Commentary & Opinion
"Hard to Argue" HIV/AIDS Treatment Impossible in Developing World With Success of Program in Haiti, Opinion Piece Says
December 23, 2003
Partners in Health and its workers in Haiti "have already made it hard to argue that [AIDS] control is impossible," and "thanks to this growing effort ... the rich nations of the world now face a choice -- a choice about the kind of planet future generations will inherit," Tracy Kidder, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, writes in a Newark Star-Ledger opinion piece (Kidder, Newark Star-Ledger, 12/21). The PIH program, which was started by Dr. Paul Farmer in 1999, grafted HIV/AIDS treatment efforts onto already existing programs to treat tuberculosis. Currently, 700 unemployed and underemployed villagers deliver medicines to people with HIV/AIDS and TB every morning and evening (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/1). Although many public health authorities once thought that comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment programs would be "unimaginable" in many developing countries, PIH's program in Haiti has "become something like a laboratory for the world" and has "so far been ... successful" in bringing HIV/AIDS treatment to a "mountainous, deforested, mostly unelectrified and famished region," Kidder says. There is "no way of knowing" if the project would be successful in other parts of the world, but "the basic principle, heavy reliance on community health workers, seems transferable," Kidder says (Newark Star-Ledger, 12/21).
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.