Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and one of the hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. The adult prevalence rate is estimated at 1.5 percent. Only Belize, with a prevalence of 2.5 percent, has a higher prevalence in all of North, Central, or South America, according to UNAIDS.
I would like to highlight a couple places that are hard at work to curb the epidemic and improve the lives of Hondurans living with HIV and AIDS.
In 1995, Siempre Unidos ("Always United") formed as the first self-help group for persons living with HIV/AIDS in Honduras. Its scope expanded over the years and it now follows the mission of providing life-saving outpatient medical treatment, social support, and education to people living with HIV/AIDS in Honduras. It receives help from the Global Fund, the Episcopal Church, and the Honduran government and now provides free anti-retroviral treatment to hundreds of people living with AIDS in San Pedro Sula. It continues to hold support group meeting once a week for over 100 people and also provides employment opportunities for HIV-positive women at its sewing factory, SiempreSol.
Fundacion Llaves began in 1999 to assist people living with HIV/AIDS in Honduras who were unable to obtain adequate information about their condition. Upon realizing that most of the information in Honduras pertained to prevention, Fundacion Llaves’ primary mission became to disseminate information for people living with HIV/AIDS—about health, the treatment options, and human rights. To this end, Fundacion Llaves reaches out to the press, the government, and the community to raise awareness. They publish a magazine called “Llaves” and a weekly radio program “Aprende del VIH/SIDA y Gana” (Learn about HIV/AIDS and Gain). With only 8 people, the organization has made significant gains for Hondurans living with HIV/AIDS.