Let communities Lead to eliminate the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Haiti.

1 Dec 2023

Let communities Lead to eliminate the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Haiti.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, December 1st, 2023 – On World AIDS Day, celebrated each year on 1 December, UNAIDS is calling for action to further strengthen community leadership in Haiti, which represents a crucial element in defeating the pandemic by 2030.

This year, World AIDS Day is commemorated under the theme "Let Communities Lead". Indeed, the new UNAIDS report highlights that achieving the 2030 goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat, is only possible if communities on the frontlines obtain the full support they need from governments and donors. 

With an estimated HIV prevalence of 1.7% among adults (15-49 years) in 2022, Haiti has made significant progress in its response to the pandemic, reducing new infections by 21% and AIDS-related deaths by nearly 75%, between 2010 and 2022. These achievements are a result of the determination of civil society organizations and community associations, social workers, and activists whose invaluable commitment has been instrumental in combating stigma and discrimination at national level. 

The United Nations System in Haiti is calling for support to communities of people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, and who are fully committed to and engaged in the response. "It is with them and their commitment that we can succeed in eliminating the threat of AIDS. Eliminating inequalities is equally critical to changing the lives of people living with HIV and the communities most vulnerable to HIV infection", stated Maria Isabel Salvador, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Haiti. 

"Community-based organizations have for a long time represented the backbone of the HIV response in Haiti. Their unwavering support is fundamental to eradicating the AIDS pandemic and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals ", highlights Ulrika Richardson, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Haiti and Humanitarian Coordinator, simultaneously stressing the critical role of health in Haiti's development.

Recognizing the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Government President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which coincides with this internationally-celebrated annual event, Dr. Christian Mouala, UNAIDS Country Director in Haiti, said: "PEPFAR has been a key partner for Haiti, establishing solid partnerships across key national and international stakeholders.. We celebrate this dynamic collaboration and call for its continued strengthening to achieve our common goal.”

Since its first commemoration in 1988 by the United Nations General Assembly, 1 December has symbolized a day of global reflection, assessment of progress made and strategic readjustment in the global response to HIV/AIDS. UNAIDS' ambitious 95-95-95 targets for 2025 highlight the importance of accurate knowledge of HIV status, universal access to antiretroviral treatment, and viral load suppression among people on antiretroviral therapy. 

The United Nations System in Haiti is unanimous in its commitment for communities’ leadership role to be made core in the plans, programs, budgets of all HIV-related interventions. Defeating the AIDS pandemic requires overcoming barriers to full community participation and overturning local discriminatory stereotypes for a truly inclusive response. We must capitalize on the expertise of all communities to accelerate the fight to end AIDS and achieve the 2025 and 2030 targets.

 For more information, please contact:

Wegbert Chery, Equality and Rights for All Adviser (ERA) à l’ONUSIDA en Haïti ; Tél : +509 46512125; Courriel : cheryw@unaids.org 

Igor Rugwiza, Communications Officer of the Office of the Resident Coordinator; Tel : +509 48084749 ; courriel : rugwiza@un.org

Béatrice Nibogora, Communications Officer of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti; Tel : +509 36537043 ; Courriel nibogorab@un.org