Conversations with the Living: The Haitian AIDS Crisis

The official blog of Conversations with the Living

Archive for the ‘Haitian History’ Category

World AIDS Day and Conversations With the Living

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WORLD AIDS DAY 2011

Today is World AIDS Day. Since 1988 World AIDS Day has been held on December 1st and provides the opportunity for people around the world to unite in the fight against HIV, offer support to those affected and infected with HIV, and honor the lives of those who have died as a result of the virus.

World AIDS Day is one day, every year, dedicated to raising money, fighting prejudice, increasing awareness, improving education and helping people understand the facts surrounding HIV/AIDS globally. World AIDS Day is a way to remind people that AIDS is still a serious issue affecting millions of people each year. Although numerous organizations and activists work everyday to address the issue of HIV/AIDS, the global community needs to remember the importance of raising awareness of HIV year round. The global crisis goes relatively unnoticed in the mainstream media, and oftentimes, unless directly affected, people tend to know very little about HIV/AIDS in their own communities, cities, and countries. World AIDS day is an opportunity to learn facts about HIV and use that knowledge to help in your community.

Even as scientific advances are made in HIV treatment, many people still go without access to resources and struggle with properly educating people about the virus, which plays a large role in reducing infection rates and fighting the discrimination and stigma often attached to the virus.

There are currently 33 million people living with HIV. This year 1.8 million HIV-positive persons died of Aids-related-illnesses and as many as 2.7 million were infected, that is over seven thousand people a day. HIV is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

GETTING TO ZERO

This year’s World AIDS Day theme is Getting to Zero, which focuses on three targets, Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, and Zero AIDS-related deaths. This is the goal of all goals. This is a call to arms, the very point of the global fight against HIV. There is a long way to go, but by focusing on reducing infection, stigma and deaths, given the progress made within populations with access to live saving medications and nutrition, this is a goal that cultivates great hope and aims to prove what can be accomplished with compassion and cooperation efforts.

Conversations With the Living is a documentary film that focuses on this hope and the amazing progress made when there is access to resources.

CONVERSATIONS WITH THE LIVING & HIV

Conversations With the Living is a feature length documentary that focuses on HIV-positive orphans and the daily lives of these children. In the process, the film highlights the network dedicated to bringing HIV-positive orphans the medication, food, housing, education, and emotional support that keeps them alive. We will trace the path of that medication from the child through the entire network that made it possible, showing the dedicated individuals that work tirelessly every day, grinding through routine and unforeseen challenges and providing real solutions to Haiti’s battle against HIV. It takes effort, organization, continued funding, and unerring dedication on the part of countless people to give these children a chance for survival and a future where they can be engaged and accepted in their communities.

As government agencies and aid organizations tighten their belts due to the struggling economy; HIV, and the core issues that make it difficult to combat, like poverty, malnourishment, and lack of access to medication, are tightening their grip on the most vulnerable populations. But, there are people doing incredible work, providing both access and support to those affected by and infected with HIV in Haiti, and we are telling their story.

The ultimate goal of Conversations with the Living is to draw attention to HIV/AIDS in the developing world and continue to raise awareness of the need to support AIDS organizations around the world. We are determined to show that HIV progress does not happen by accident and that the network of caregivers and activists that work together to provide for these children is intricate and delicate.

This network provides real hope for the future of these children and represents what is positive and possible. The positive strides made against the disease in countries like Haiti and the people who make it possible must not only be recognized, but also supported. Raising and maintaining awareness about the efforts of dedicated HIV workers must happen and their work must be expanded upon.

HIV & HAITI

In Haiti, an estimated 40,000 people die of AIDS every year. These are grim numbers when considering the size of the country, which is roughly the size of Maryland. When taking into account that a large percentage of at-risk Haitians who do not get tested due to access and fear of social stigma, experts believe the national statistic is much higher than recorded; some believe as high as 11%.Currently one in twenty Haitians is infected with HIV/AIDS and there are over 150,000 AIDS orphan.

No one should ever die of a treatable disease. Haiti’s struggle with AIDS and the elements of history that have contributed to its prevalence, still exist and continue to exacerbate the issue. The failure to provide access and address the societal issues surrounding HIV in Haiti only maintains and perpetuates a system that produces more death, deprivation, and disease.

For people living in developed countries around the world, HIV has become a manageable disease, however the majority of the world’s people living in the developing world are not afforded that luxury. Their children are the next generation of survivors, advocates and activists, and they are proof positive of what is possible given the resources and support.

When the HIV-positive are provided the proper resources in Haiti, they are happy, healthy and hopeful. Lives are being saved and people need to know what is working in Haiti and what needs to be done to maintain this work and broaden its reach. 

There is a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education and your participation is needed, not just today, but everyday.

– Leigh E. Carlson

A Look Back: In the streets of Port-au-Prince

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As donors decrease global health funding, it’s time for us to increase the volume in the need for more. Help us scream! http://ow.ly/6qSjS

Written by conversationswiththeliving

September 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm

CWTL Crew Q&A: Why is Haiti important?

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Marc Landas (Director)

Haiti is important for various reasons. From a historical sense, Haiti was the first free former slave nation. It won its independence only to become economic slaves thanks to concerted efforts by colonial powers. It’s a fact. People who want to dispute it should brush up on their history first. Seeing Haiti solvent, stable, and self-sufficient is in the world’s best interest from a moral and human standpoint. In a very simple sense, Haiti is important for the same reason all countries are important. There are people in need. Human beings. It’s a matter of compassion and caring for fellow human beings.

Help us get back to Haiti and tell our story. Go to http://ow.ly/6kTA2 and Join the Conversation! Donate now!

Written by conversationswiththeliving

September 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm

A Look Back: Inauguration du Mausolée de Pétion et de Dessalines

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As donors decrease global health funding, it’s time for us to increase the volume in the need for more. Help us scream! http://ow.ly/6qSjS

Written by conversationswiththeliving

September 27, 2011 at 9:00 pm

A Look Back: Market Place in Haiti

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As donors decrease global health funding, it’s time for us to increase the volume in the need for more. Help us scream! http://ow.ly/6qSjS

Written by conversationswiththeliving

September 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm

A Look Back: On the St. Marc Road in Haiti after the heavy rains

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As donors decrease global health funding, it’s time for us to increase the volume in the need for more. Help us scream! http://ow.ly/6qSjS

Written by conversationswiththeliving

September 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm

A Look Back: One of the main streets of Port-au-Prince

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As donors decrease global health funding, it’s time for us to increase the volume in the need for more. Help us scream! http://ow.ly/6qSjS

Written by conversationswiththeliving

September 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm