Powell Meets With Haitian Teens To Discuss Country’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday met with a group of 11 Haitian teenagers in the capital city of Port-au-Prince to discuss the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic and promised to continue to publicly discuss Haiti's fight against the disease, the Miami Herald reports. "I want to hear about your life," Powell told the teenagers, all of whom are peer counselors for the Foundation of Reproductive Health and Family Education -- a group working with young people and others at "high risk" for being infected with HIV -- according to the Herald. Powell told the teenagers -- none of whom were HIV-positive -- that it is important not to stigmatize HIV-positive people. He also noted that the United States under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief will give Haiti $40 million in 2005 to combat HIV/AIDS, according to the Herald. "We have to treat those who are ill and make sure those who are ill are getting the medication they need, and we have to give them hope," Powell said. Powell also said he would encourage the international community to release $1.4 billion in aid to Haiti (Charles, Miami Herald, 12/3). The United Nations last month urged donors to release at least $1 billion in funds for Haiti to address its social problems, including HIV/AIDS, following the release of a joint report by the United Nations and the Haitian government. The report found that 6.31% of the Haitian adult population was HIV-positive in 2002 and an estimated 10.5% of Haitians will be living with HIV/AIDS by 2015 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.