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Haiti - HIV/AIDS : Intervention of Sophia Martelly to the United Nations
08/06/2011 14:48:16

Haiti - HIV/AIDS : Intervention of Sophia Martelly to the United Nations
Intervention of the First Lady of the Republic of Haiti, Mrs. Sophia Martelly, to the high-level meeting on the HIV/AIDS, to the United Nations, New York, June 8, 2011.

Her Excellency, Mrs. Azeb Mesfin
First Lady of Ethiopia,

Mrs. Ban Soon Taek,
Spouse of UN Secretary General

Mr. Michel Sidibe,
Executive Director of UNAIDS

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If Haiti was one of the countries early affected by HIV, we can also assert that from the beginning of the epidemic, my country has contributed greatly to the advancement of the global response to AIDS. And this, both in the field of research, care and treatment, than in providing psychosocial support to people infected and affected by HIV.

Haiti, is now a global model of success, because in the past ten years, from 2001 to 2011, the prevalence increased from 7.5 to 2.2%.

Despite these significant improvements, I nevertheless want to express my concern over the fact that the epidemic affects in our country an increasingly large proportion of women and girls, this because of their situation of vulnerability socio-cultural and economic.

We can, we must (!), reverse this trend by encouraging and supporting the program of Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT).

Two weeks ago, on the occasion of Mother's Day, by visiting a maternity hospital, I discussed with pregnant women with HIV who have, -what was unthinkable a few years ago - a real hope of giving birth to children without HIV. We want to make of that hope a reality for all, so that now, in Haiti or in the world, all children have the chance to be born without HIV.

Where are we today in terms of program of Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission ?

My country, since the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, has experienced, in addition to a difficult hurricane season, a cholera epidemic. But, thanks to the commitment of all our partners, we were able to respond efficiently and our institutions were able to continue provide care for people living with HIV.

One hundred and forty thousand (140,000) pregnant women were tested in 2010, one hundred twenty five (125) PMTCT sites are functional today against three (3) sites in 2001.

Despite everything, the challenges remain huge because if we want to achieve universal access to PMTCT, we are forced to decentralize the operations by activating them as close as possible of the communities. It will be necessary, on the other hand, to strengthen our health system to insert the needs of women in general and more specifically those of pregnant women with HIV.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Alongside the President of the Republic, I reiterate my personal commitment today to support all actions in favor of women and children infected and affected by HIV.

I will spare no effort to promote the expansion, in areas with high concentration of human, of health services maternal, neonatal and child integrated, including PMTCT.

I conclude by affirming my conviction, that if all of us who share these concerns, we put our efforts in synergy, together, we shall overcome AIDS,

I thank you!

Mrs. Sophia Martelly
First Lady of the Republic of Haiti

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