Jules Anne is one of 5,000 people in Haiti receiving anti-retroviral therapy, the drugs that fight HIV/AIDS, through a USAID program run in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. She has been receiving treatment at Grace Children’s Hospital in Delmas, a poor community on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, since March 2006.
The hospital is part of a network of non-governmental organizations and faith-based groups working with USAID to provide basic health services, including HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care to the Haitian population.
“Before I was on medicines, I was a skeleton and in such bad shape they were making my coffin,” says Jules Anne, who suffered from nausea and an ulcer that burned her stomach. “I went to see many doctors, including the voodoo healer — I spent a lot of money but was getting worse.” She also had a difficult time at the public hospital, where HIV/AIDS can carry a stigma even among health professionals.
Five months after beginning treatment, Jules Anne feels like a different person. “I want to thank President Bush for providing these medicines for free — my medicines are my ammunition but if I had to pay for them I would be dead,” she said.
Thanks to help from USAID, HIV-positive Haitians are living healthier, longer and more productive lives. An estimated 200,000 people in Haiti are living with HIV.
Last updated: March 13, 2014