HIV is one of the big problems facing Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. To start to get a better sense of this epidemic in the country overall we stopped by a gathering of groups that work with marginalized Dominicans, whose members were meeting with UNAIDS and government officials to talk about HIV and human rights.
It turned out to be a historic meeting – the first time this eclectic group had joined together to interact with the country's top decision makers. Represented were sex workers, transvestite organizatons, gay rights groups, MSM (men who have sex with men) alliances, and many others. These groups – along with other outsiders in Dominican society, including bataye residents – tend to have the highest HIV rates in the country.
Check out pictures from the conference (formally called the "Foro de grupos vulnerables al VIH/SIDA: Conversando desde el corazón sobre derechos humanos").
In the video is Dr. John Waters, of COIN (Center of Orientacion and Integrated Investigacion), talking about the importance of this gathering.