The Haitian Ministry of Health and its partners have launched a new HIV/AIDS campaign focused on raising awareness, rapid testing, and treatment. With the support of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria and other donors, Haitians can be tested and treated for free. Stigma and discrimination, especially against women and members of the LGBT community, remain challenges. Courtesy of AFP, more information about the campaign follows.
The credibility of any government is determined in large part by its capacity and willingness to provide basic services. Health care can bring people together when there is equal access, or divide people when there is not. Before and after the earthquake, quality health care in Haiti was/is primarily provided by non-governmental and international organizations (NGOs/IOs). The NGOs and IOs have been instrumental in keeping disease outbreaks at bay and access to health care for many residents in Port au Prince, at least for now, is better than it was before the earthquake. While significant accomplishments, much more remains to be done before we can say that the health care system is truly being reconstructed.
Project Medishare, an NGO supporting medical and public health programming on Haiti's Central Plateau, has been awarded a $1.25 million grant through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The award, which is focused on HIV/AIDS prevention activities, is part of a $4.8 million grant to Cross International, a South Florida-based interdenominational Christian humanitarian agency. Cross International has posted an announcement on their website as well.
The XVII International International AIDS Conference will take place in Mexico City from August 3-8. This promises to be interesting given that the The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), already the largest initiative ever devoted to a single disease, was reauthorized and expanded to $48 billion over the next five years. The Kaiser Family Foundation will be webcasting many portions of the conference. You will also be able to read summaries of each day's events here.
Haiti is the country most affected by HIV/AIDS in the Western Hemisphere. That having been said, Haiti is also one of only a handfull of countries to have halted and reversed a generalized epidemic. This is something to be proud of. Credit mainly goes to Haitian civil society but also to national and international non-governmental organizations as well as commited government officials. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria have, in different ways, both helped accelerate progress.