Massiel Ruiz, the country program manager for AIDS Healthcare Foundation Dominican Republic, gives reporters a tour of the AHF facility on March 8, 2023, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Ruiz oversees AHF programming for the Dominican Republic and recently opened the clinic in Santo Domingo. (Photo by Albert Serna Jr./Cronkite Borderlands Project)
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – AIDS Healthcare Foundation works to provide treatment for people living in the Dominican Republic. But for Haitian migrants, access to care can be difficult.
Access to care and treatment for HIV is not always difficult to get – the AIDS Healthcare Foundation provides treatment to anyone who needs it. But resources for the Dominican arm of the agency are not always plentiful and a small team works to provide care across the country.
In what has been described as one of the “poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere” by the Council on Foreign Relations, there are resources readily available for people living with HIV. Even so, what people ask for and need isn’t always available to them due to lack of funding and lack of communication between different agencies.
In some of the country’s poorest communities, Light a Candle Foundation dispatches mobile clinics to test for and treat HIV. Community buy-in is important, but a stigma and lack of understanding about the spread of the virus can keep the community from testing.