Essay on Prevention and Treatment for HIV in Haiti

Published: 2021-06-23 13:55:58
1980 words
8 pages
17 min to read
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
Term paper
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Today a great number of people living with HIV/AIDS has doubled compared to the yester years. Also in comparison to the years before so many people living with the virus have come forward to accept their status and embracing life while seeking medication. Today over half a billion people are living with HIV/AIDS and thus in dire need of having access to antiretroviral treatment. In third world countries it is a challenge and thus need urgent attention. In Haiti, the situation is not any different as most of the population is either infected or directly affected by the epidemic. This is because of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS being higher than any other neighboring countries such as Cuba and Jamaica. In the last one decade according to UNAIDS, more than ten thousand people have lost their lives to HIV, resulting to the rise of a high number of orphans. This paper will discuss the strategies and techniques put in place for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in the population of Haiti.

When dealing with the prevention and treatment of HIV there are an array of issues that need to be looked at keenly. Haiti as a country lacks the proper facilities to deal with the many issues affecting its population. One of the factors that increase the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is the aspect of extreme poverty. Over half of the population in Haiti live below the poverty line, which means that a family uses below one US dollar a day (Behforouz, Farmer, & Mukerjee, 2004). Extreme poverty has been a major drawback in trying to curb the crisis of HIV that faces the small island country. As a result of this bottleneck, most of the people in the population lack the access to knowledge that appertain transmission risks, couples with the lack of access to basic reproductive health services and provision of financial resources for treatment of the complications that accompany HIV/AIDS.

Prevention and Treatment of HIV/Aids

In response to the prevalence of the epidemic, Haitian Ministry of Health took action to look for a solution in order to elevate the crisis at hand. This saw the ministry come into collaboration with other partners as well as non-governmental organizations to help hasten the process of finding a solution. These organizations work hand in hand to prevent and treat further spread of the virus. A national plan was laid out in order to cover the whole country when handling the cases of those infected and affected. Those most affected are aged between fifteen and forty nine years who are living with the virus (Behforouz, Farmer, & Mukerjee, 2004).

The implementation and actualization of the program that ran throughout the country by the partners of the ministry of health saw the reduction in percentage of the rates of transmission resulting to a decline in prevalence of HIV/AIDS throughout Haiti. Being able to reach the population is key to ensuring that the programs laid out to help in the prevention of spread of HIV becomes successful. Non-governmental organizations are often considered the best partners because they go to the grassroots and put in a lot of effort to see the program succeeds no matter the conditions. For instance, Partners in Health (PIH), and GHESKIO are NGOs located in Haitis Central plateau and Port-au-Prince respectively. These places are targeted because they have the most population considering they are rural and urban slums. People in the interior most places tend not to have access to the required and recommended services appertaining the prevention, treatment and care of people living with HIV/AIDS (Apollon, S. et al. 2010). Without proper knowledge people are bound to lack vital information regarding the issues related to HIV.

When dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it is essential to look at the key aspects that involve the prevention and treatment of the virus. One of the areas that the Partners in Health majored in when solving the HIV/AIDS crisis, is services associated with preventative and treatment. Free counseling, testing and diagnosis for HIV, enables the partners to reach out to the people. Before testing the employees of the partners in health get in the process of counselling the person and give advice on how to live life even when they are found to carry the virus. This gives a person hope to face life and carry out their everyday activities, without being psychologically affected by the fact that they are infected. The people of Haiti are in dire need of these services considering their economic status as well as their psychological unpreparedness of the shock that comes along should they find out that they are infected.

The other service offered to the people of Haiti in relation to HIV/AIDS is free follow up care. Not being able to have the finances to go for paid testing is a challenge for Haitians. Thus when non-governmental organizations such as Partner in Health opt to take up the noble course of tending to the people, it saves the locals the financial strain. These services are coupled with some allocation of subsidies for transportation as well as nutrition supplements (Apollon, S. et al. 2010). These enables the patients infected with HIV/AIDS to have an easy time to seek medical services. Free transportation enables rural dwellers in the Central plateau to travel to medical centers. On the other hand free follow up care is well utilized by both the patients and service providers because it makes it possible to single out the most serious cases that need urgent attention. Through following up on patients with HIV/AIDS, it gives the care giver a better understanding of the state of health of the population (Farmer, P. et al. (2001). The ministry of health in Haiti has gone a step further to ensure that all patients living with HIV/AIDS have a proper diet, and thus provide nutrition supplements for those who cannot afford the actual foods.

