this new face of HIV in the Latino community will erase the image of what a person with HIV/AIDS may look like and start affected people on a journey of hope, peace and help. Women in El Paso are becoming more vulnerable to this situation and the numbers have been rising.

The Texas Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande office provides access to WorkInTexas.com, the most comprehensive online resource but not enough to satisfy the demand of 34,000 El Pasoans. (Christian Guerrero/Borderzine.com)

The Sun City tells 34,000 stories of unemployment

EL PASO – Waking up restless after a night of insomnia is the everyday scenario of a 62-year-old electrician who after being laid off three months ago has gone homeless, living in his only possession, an old, rusty green pick-up truck. Unemployment has scared this Chicago native, who asked to remain anonymous, because he says the U.S. social security system has thrown him down a trash hole. “I have been facing a very difficult time,” he said. “I have only been collecting unemployment and that’s what has been taking me through and I’m still living on the streets.”

His appearance doesn’t disguise his current economic crisis. His threadbare shirt and jeans and noticeably long white hair speak of the difficult times he’s going through.

(Courtesy of Jaime Portillo)

The borderland becomes comic book fantasy as gunslingers and vampires stalk the high desert

EL PASO – The blazing sun was so hot here Saturday that the mean old Texas gunslinger Dallas Stoudenmire could have strutted right out of pages of the western comic book Hell Paso into the desert morning in a barrage of gunfire. But the scoundrel stayed pressed into the pages of the colorful comic written by Jaime Portillo, which tells the adventures of the Old West marshal who lived in El Paso in 1891. Instead of outlaws and gunslingers the streets of Hell Paso teemed with comic book enthusiast anxious to meet their favorite comic book celebrities. The El Paso Comic Convention helped network local artists to the national comic book community. Such was the case for Portillo, author of other comic books such as Gabriel (2004), The Railroad Killer (2009).