HIV/AIDS

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culúrien
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HIV/AIDS

Postby culúrien » 2008-02-11, 21:30

I'm taking a geography course and I read how Haiti has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS (6%) of the western world and one of the highest outside of Africa. I was wondering about generally the health of Haitians, and why Haiti's rate could possibly be so much higher than other countries in poor countries, like some of the south american ones. On a related note, do Haitians migrate in large numbers out of Haiti and where do they tend to go?
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Re: HIV/AIDS

Postby ego » 2008-02-11, 21:48

culúrien wrote:I'm taking a geography course and I read how Haiti has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS (6%) of the western world and one of the highest outside of Africa. I was wondering about generally the health of Haitians, and why Haiti's rate could possibly be so much higher than other countries in poor countries, like some of the south american ones. On a related note, do Haitians migrate in large numbers out of Haiti and where do they tend to go?


Perhaps because Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere?
:?

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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-11, 22:43

My my, you've asked a question that is too big of an issue to even be able to answer completely. But I'll give you some basic ideas...

ego wrote:
Perhaps because Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere?
:?


That's true...There is an issue with hygiene and medical care as a whole - AIDS is not an isolated issue in Haiti. During the dictatorship, many of the Haitian intellectuals were either murdered or fled for their life. Duvalier relied on the power of voodoo to keep himself in power. He claimed to be a lwè (think of pharaohs, who said they are the descendants of the gods) and this is why his reign went largely unchallenged. Intellectual Haitians as a whole did not buy this ruse and spoke out against him. Duvalier responded by murdering well-educated professors, doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers and so on. Naturally, many people who fit into these categories left before their lives were threatened too! While this secured his rule, it devastated Haiti's infrastructure, and this still has not been reversed.
Medical care is rare in Haiti for this reason. Infant mortality rates remain high, life expectancies remain low, potable drinking water cannot be found in many places, there are no where near enough hospital beds as there need to be and even if there were - doctors and medical care is what is needed. There isn't much of that at all.
Let's return to the issue of infrastructure. Another aspect of this would be violent crime. The justice system has suffered greatly also. As I mentioned, lawyers fled for their lives. Thus, women who have been raped, do not even realize that they have means of legal recourse!! Even if they did realize this, they would be unlikely to come forward and admit to being raped due to the cultural stigma attached with this. This would also present a significant threat to the woman's security. Another part of the infrastructure is the police force. Not only is the police force lacking in the solidarity needed to protect people involved in cases like this (or the lack thereof :roll:), but the Haitian police has suffered, not only at the hands of dictators and foreign occupying powers, but by their own police force! I don't know that it's fair to assign all of the blame on them - people do what they have to survive. This includes stealing and pillaging. I am not excusing this, nor would I exempt policemen that rape from judgement.
Also, I think Haitians are MUCH more sexual than people elsewhere. :lol: Do you think people who live in poverty have the opportunity to go see a movie, go bike-riding and the like? - No! They don't have these things! What they do have are their penises and vaginas though. Even though sex is such a big deal though, there is still a degree of shame surrounding it, so it is not something that people talk about. This is naturally a huge problem as far as sexually-transmitted diseases are concerned. And of course, there are certain sexual issues that are simply completely taboo! Gay Haitians wouldn't dream of admitting to being gay, let alone talking about gay sex in public. The idea is insane. I'm very open about my sexual orientation - nearly everyone that I am close to knows I am gay, but I would not tell my Haitian family that - ever. So silence about sexual behaviour and its consequences is also a large factor in the spread of AIDS.
There are still more historical reasons. For example, Americans have become aware of Haiti's sexual "permissiveness", and have used Haiti and Haitian women like a whore-house. This is simply deplorable, but foreigners have seriously aggravated the situation, when the country has not been at war. I've read that the first person who contracted AIDS was Haitian actually. And although there is a lot of disagreement in the scientific community about that assertation, it's reasonable to believe that due to Haiti's cultural attitudes about sex, coupled with the virus being there for a significantly longer time that elsewhere, that this would also be a factor.

As you see, there are a lot of factors. And what makes it worse, is that each one is largely preventable or has some panacea.

