Extreme poverty, political instability, and inaccessible and poor quality health services, have all exacerbated the HIV epidemic in Haiti. 130,000 people in Haiti are living with HIV and there were approximately 8,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2015, due to a significant proportion of newly diagnosed patients not receiving the care and treatment they need.
People living with HIV in Haiti are often subjected to violence, denied medical services, and abandoned by friends and family. Many people in Haiti are still rebuilding their lives after the devastating damage caused by the earthquake in January 2010 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Consequently, many people are 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 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 the risk of HIV was increased for people living there. 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.
POZ are currently a sub recipient of the Global Fund and continue to provide health services to those most affected by the HIV epidemic, and supports them to defend their rights. Last year POZ reached 32,633 people from marginalised populations with HIV prevention services. They also work with other organisations to strengthen the national network of people living with HIV in Haiti.