At 10 am the press conference at the Country Club Hotel in Lima starts. It is well attended and well prepared with many journalists curious to hear about the expedition. And it is surprising that many of them stay to listen to the Round Table. Amongst the listeners are the host Francisco Garcia-Calderon, head of Euro Motors S.A., the VW group in Peru as well as Alexander Fierley, head of the culture and press department of the German Embassy in Lima.
Competent experts are giving statements: Maria Teresa Ramos Flores from the national department of education introduces the five years curriculum of the primary school. Mario Tavera representing UNICEF reflects on the relationship between poverty and HIV and AIDS.
Ernesto Pimentel, a well-known TV moderator, himself HIV positive, tells about his own stigmatisation, Julio Cesar Cruy of PROSA and has been HIV positive for 24 years adds to the picture with some aspects concerning HIV positive people in Peru and mentions, that in some parts of Peru people living with the virus are not allowed to get married.
Adja Mejla representing the organisation Via Libre reports about the discrimination of homosexuals through institutions and society in general, this frequently also hurts their families.
Prevention is covered by Xenia Gili of UNAIDS, who emphasises that success in prevention is only possible when one looks at the whole person and the society; he or she is living in. Also Jose Fedora, a catholic priest, supports this view and expresses his hope that the RC church is changing its stance regarding condoms in due course.
At the end, soccer legend Teofilo Cubillas, the “Pele of Peru” who led his soccer team to win the South America Cup in the 70´s, and now ambassador for UNICEF adds his view: “Only those who are talking frankly about things can achieve change”
Ernesto Pimentel not only wishes luck when we part but also says: “What you do is not only impressive but important because you put once again HIV and AIDS on the public agenda, which is urgently needed”
After this encouragement we hit the road again or better the desert and drive another 700 km till we reach the first part of the famous Atacama Desert.