Haiti is the poorest country and has the highest rate of HIV in the western hemisphere. As the most vulnerable members of society, children have born the brunt of the socioeconomic decline and epidemic of HIV in Haiti.
5,000 babies are born infected each year.
17,000 children are infected with HIV. An estimated 90% of these children will die within their first year of life. Surviving children experience many more illnesses and developmental difficulties than HIV negative children.
In Cap-Haitien, the second largest city, infected children have the relative good fortune of access to health care and anti-retroviral treatment but they still face many challenges. Poverty, food scarcity, and their own inevitable orphaning by one or both parents paint a grim picture for these children’s future.
Aid Haiti is currently helping to send HIV-infected children to school where they not only receive an education, but also the assurance of at least one nutritious meal a day as well as a brief escape from the desperation that often awaits them at home.
Please support these children by donating to Aid Haiti, purchasing a photo book of Haitian children and raising awareness of these forgotten children in this devastated country.
Photographs from The Haitian Cape
(Click on image to see larger)
While schooling is just a small step towards assuring these children the possibility of a full life, it is an important step towards putting a smile back on their faces.