Honduras – HIV&AIDS
Honduras has a generalized HIV epidemic, mainly due to sexual transmission. HIV prevalence is highest in specific groups, such men who have sex with men, sex workers, Garifuna and prisoners.
Sadly, HIV/AIDS related diseases are the second most common cause of death in Honduras. This leads to countless orphans who are living with grandmothers or other extended family members with a limited ability to provide quality care.
Participation of people living with HIV in the national response has grown; today the president of the Country Coordination Mechanism is a woman living with HIV; health authorities are collaborating with self-supportive groups in home care and prevention; social audits are conducted by civil society organizations working on HIV and Human Rights; financial contributions from partners to civil society is three times greater than it was a few years ago.
The HIV/Aids epidemic is generally concentrated in high-risk populations such as men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, prisoners, the Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean population group) in the case of Honduras, street children and the security forces.
Honduran homosexuals and transsexuals are common victims of family, church, political and even police harassment, hindering most from outing themselves. The number of violations of gay and lesbian human rights is increasing more rapidly than the number of organizations protecting them.
In San Pedro Sula, the country’s second largest city, AIDS has infected 5.5% of the population. In the early stages of the epidemic, Honduran men accounted for most infections. Now, women account for 30% of the cases. It is the leading cause of death among child-rearing women, and the second leading cause of hospitalization among adults. Many of these infections are from prostitutes who work in brothels throughout the country.
Story made for “Positive Lives” for the World Aids Conference in Mexico, summer 2008.