Haiti AIDS Prevention Program Targets Youth
The United Nations, the Haitian government and a number of nongovernmental organizations are staging a "multifaceted battle plan" to quell the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people in Haiti, Agence France-Presse reports. The outreach campaign includes a "caravan of artists and youths against AIDS" who perform concerts, stage anti-AIDS parades and hold workshops and debates about the "mystery of the disease." Nancy Roc, a journalist and one of the campaign's organizers, said that the campaign has reached its goal of educating 50,000 young people in 18 cities across the country. "We have surpassed our goal ... because for the first time we communicated with young people in a medium they understand -- we used entertainment." But Joelle Daes Van Onhaker, coordinator of the campaign, said "the war cannot be won until transmission rates" drop from 4.5% to "one or two percent." She added that efforts to bring down the cost of anti-AIDS drugs are also necessary to curb the epidemic. Researchers are also hoping that a vaccine may soon be available; since March, Haitian doctors have been testing two vaccines on 40 "low-risk" HIV-negative patients. To "wage Haiti's war on AIDS" will cost between $125 million and $200 million over the next five years (Agence France-Presse, 6/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.