Honduras: Our Impact

Ummuro Adano

Donors, national governments, civil society, and international partners are grappling with three realities in the domain of HIV and AIDS today: (1) the need to accelerate country ownership and leadership of HIV and AIDS programming; (2) diminishing donor resources; and (3) the need to strengthen local implementing organizations and institutions to sustain the AIDS response in terms of: access to prevention, treatment, care, and support services; addressing stigma, discrimination and human rights abuses that key populations continue to face in many parts of the world; and supporting orphan

ULAT staff discuss the meaning of fatherhood as part of the project's work to build gender awareness. {Photo credit: MSH}

Within the USAID-funded Local Technical Assistance Unit for Health (ULAT) Project in Honduras, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), the integration of gender is an important element of our technical assistance.

Vilma (in blue shirt) sharing HIV/AIDS prevention messages with others in her community. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Although Vilma and Chaker live on two different continents, come from two different cultures, and face their own unique challenges as persons at greater risk of being infected or affected by HIV, they have more in common than they might think. Both of them have faced stigma and discrimination, and both are now finding support through local organizations providing services to vulnerable populations and people living with HIV.Vilma, 39, is a sex worker living in Honduras. At age 12, she ran away from home with the dream of making money to support the grandparents she was leaving behind.

Dr. Jorge Fernandez is the Chief of Party for the AIDSTAR-Two project in HondurasThe AIDSTAR-Two project in Honduras, funded by US Agency for International Development/ Honduras and led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), is working with local non-governmental organizations to improve the provision of HIV prevention services to most-at-risk groups, such as men who have sex with men (MSM), commercial sex workers, and the Garifuna, the Afro-Caribbean ethnic group living along the country's northern coast.  Dr.

Mentor at park discussing HIV, HondurasHonduras is highly stigmatized.

Administering an HIV rapid test. Photo Credit: MSH Staff.While the HIV prevalence rate in Honduras is low, estimated at 0.68%, rates for the most-at-risk populations (MARPs)—men-who-have-sex-with-men, transgender and transvestites, Garífunas (an ethnic population), and female sex workers—are significantly higher, estimated between 4 and 10%.  For MARPs, voluntary testing and counseling is particularly important, and it is local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that are providing services at the frontlines.