New ARV Clinic Serves Thousands of HIV-Positive Residents in Southern Haiti

SDSH staff, Dr. Emmanuel Fils Salnave and Michaelle Chérisson meet with Gabriel for his first HIV counseling session. Gabriel is the first HIV-positive patient that this health center enrolled in an antiretroviral treatment program. {Photo credit: Gumy Dorvilmar/MSH.}Photo credit: Gumy Dorvilmar/MSH.

The USAID-funded project, Santé pour le Développement et la Stabilité d’Haïti (SDSH), implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), recently opened an antiretroviral (ARV) center in southern Haiti. The launch of this center took place in the presence of the local director of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jean Bernard Février, and the USAID representative, Mr. Clint Cavanaugh.

The new center will increase HIV prevention services and access to counseling and antiretroviral treatment (ART) for people living with HIV. By the end of last year, the center had started 125 clients on ART, conducted public education activities on HIV prevention, and provided psychological assistance to persons infected and affected by HIV & AIDS. SDSH also provides training to the staff at Lumière Health Center, where the new ARV center is located to build the team’s ART knowledge and skills.

“The opening of this ARV center gives us more hope. We no longer need to go to the general hospital for antiretroviral therapy,” said Robert, an HIV-infected resident of southern Haiti.

“I do not have money to pay for transportation to [access HIV] drugs; now the drugs are available in my community," said Marie Carmel Jean, one of the center’s clients.

Jean Mondésir Piard, an administrator at the Lumiere Health Center is grateful for the efforts of USAID and SDSH, which have facilitated the implementation of ARV centers across the country, "The opening of this new ARV center is an important step in the upward march toward the suppression of the magnitude of HIV & AIDS in our communities. This increases the content of the package of services already provided to people living with HIV,” he said.