Number of HIV-Positive Haitian Immigrants in Dominican Republic Increasing, Officials Say
An increasing number of Haitian immigrants in the northern part of the Dominican Republic are testing positive for HIV, Ministry of Health officials said recently, EFE News Service reports.
Pedro Vargas, head of the HIV/AIDS program at the Dominican Republic's health ministry, said that 3,000 new HIV cases have been recorded in the country's second-largest city of Santiago and that most of them are among the local Haitian population. Vargas said the majority of those with HIV/AIDS are young people, especially women between ages 15 and 28. According to doctors at a workshop held in Santiago about sexual health, reproductive issues and HIV/AIDS, many HIV-positive Haitian immigrants contracted the virus before they entered the Dominican Republic; however, some, particularly women, became HIV-positive in Haiti through unprotected sex (EFE News Service, 6/9).