March 24, 2010
Works, March 25, 2010
Haitian activists, part of the grassroots coalition PHAP+, staged a protest in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday protesting the lack of plan to address AIDS in the wake of the earthquake and the withholding of access to antiretroviral medications that save lives. The protest targeted the major players at the weekly AIDS relief “cluster” meetings: The United Nations, USAID and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Protesters waved signs reading “Too Much Money is Being Wasted On Beautiful Cars”; “Give Us the Medications!”; and “We Are Tired of Waiting!”
AIDS ACTIVISTS TO PROTEST IN PORT-AU-PRINCE OVER ACCESS TO MEDICATIONS, LACK
OF RELIEF COORDINATION
Demo targets Global Fund, U.N. and U.S.
What: Demonstration to gain access to AIDS medications and force the U.N. and U.S. to adopt a relief plan for Haitians living with AIDS
Who: More than 70 activists from the Haitian grassroots AIDS coalition PHAP+
Where: The Global Fund’s Country Coordinating Mechanism Office, Delmas 83, Port-Au-Prince
When: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 11 AM
More than 70 AIDS activists affiliated with the grassroots Haitian AIDS coalition Plateforme Haitienne Des Associations de PVVIH (PHAP+) plan to hold a noisy demonstration at a meeting of organizations in charge of coordinating relief efforts that focus on Haitians living with HIV AIDS in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, March 24 at 11 AM.
The protest is targeting the major players at the weekly AIDS relief “cluster” meetings: The United Nations, USAID and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Protestors plan to wave signs reading “Too Much Money is Being Wasted On Beautiful Cars”; “Give Us the Medications!”; and “We Are Tired of Waiting!” Protestors have two demands.
Demand One: UNAIDS, the Global Fund and PEPFAR/USAID must formulate and adopt a disaster relief plan for Haitians living with HIV/AIDS. “The United Nations and USAID have been promising a real plan to provide desperately needed medical care to people with HIV since the relief efforts began. We can no longer tolerate their inaction. We must tell the world what is going on,” said Esther Boucicault. Boucicault is Haiti’s best-known AIDS activist, president of PHAP+, and founder of the AIDS organization Fondation Esther Boucicault Stanislas.
Demand Two: Give grassroots groups access to antiretroviral medications. The Global Fund maintains a large supply of antiretrovirals in a warehouse in Port-au-Prince, but has severely restricted access to grassroots AIDS groups. PHAP+ has established two HIV clinics since the earthquake, one in Port-au-Prince and one in St.-Marc, but has been unable to obtain cooperation from The Global Fund in order to provide antiretrovirals. PHAP+ is providing support for a third clinic, the Centre Medico-social de Port-au-Prince, that serves Haitian families and been unable to obtain antiretrovirals for that clinic, as well.
There are 120,000 Haitians living with HIV/AIDS. The vast majority live in the three departments hit hardest by the earthquake. According to a February 2010 report from UNAIDS:
The majority of AIDS treatment facilities and clinics in Port-au- Prince, Jacmel, Leogane and Petit Goâve have been destroyed.
Fewer than 40% of Haitians who were receiving AIDS-related care before the quake receive it now.
More than 1 million Haitians are living in tent cities. (Without immediate HIV prevention efforts, sexual violence and exploitation in the camps will increase HIV infections.)
Since 1995, Haiti has reduced its HIV prevalence rate from 6% to 2%. (The country’s lack of stable housing and food—integral to AIDS treatment and care—threatens to reverse that progress).
Since the January 12 earthquake, Housing Works has been collaborating with PHAP+, along with other New York City-based organizations to support three clinics in Haiti. For complete information on these clinics, go to www.housingworks.org/haiti.
Plateforme Haitienne des Associations de PVVIH is a national association of Haitian AIDS groups led by people living with HIV/AIDS. Members include SéroVie; REHPIVIIH; Greater Involvement of People with AIDS—GIPA; and Fondation Esther Boucicault Stanislas.
ABOUT HOUSING WORKS
Housing Works is the U.S.‘s largest community-based AIDS organization and the nation’s largest minority-controlled AIDS organization. Since 1990, Housing Works has provided a comprehensive array of lifesaving services, such as housing, medical and dental care, meals, case management, counseling and job training, to more than 20,000 homeless or low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit www.HousingWorks.org.
Categorized in: Press Releases
Posted by David Thorpe, March 23, 2010 at 3:32pm
March 24, 2010