The treatment and prevention of AIDS/HIV and other communicable
diseases is very much a global issue. Recently facilitated travel
and high rates of immigration, both legal and illegal, to countries
such as the United States and Spain have helped spread diseases
throughout the world. The social, political, and economic issues
surrounding healthcare on a national and international basis are
of immediate universal concern.
With the second highest number of documented AIDS/HIV cases in
Europe and its recent rise in immigration rates from developing
countries, the need for research in this area is crucial for Spain.
There are many organizations that have been created to promote
research on the facts surrounding immigrants and other marginalized
groups in Spain, such as the gitanos (Gypsies), and AIDS.
About a year ago, the Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo released
a document summarizing completed and ongoing research on AID/HIV
among ethnic minorities and immigrants in Spain. Though there
has been some progress in this area, the report clearly stresses
the need for further research and support in this issue.
I applied for a Fulbright Grant to study the relationship between
the marginal populations and the national healthcare system in
Spain under the tutelage of a professor at la Universidad Autónoma
de Barcelona. To prepare for this I completed a DANA mentorship
with Dr. Sutherland, looking at raw statistical data on AIDS and
immigration in Spain and reading specific accounts of immigrant
life. The project has given me a solid foundation upon which to
develop my research. It also made me crave more knowledge and
to realize the real-life gravity of the issues. This has been
an amazing learning experience, one that I hope to continue in
Spain next year!
Sara Iobst '02
Fulbright awards will be announced later this spring. ¡Suerte,