26 January 2010
Haiti to receive 6 months stock of AIDS medicines
Geneva – As Haiti begins the process to rebuild the country after the devastating earthquake that hit 12 January, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is focusing its effort to ensure that the thousands of people living with AIDS will be able to access the drugs they need to stay alive.
Haiti has the highest HIV infection rate outside southern Africa and 36,000 people are currently receiving antiretroviral treatment to stay healthy, 13,000 of these depend on programs financed by the Global Fund. With many health centers destroyed and health workers killed, people moving away from their home areas and transport difficult, there is an acute danger that many people will run out of the drugs they need. This would not only lead to many deaths, but the disruption of treatment would also lead to a high chance of drug resistance among those who stop and start their treatment.
The Global Fund is working closely with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and UNAIDS, both key international partners in Haiti, to ensure an uninterrupted flow of life-saving AIDS medicines to these patients.
“For tens of thousands of people living with HIV who survived the earthquake, the danger is far from over,” said Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “We are working to channel funds for the provision of drugs and treatment.”
The Global Fund is making an emergency provision of US$ 800,000 for a supply of 6 months of stocks of antiretroviral medicines. Antibiotics and other health supplies are being brought into Haiti in close cooperation with Global Fund partners in Dominican Republic.