Yvonise is a good-natured 40-year-old woman with an easy smile. She is mother to four children: two boys and two girls. Her youngest, a little girl, is six years old.
Today, Yvonise sits patiently at the pharmacy of Hôpital Immaculée Conception de Port-de-Paix (HIC Port-de-Paix) in Haiti, waiting for Miss Sevrine, her caregiver, to provide her with a month’s supply of life-saving medicine.
Yvonise is one of 2,200 patients enrolled in the HIV/AIDS program at HIC Port-de-Paix. She was infected years ago with the AIDS virus, but her family does not know. Keeping her secret is a constant burden.
“I tell my kids that I have an infection for which I am being treated,” she said. This is how she justifies her monthly trips to the hospital.
Yvonise knows first hand how important it is for her to keep her appointments. “Since I’ve been coming to the clinic and taking my medication, I’ve been feeling more energetic,” she said, grinning from ear to ear.