Regarding immigration, Haitians prefer to go to the United States or Canada, usually New York, Boston, Miami or Montréal. There are also many Haitians in the large cities of France, and on other Caribbean islands, like the Bahamas and the Netherlands Antilles. Many even prefer the Dominican Republic* or Cuba to Haiti!

*I'm not saying that the Dominican Republic and Cuba are bad countries, but Dominicans hate Haitians and often murder Haitians that cross the border. Cuba is also not known for its kindness to immigrants, although there is a fair amount of Haitian Creole media in Cuba, actually. Some Cubans also speak Haitian Creole, interestingly enough. :)
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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-13, 17:44

Um...is this a satisfactory answer? :roll:
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Postby lishaoxuan » 2008-02-21, 12:08

After reading your post,I know a lot more about Haiti than before.
Thanks for writing this.

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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-21, 17:57

Well, let me just say that this is about a very negative aspect of Haïti...AIDS/HIV is not a pleasant phenomenon in any part of the world. My post was meant to explain why things are particularly bad, as far as AIDS/HIV is concerned, in Haïti. I wouldn't say that you have a well-rounded view of Haïti from this. :P
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Postby loqu » 2008-02-21, 18:56

Sisyphe wrote:There are still more historical reasons. For example, Americans have become aware of Haiti's sexual "permissiveness", and have used Haiti and Haitian women like a whore-house. This is simply deplorable, but foreigners have seriously aggravated the situation, when the country has not been at war.


you know, when we were having some conferences at high school about AIDS, we were told exactly this about the history of AIDS, all that about Americans using Haiti as a whore-house :?

It's terrible.
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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-21, 20:16

loqu wrote:
Sisyphe wrote:There are still more historical reasons. For example, Americans have become aware of Haiti's sexual "permissiveness", and have used Haiti and Haitian women like a whore-house. This is simply deplorable, but foreigners have seriously aggravated the situation, when the country has not been at war.


you know, when we were having some conferences at high school about AIDS, we were told exactly this about the history of AIDS, all that about Americans using Haiti as a whore-house :?

It's terrible.


Yes it is. The thing is though, sex tourism continues today. But we still hear the same old story in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Haïti is no longer a common destination for these means, though...well...Haïti isn't a common destination these days, period. :lol:
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Postby Guillem » 2008-02-22, 19:10

Sisyphe wrote:
loqu wrote:
Sisyphe wrote:There are still more historical reasons. For example, Americans have become aware of Haiti's sexual "permissiveness", and have used Haiti and Haitian women like a whore-house. This is simply deplorable, but foreigners have seriously aggravated the situation, when the country has not been at war.


you know, when we were having some conferences at high school about AIDS, we were told exactly this about the history of AIDS, all that about Americans using Haiti as a whore-house :?

It's terrible.


Yes it is. The thing is though, sex tourism continues today. But we still hear the same old story in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Haïti is no longer a common destination for these means, though...well...Haïti isn't a common destination these days, period. :lol:

Have you seen "Vers le sud", Sisyphe? I inmediately thought of that film after I read this thread.

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Postby culúrien » 2008-02-22, 19:35

Sisyphe wrote:Um...is this a satisfactory answer? :roll:


yes, thanks :)
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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-22, 20:36

Guillem wrote:
Sisyphe wrote:
loqu wrote:
Sisyphe wrote:There are still more historical reasons. For example, Americans have become aware of Haiti's sexual "permissiveness", and have used Haiti and Haitian women like a whore-house. This is simply deplorable, but foreigners have seriously aggravated the situation, when the country has not been at war.


you know, when we were having some conferences at high school about AIDS, we were told exactly this about the history of AIDS, all that about Americans using Haiti as a whore-house :?

It's terrible.


Yes it is. The thing is though, sex tourism continues today. But we still hear the same old story in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Haïti is no longer a common destination for these means, though...well...Haïti isn't a common destination these days, period. :lol:

Have you seen "Vers le sud", Sisyphe? I inmediately thought of that film after I read this thread.


I know of it, but I haven't seen it. I'm sure you'll tell me more about it, hmm?
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