AIDS Healthcare Foundation opened an AHF Healthcare Center in Croix des Missions, Ouest in Haiti last week. Opening day, March 29th, was a huge success with more than 500 people lining up by 4:00 am to get tested during the free HIV testing event. By the end of the day, 356 had been tested for HIV. The 20 who tested positive were immediately linked to lifesaving care at the AHF Healthcare Center.
AHF has been providing technical support in Haiti for many years and is now providing testing and treatment regardless of ability to pay at its healthcare center located in Croix des Missions, Haiti. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS among adults is estimated to be 2.7%.
Below is a blog photo report on the clinic opening and the testing event from Michael Kahane, AHF’s Bureau Chief for the Southern Bureau:
We just got back to our hotel after a very difficult day in Haiti. We encountered many issues but thanks to the amazing people I am here with we worked through almost all of them and are on track to test 500 people on Thursday and link anyone who tests positive into immediate lifesaving care. Thank you to Whitney, Dr. Mellon, Gregory, Lynn, Myralande, Fabiola and Catheline for all of your very hard work today to make this a reality and thank you to Garry and Julie for gathering the drugs needed to treat those in need. Thanks to the PHD team, lead by Jessie, who put together the 1,000+ hygiene kits we are going to pass out free to those who need things like soap, toothpaste and other basic necessities because they don’t have access to them. Hugs to everyone – you are all amazing!
Our wonderful Haiti staff!
Amazing story of the day: A woman with three children came into the clinic at death’s door today. She weighed 87 pounds, had KS cancer and was very, very ill. Our doctor said she would have died within two weeks. She was HIV positive but was never able to get any care. Because of the drugs that Garry gathered and we brought with us our doctor was able to immediately put her on proper medications. Because of the medications she should be able to work again in about three weeks and her health should be fully restored in less than three months! She could not read or write, so the medications were marked with an “x” so she knew the number of pills she needs to take in the morning and at night. She will remain in our care and should now live a full life and be able to care for her children. This is really what it is all about.
Over 500 people have been lined up since 4am for our testing drive today. Amazing!
We had the most humbling day today. Our testing event was the largest HIV testing event in the history of Haiti. It will take me many days to process everything but I am so thankful that I was able to do this and so appreciative of everyone on our team who worked so hard to make this a reality.
Some people were so dehydrated that blood had to be drawn from their ear as none could be drawn from their fingers or arms.
Thank you to the amazing Team AHF for making today a reality!
Dr. Mellon, our Medical Director in Haiti, sent the following this morning:
“The best proof of our great work is that, yesterday again, hordes of clients showed up at the healthcare center very early. As I said during our debriefing dinner on Thursday, there’s a serious need for healthcare in this poor community; and, for the first time, an organization has shown them that they were not left out. And AHF is that organization!”
We will be back very soon. Congratulations Team AHF, for a job well done!