Turning to the massive, post-earthquake humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in Haiti: Many thousands of HIV positive Haitians are now cut off from their life-saving anti-retroviral medications. HIV clinics and their staff are also casualties. At least 14 gay HIV positive activists are dead after the collapse of SEROvie, Haiti’s largest organization serving gay and transgender people with HIV, reports The Advocate.
"The message of the men’s tragic death came from an email SEROvie’s leader Steve La Guerre managed to send to the [International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission] asking for help. "We were having our usual support group meeting on a quiet Tuesday afternoon when the worst happened.” La Guerre wrote. "The sound is unforgettable. I can’t even describe the horror as the ceiling and the wall of the conference room started to fall and the chaos started. It is now more than ever that SEROvie and ACCV (Civic Action Against HIV) are needed to provide the quality services we provide to our beneficiaries: food, clothes, and any type of help," La Guerre continued. "Light a candle for these souls and for Haiti. Lord help us."
The IGLHRC has provided a donation page where Executive Director Cary Johnson said 100 percent of the funds collected "will go directly to our friends and colleagues in Haiti."
Meanwhile: Housing Works President and CEO Charles King is in the disaster zone coordinating relief efforts for Haiti's HIV-positive residents. King's blogging has become a compelling and fascinating look snapshot of post-earthquake life for people with AIDS:
"On the way to the airport, we passed CEPOZ, an HIV/AIDS clinic and psychosocial support center. The two-story building was completely flat. Edner didn’t have to explain that anyone who was there when the quake struck never had a chance. And, if the strong stench was any indication, the clinic had been fully occupied by both patients and staff. We later passed a second AIDS clinic. This one is still standing but clearly not for long. PHAP+ desperately wants to open a temporary clinic for the surviving patients of these two clinics."
No word yet on the number of casualties at that location, and these were just two of the many HIV clinics destroyed.
Housing Works is accepting directed donations for their efforts to help Haiti's HIV-positive population.
How to help with Haiti earthquake relief? Read HERE.