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AIDS In Haiti
Haiti is one of the countries hit hardest by AIDS outside of sub-Saharan Africa. It has the highest HIV prevalence rates in the Caribbean region: 3.8% among adults between 15 and 49 years old. Now one in 20 Haitians has the disease, and it is the main cause of death among women of reproductive age. Perhaps even more of a challenge for the authorities is the predominance of sexual activity at an early age in Haiti.
Factors Influencing The Spread of the disease:
The average age for young people to begin sexual relations is 12, with many young boys and girls starting to have sex as early as eight years old
Many Haitians believe that many illnesses, including AIDS, are caused by magic rather than microbes. "For them it's not due to a virus or their behavior, but it's done by somebody else, an enemy who is trying to do them evil."
Because of this magical view of life and sickness, Haitian peasants suffering from HIV/AIDS are more likely to go and seek help from their local voodoo priest rather than from a government clinic.
Extreme poverty, especially in the Haitian countryside, compounds these problems.
The Urgency is today!
Half of Haiti's nine million population is under 20, making it even more urgent that education and prevention campaigns hit home as quickly as possible.
1. MMA gives AIDS a high profile among church leaders, community organizers and educational institutions.
2. MMA facilitated partnerships with people living with HIV, nongovernmental organizations, faith-based organizations and the concerned members of the private sector.
3. MMA has provided support for many Haitian women who have become infected with HIV after being sexually assaulted, as well as for street children and girls who are domestic servants.
4. MMA has set aside special funding to provide counseling to the families and children of the above mentioned afflicted women, children and domestic servants.
For the next five years:
MMA works with its partners and business groups to assist the private sector in establishing ways for an effective way to educate community and religious leaders on addressing the impacts and dangers of AIDS on spirituality, economic growth and the development of Haiti,
MMA encourages information-sharing among it partners in order to be more efficient and effective in our prevention and education methods,
MMA supports programs that encourage open dialogue among youth and continuous support to AIDS victims and their families.
MMA works with union representative, community leaders, and factory managers to develop support program and education and awareness classes within labor-intensive workplaces such as factories to attract people attention and more active response to the AIDS epidemic.
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