HIV - AIDS
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HIV is nondiscriminatory; it affects families, communities and individuals. HIV- Human Immunodeficiency Virus causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The virus hosts on the human body and attacks fighter cells of the immune system. HIV progressively destroys the body's ability to fight common infections and without treatment can lead to death.
According to AIDS.gov, worldwide, currently more than 33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. As these numbers grow, one way to combat this fatal virus is through HIV care and antiretroviral drug therapies. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people infected with HIV have access to health care and antiretroviral drug therapies.
HIV/AIDS has devastated the Caribbean, which ranks second only to sub-Saharan Africa for AIDS prevalence, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2006, the United Nations estimated that 19,000 people in the Caribbean died of AIDS, and that an additional 250,000 were living with the virus. In 2005, 38,133 new HIV diagnoses were made among Caribbean Americans in the U.S.
Food For The Poor assists within 17 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America to help the populations stricken by HIV/AIDS.
Medical care and treatment is often minimal or underfunded in the countries we serve. Food For The Poor solicits donations from major manufacturers of medical supplies and medicines for distribution throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. In Haiti, Food For The Poor operates outpatient clinics and supplies hospitals with food, medicine and medical equipment. Food For The Poor also supports hospitals, clinics, AIDS facilities, homes for the elderly, and orphanages throughout the Caribbean and Latin America by providing food, medicine and medical supplies. In 2008, 625.5 tractor-trailer loads of medicines and medical supplies were sent to help care for the sick in the countries we serve.
Below are several areas that are experiencing the following circumstances:
In Haiti, 16,000 people have died since 2005, according to HaitiInnovation.org. These people are mothers, fathers and children. Each person who lost the fight against AIDS had the potential to make a difference in the world.
Honduras, one of the poorest countries in Latin America, has an estimated 63,000 people living with HIV/AIDS according to USAID.gov. Only 11% of pregnant women requiring services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission have access to them and only 25% of people living with HIV in need of antiretroviral drugs have access to treatment.
In Jamaica, HIV is present in all of the island’s parishes with Kingston, St. Andrew and St. James having the highest percentage of cases. The United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS estimates that 25,000 people in Jamaica are HIV-infected.
Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, one can live a productive healthy life after the virus is contracted. To ensure a healthy - happy life, an HIV-positive person needs access to Anti-HIV (also called antiretroviral) medications. These medications are used to combat the reproduction of the virus and to slow or halt the progression of HIV-related diseases. In the countries where the poorest of the poor live, these drugs are expensive and difficult for many to afford and may not be available in rural areas.
HIV is a serious health issue that needs to be addressed and medically treated in the countries we serve. We cannot ignore the health issue that HIV has caused, nor can we ignore the people who have it. Each day, more and more people are affected by HIV/AIDS. These brothers and sisters need assistance and medical help.
- March 2010