The presence of antiretroviral services has become prominent in the rural area as well as the semi urban settlements in Port-au-Prince. These services are of great essence to the population because of the weak body immune system. Haiti has been on the losing side in the war against the HIV scourge, because of lack of medical expertise and financial constraints (Farmer, et al. (2001). Haitians have very much benefited from the efforts being spread out in the country. The antiretroviral strengthen the immune system of the patient having the HIV virus thus preventing the attack from other common diseases.

This has been made possible through the utilization and implementation of programmes that are focused towards using limited resources to make a difference in the lives of those suffering. The free retroviral treatment has seen many Haitians get a face lift as well as a new leash of life, having suffered for a long period, with CD4 counts as low as four. After the roll out of the program many people have regained strength and gone about their daily life activities. The antiretroviral therapy is coupled with community based care that enables those in dire need of these services to receive the much needed support (Behforouz, Farmer, & Mukerjee, 2004).

The Haitian ministry of health in collaboration with other partners offer the services of training nurses and community health workers from poor financial background. The fact that the prevention and treatment programs are spread out in the most vulnerable places, such as the rural and semi-urban settlements such as slums makes it easy to reach out to the target groups (Apollon, S. et al. 2010). The beneficiaries get to be equipped with skills that enable them to offer services that are much needed in their communities. When these people are brought in for training, they are better placed to benefit most from the programs alongside their community members. This is because of the fact that they have a background that has enabled them to have a better understanding of the situation on the ground (Behforouz, Farmer, & Mukerjee, 2004).

People with troubled financial backgrounds couples with sickness, when offered such opportunities, they grab them and have the vim to want to positively impact the community. In this case the beneficiaries are people infected with HIV/AIDS. When trained these personnel add up to the total number of people trying to help bring down the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. A vast of knowledge and information is invested in the people who go back to the community and make a difference. Haiti is not any different from third world countries that are struggling with the economic recession, which has brought along a lot of drawbacks in the health system (Castro, & Farmer, 2005). Programs that train nurses and community health workers is a worthy investment for the Ministry of Health in Haiti, and in return the community gets to benefit as a whole and not just in the aspect of HIV/AIDS but also in other health related issues.

It is said that education is key and a solution to most of the world problems. This is not any different in the case of Haiti where a huge percentage of the population are illiterate. Being knowledgeable about some of the issues could be the solution to some of the worlds prevalent problems such as HIV/AIDS (Reid, et al. (2006). The population need to be well educated about facts and myths that are associated with HIV/AIDS. Accurate information about the virus enables the people to know what actions to take when infected or affected by it (Castro, & Farmer, 2005). The ministry of health in Haiti has rolled out a program that ensures every mother who seeks medical attention gets tested for the HIV/AIDS in order to prevent any transmission of the viruses to the unborn baby. Forums have been set up whereby Haitians have been welcomed free of charge to attend in order to be informed more about the key aspects and factors that appertain HIV/AIDS.

The ministry of health in partnership with various NGOs, have rolled out services that target the most vulnerable people in the population. For instance, some of the NGOs focus on pregnant women and mothers. This group is educated on the various channels of transmission, counselled then tested and if found to be having the virus then a way forward is chanted. This is inclusive of education programs that inform the mothers on alternative feeding practices especially those found to be infected with the virus (Behforouz, Farmer, & Mukerjee, 2004). The programs also cover the use of antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy and delivery as well as after delivery services that give a follow up on precautions that the new born child does not contract the disease. This is one of the core areas that the health workers focus on because when mothers are not informed of the possibility of having an uninfected baby even when infected then they would be ignorant about the whole staying protective and reducing HIV child mortality (Apollon, S. et al. 2010).

Another forum has been rolled out to educate the larger population on the facts that appertain HIV/AIDS. In the forums people are informed on the means of transmission and ways through which to prevent themselves from getting infected. The low poverty levels among Haitians makes them vulnerable to some risky behaviors that most often exposes most of the people to the virus (Castro, & Farmer, 2005). The youths have been in most cases associated with unprotected sexual behaviors. These makes them quite vulnerable and susceptible to contracting the virus. The ministry of health went a step further to put in place preventive measures of protecting the population thus introduced the free condom program. This program ensures that free government condoms are supplied to the people in strategic places where accessibility is easy. The youths are also encouraged to go for free testing...

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