EL SALVADOR


Republic of El Salvador is a sovereign country of Central America located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean with a territorial extension of 21 041 km².

The population of El Salvador amounts to 6 million 581 thousand 860 inhabitants, according to the latest Survey of Multiple Purpose Households of 2017, revealed by the General Directorate of Statistics and Census (Digestyc). Men constitute 3,382,839 and women 3,565,234.

According to the report, of that total 3 million 959 thousand 652 inhabitants live in the urban area and 2 million 622 thousand 208 in the rural area, which in relative terms represents 60.2% and 39.8% respectively.

The report adds that in this same line, it is highlighted that in the Metropolitan Area of ​​San Salvador (AMSS), 25.7% of the total population of the country is concentrated, equivalent to 1 million 693 thousand 186 inhabitants.

The Salvadoran economy has experienced great industrial development in recent years, being the third country in Central America with the highest human development index after Costa Rica and Panama, with the greatest development in its capital San Salvador. The current coin of El Salvador is the US dollar, the GDP is USD 28.989 million dollars (2019) and according to its size, the Salvadoran economy is the 16th in Latin America.


In May 2015, the amendment to the penal code in article 128 was approved, which establishes that the homicide will be punished with a higher penalty when it is related and proves that it has been moved by hatred of Sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, between other variants, and article 155 on threats related and verified that have been moved by hatred of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression among other variants.

In 2016, citizens lodged an appeal before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, to declare some Articles of the Family Code that prohibit Civil Marriage between same-sex older adults unconstitutional.

In 2019, the Constitutional Chamber admits resources 184-2016 and 149-2016 and gives 10 days to the Attorney General and the Legislative Assembly to rule on these interposed resources, then the room must study and fail in relation to demand.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security carried out with the technical and financial support of the Federation of LGBTI Organizations the Policy of Attention to LGBTI people in its dependencies such as: Fire Department, National Civil Police (PNC), Academy of Public Security and Migration and Immigration, Penal Centers, Intermediate Retention Centers, PNC General Inspectorate, all developing with their own resources, their protocols for the applicability of the policy in each of the units.

The Ministry of Public Health has developed different policies such as: Guidelines for attention to LGBTI people in the Public Health System, HIV care law, that is the only law that recognizes LGBTI people, Laboratory guidelines for LGBTI people care field, Decree 202, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, identity and gender expressions of LGBTI+ people.


In El Salvador, the HIV epidemic is concentrated in key populations, where the HIV prevalence in these populations can be between 24 and 32 times higher than the general population. The following are identified in this population: TS (Trans Sexuals), MSM (Man who has sex with a man), Gay and Bisexuals, trans people and Prisoners.

El Salvador reports from 1984 to 2015, 31,896 accumulated cases of HIV, of which 29% (9,394) are in the advanced HIV phase. Of the total accumulated cases, 20,022 (63%) are men and 11,874 (37%) are women.

The age group with the highest number of cases in women, is of people over 49, followed by the age range of 35 to 39, then 30 to 34 and finally 25 to 29 years old. In men, the largest number is in the range of 20 to 24 years old, followed by 30 to 34 and 25 to 29 years old.

In El Salvador, the departments most affected by the HIV epidemic are San Salvador, Sonsonate, Santa Ana, La Paz, Ahuachapán, San Miguel and La Libertad.

Currently, there is a diversity of international human rights norms that include or refer to the right to “enjoy the maximum level of health that can be achieved” or to “enjoy the highest possible level of physical and mental health”. In our country, several of them constitute binding norms for our state once they have gone through the signing and ratification process.

Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

This refers to the right to got to in writing before any instance, when the person is faced with the violation of their rights, in the same way, this includes people with HIV, therefore, through this commitment they can protect themselves, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This requires the adoption of the necessary measures to prevent and eradicate discrimination, understood as distinctions, exclusions or preferences based on age, sex (sexual orientation, gender expression), race, color, political or religious opinion, national ancestry or social origin; in the Laboral scene.

National legal framework regarding HIV

Constitution of the Republic:

It is the main tool that governs the Legal Framework of Human Rights in El Salvador, and begins in its Article 1, with the recognition of the human person as the origin and end of the State's activity and that it is also its obligation to ensure the inhabitants of the Republic enjoy all human rights. Article 3 recognizes equality before the law; therefore, no difference or restriction should be established for access to justice.

In the same chapter, Article 37 of the Constitution recognizes the right to work as a social function and enjoys the protection of the State, and in its second paragraph states that the State will use all the resources that are within to provide occupation to the worker, manual or intellectual and to assure him and his family the economic conditions of a dignified existence. The analysis in the labor market is particularly relevant, since inequality of opportunity and treatment constitutes a form of exclusion that aggravates unemployment and underemployment of members of certain groups, such is the case of people with HIV.

Health Code

Article 1 contemplates its aim that literally says: “This Code is intended to develop the constitutional principles related to the public health and social assistance of the inhabitants of the Republic and the rules for the organization, operation and powers of the Council Superior of Public Health, of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance and other State agencies, private health services and their relations with each other in the exercise of professions related to the health of the people ”; on the other hand it is found that in Art. 131 they are diseases of obligatory declaration for the AIDS case, understood that it is a Code that requires revision and update regarding the terminology, regarding the subject, in any case it applies to HIV; also art. 133 refers to the fact that this infection is subject to surveillance, so we see that the HIV situation does not escape this regulatory regulation, therefore it is an instrument that also respects the rights of people with HIV in health matters.

The Law of Prevention and Control of Infection caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus was created by Legislative Decree No. 562 dated December 14, 2016.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, in coordination with the governing body, is the institution responsible for ensuring the correct and timely application of this law, in relation to the workplace. The Ministry, through the different dependencies that make it up, must provide people with timely and personalized attention, through trained and sensitized personnel on the subject of HIV, which includes labor advice on rights and duties for working people, as well as guidance on employment and communication.

The work of non-governmental organizations that are funded by projects by the European Union, Global Fund; They are executed by Civil Society in which the Entre Amigos Association plays a fundamental role as a sub-recipient of the Project “Innovating Services Reducing Risks Renewing Lives in El Salvador”.

It is important to mention that all efforts to eradicate HIV-AIDS in El Salvador and defense of Human Rights do not include lesbian and Bisexual women, nor do transgender men populations that are at constant risk of contracting the disease and that are excluded from the health system, because of their gender identity and expression.

The organizations of transgender men in El Salvador are barely fighting for the name law and dignified treatment in the health and education system.

Lesbian and bisexual women can go unnoticed in health and decent work, however there is not even a project that performs HIV tests only for these populations already mentioned.