The Haitian HIV/AIDS nonprofit organization GHESKIO has received the 2010 Gates Award for Global Health. The 10th winner of the prestigious award, GHESKIO was cited for its long-term impact as well as for its swift and coordinated response to help survivors of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Advertisement
For almost three decades, GHESKIO has offered advanced clinical services, research and training. Before the devastating quake, it was providing palliative care to more than 50,000 HIV/AIDS patients and antiretrovirals to more than 13,500 -- nearly 55 percent of all patients on ARVs in Haiti.
Though the organization's Port-au-Prince headquarters sustained serious damage, more than 7,000 newly homeless citizens were provided care in a field hospital on its grounds. Within a week of the quake, 95 percent of GHESKIO's patients under HIV and TB care were again receiving medical management.
Through its research, GHESKIO has informed the treatment and care of HIV/AIDS patients around the world. Dr. Jean William (Bill) Pape, a Haitian native and GHESKIO's founder, has been a leading AIDS clinician since the early days of the epidemic and has achieved AIDS patient survival and treatment adherence rates similar to those of first-class centers in the United States and Europe.
The Global Health Council, which announced the award at a symposium in Geneva on May 17, said of Pape and his colleagues: "They have built GHESKIO into a rare institution, one based in a developing country that has become a leader in the global research community. That dual character -- world-class research capabilities tied to deep roots in the local community -- is what sets GHESKIO apart and makes them the natural recipient of this recognition."
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