Extreme poverty, political instability, and inaccessible and poor quality health services, have all exacerbated the HIV epidemic in Haiti. Only two-thirds of people living with HIV in Haiti know their HIV status, and nearly 30% of newly diagnosed patients do not receive the care and treatment they need.
People living with HIV are often subjected to violence, denied medical services and abandoned by friends and family. And lives are still being rebuilt after the devastating earthquake in January 2010, which left thousands of people without food, water and shelter, making people living with HIV more vulnerable than ever.
We’ve been working with Promoteurs de l’Objectif Zerosida (POZ) in Haiti for since 2005. When their office collapsed in the 2010 earthquake POZ continued their work out of tents, and took condoms and HIV prevention messages to the temporary camps where, for people living there, the risk of HIV was increased. They also formed short-term strategic partnerships with other organisations working in the emergency response to ensure that the livelihood and nutritional needs of people living with HIV were met.
They continue to provide health services to those most affected by the HIV epidemic, and supports them to defend their rights. Last year POZ reached over 7,000 people with testing and couselling services, and enrolled 2,000 people in care and support programmes. They also work with other organisations to strengthen the national network of people living with HIV in Haiti.