Voodoo Priests Could Help Fight HIV/AIDS in Haiti, NPR's "Morning Edition" Reports
April 22, 2004
Voodoo priests in Haiti "could make all the difference" in the country's fight against HIV/AIDS by directing clients to clinics for testing and treatment, NPR's "Morning Edition" reports. Many of Haiti's approximately 400,000 HIV-positive residents believe that the symptoms of their illness are the result of a curse and that voodoo can solve medical problems, according to NPR. Patricia Lawrence, who directs AIDS outreach programs with La Fondation Esther Boucicault in St. Marc, Haiti, said that providing voodoo priests with HIV/AIDS education information could "significantly lower" the country's HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. Lawrence said that some of the priests, who are polygamous, may request sex as payment for treatments and could infect themselves and others in their communities if they do not have information about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. The segment also includes comments from a voodoo priest who does not believe in an "AIDS curse" and sends clients who might be HIV-positive to a health clinic for testing (Shaw, "Morning Edition," NPR, 4/22).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.