Breaking Down Barriers to Stop HIV/AIDS in its Tracks
Partners In Health Statement on World AIDS Day 2016
Contact: Jeff Marvin, Media Relations Manager
BOSTON (Nov. 30, 2016)—Partners In Health (PIH) today released the following statement to commemorate World AIDS Day 2016.
“For three decades, PIH has worked to combat AIDS in underserved communities around the world that have been ravaged by this deadly epidemic. We have learned that a properly resourced model of care that is based on a strong foundation of community health workers can save countless lives and stem the tide of new infections. There is much work to do, but we are hopeful and committed to finally reaching the elusive goal of an AIDS-free generation.
“We have also learned to challenge conventional wisdom. When the global health community assumed that cultural and socioeconomic obstacles to reaching patients in underserved areas were too steep to overcome, we proved them wrong. In 1998, we launched our HIV Equity Initiative in Haiti. PIH and Zanmi Lasante, our local partner in Haiti, showed the world that excellent, life-saving HIV care could be delivered to the world’s poorest regions. This gave hope to the more than 26 million people around the world who were not receiving HIV/AIDS care at the time and became a cornerstone of the global struggle for HIV/AIDS treatment access. By 2012, Haiti had successfully scaled up access to antiretroviral medication treatment nationally. As transmission dropped through expanded treatment, the prevalence of HIV in Haiti has shrunk from 6.2 percent in 1993 to under 2 percent in 2015.
“Our community-based approach has been embraced by the global health community and implemented by PIH and other health professionals working to save lives in resource-limited settings around the world. Using this model, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts in underserved regions—such as rural Rwanda—have matched or even exceeded outcomes of similar programs in wealthy nations.
“While more resources are needed to apply these proven community-based strategies broadly, we know they work and can achieve more. On World AIDS Day 2016, we recommit ourselves to the daunting, but achievable goal of seeing a generation free of HIV/AIDS.”
Tomorrow, December 1, at 2:00 p.m. ET, PIH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joia Mukherjee and Deputy Chief Medical Officers Drs. Sara Stulac and Hind Satti will share their decades of experience working to fight HIV/AIDS across the globe on Facebook Live. Watch here: http://www.facebook.com/PartnersInHealth.
Partners In Health is an international medical organization that helps build and sustain public health systems in poor and underserved communities around the world. Launched in Haiti in 1987, Partners In Health today reaches 7 million people around the world and employs 18,000 people, including 15,000 local community health workers. Learn more about our work at www.pih.org.
We go. We make house calls. We build health systems. We stay.