Statements and Webcast
H.E. Dr. Gabriel Thimothé, Director General of Public Health and Population
9 June 2011
- Statement: French (Check against delivery)
GABRIEL THIMOTHÉ, Director-General for Public Health and Population of Haiti, said political will was needed to support the cross-cutting global response to AIDS. The disease was still a generalized epidemic, with a 2.2 per cent prevalence rate, he noted, adding that since HIV disproportionately affected women, mother-to-child transmissions were on the rise. Haiti’s recent earthquake and cholera outbreak had exacerbated the country’s woes and made it more difficult to fight the epidemic. Nevertheless, the Government was taking comprehensive steps to combat the disease, he said, recalling that in 2010, the number of people tested for HIV had risen to more than 431,000, and a total of 125 voluntary HIV testing sites were in operation. The number of women undergoing testing in prenatal clinics had also increased, he added.
To guarantee quality health-care for people living with HIV, the Government had established a monitoring model in 2008, he continued. Prevention strategies had been enhanced, particularly to target young people, sex workers and men who have sex with men. Popular theatre, among other communications strategies, was being used to ensure that people understood their rights vis-à-vis HIV/AIDS, he said. However, major challenges remained despite the significant progress made. It was necessary to improve the quality of services and ensure universal access to treatment. Decentralizing interventions was an imperative, he said, adding that a draft law on AIDS would be submitted to Parliament.