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17464: Feldman: Re: 17460: Feldman: (NYT Article) CORRECTION and MORE AIDS INFO (fwd)

From: Janet  Feldman <kaippg@earthlink.net>

Hello Dear Folks,
And I am replying to my own email here because I think I needed a fifth cup of coffee this am before forwarding this note! I meant "infections" (though sadly it sometimes feels like "deaths") when I quoted the "46 million" figure, and also the "14,000 per day" figure, not "deaths", so I stand corrected by myself!  The figure for deaths--about 3 million worldwide in 2002 (and 2003 figures may be higher)--is shocking enough, with 20-25 million deaths overall since AIDS was first diagnosed as a syndrome in 1982, and HIV pinpointed as the cause in 1984. There are 5 million new infections per year, with 50% of infections in the 15-24 age group, and 50% of adults infected being women. In 2002, 6% of the adult population of Haiti was HIV/AIDS-infected, including 1% of pregnant women.

A recent "State of the World Population 2003" report has indicated that youth are rapidly becoming the most affected generation, and may soon be the most infected, if current infection rates are not addressed. That's one reason why this is such an important problem for the world at large, as whole societies may hang in the balance. The challenge is certainly daunting, but I thought I would leave you with a few other references to programs which are now operating in Haiti, some with specific focus on youth, which do give some reason for encouragement (all facts and figures "expresso" checked, haha!). Many thanks and all best wishes, Janet (Feldman, kaippg@earthlink.net)

A short list includes:

1) The Cool Club, a network of social clubs providing education about healthy sexual behavior through creative communication activities, involving concerts, theater, and discussion forums. Each club is organized and run by young people to promote messages of self-respect and also accurate info about HIV/AIDS. This 26-club project is sponsored by Population Services International and USAID, and you can read more about it at this url:

2) A multisectoral program, called the Bassin Bleu Youth Development Initiative (YDI), works with youth in 4 separate but inter-related activities, among them being health, agriculture, education, and income-generation. This project has been designed with community and youth input, and is funded by CARE/Haiti and the Kellogg Foundation. It works in the town of Bassin Bleu and 6 rural communities. More about this program is at:

3) Christian Aid and its Haitian partner, APROSIFA, works in Carrefour-Feuilles, Port-au-Prince, offering basic healthcare and free access to clinics for those who cannot afford to pay. There is also HIV/AIDS and STI counselling, lifeskills training, and food and vitamins provided. This project focuses especially on women, and runs HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns in addition to others focusing on family-planning, the importance of breast-feeding, and how to prevent sexually-transmitted diseases. For more info please see video clips at:  http://www.christian-aid.org.uk/caweek03/people/guerda_alexis.php.

4) Les Promoteurs de l'Objectif Zerosida (POZ) is an organization that seeks to strengthen self-help groups in the west, north-east, north, and south-east areas of Haiti. These self-help groups will learn to identify activities which contribute to improved conditions for PLWHAS (people living with HIV/AIDS) and their families, and will help to train PLWHAS in advocacy skills so that they can take an active role in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS.

5) UNESCO sponsored an initiative in 1999 which may or may not be continuing, but should certainly be revived, as it relates directly to the arts. It was or is called "The Caravan of Young People and Artists", and was created to raise awareness among youth, healthcare professionals, and other groups, and to increase support for HIV/AIDS networking and collaborative ventures among youth groups, the local Red Cross, city government, and other partners. It was meant to serve as a model and follow-on for the ongoing activities of youth groups in their local areas, particularly in conjunction with regional celebrations. If anyone knows whether this still exists, or about any ongoing activities generated by it, I would love to know more!