Despite the tropical heat, nearly 1,500 people lined up to get tested for HIV and receive comprehensive medical screenings at a recent testing drive organized by AHF Haiti in Tabarre, Port au Prince. The two-day event in July primarily catered to the people visiting family members in the nearby national prison and low income, high-risk members of the community. The team identified 42 positive clients and linked them to care and follow up services.
Medical professionals at this event distributed condoms, helped spread awareness about diseases, provided medical testing and medications, and helped attendees acquire consistent care.
For many—in a region scarred by 2010’s catastrophic earthquake, with little infrastructure recovery in the past five years—it marked their first time ever seeing a doctor.
AHF Haiti currently provides testing, care, and treatment to incarcerated populations in conjunction with another NGO, Health through Walls. With help from AHF, Haitians released from prison are able to stay on track with their treatment so there is no interruption in care. Partners of incarcerated HIV-positive individuals are also able to receive HIV testing so they too can know their status and receive care and treatment if necessary.
AHF has a freestanding clinic, Klinic Solidarite, in Port au Prince that provides testing, care, and treatment services to the general public.
These initiatives are modest actions in a region that has suffered much, but the impact across generations, finally able to have some control in their health and wellness, is immeasurable.
We applaud the efforts to connect people living with HIV through awareness, and recognize there is still much work to be done. Through our 20×20 campaign, our goal is to have 20 million HIV+ people around the world on treatment by the year 2020.