Donors pledge $5.3B over 18 months to help rebuild Haiti

January 17, 2016

In related news, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said Wednesday in an interview with Reuters that the earthquake threatens Haiti's progress in its fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. "Among the few indicators that were showing any progress were those for HIV," he said. "Haiti was almost a model in responding to HIV," Sidibe added.

Sidibe highlighted the risk for women who lost shelter in the quake. "Women and girls living in the camps face a major challenge and live in a kind of terror of nightfall, when rape and sexual assaults begin," Sidibe said. "It's critical that we protect them from violence or we'll see an increase in new infections."

He noted that more than two-thirds of HIV-positive Haitians were affected by the earthquake and more than 5,000 pregnant women in Haiti had HIV. "They need to have more protection or we will experience an increased number of babies born with HIV," he said. "He said it was too early to see the effects of the quake on HIV patients since it can take at least six months for those deprived of medication to fall sick and die. ... 'We need preventive measures among displaced populations including distribution of condoms and making sure information is well targeted,' said Sidibe, who was visiting Morocco for an international HIV/AIDS conference" (3/31).

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