A chance to live: The quest of Venezuelan refugees and migrants with HIV/AIDS
UNHCR News, 30 Nov 2018
Over three million refugees and migrants have left Venezuela to date. The lack of medicine has forced thousands – especially those with chronic illnesses such as HIV/AIDS – to search for treatment and hope in other countries.
For people living with HIV/AIDS, having access to antiretroviral treatment means not only a chance to survive, but to lead a normal life. Over 7,700 Venezuelans live with the condition outside of their home country and are in need of antiretroviral therapy, according to UNAIDS.
Countries like Peru and Mexico have recognized some cases of Venezuelans with HIV as refugees. However, there is no regional response in Latin America that guarantees access to antiretroviral medication for Venezuelan refugees and migrants with HIV/AIDS. Their access to treatment depends on each of the countries’ policies, and they vary greatly from one country to another.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and UNAIDS are providing technical support to national NGOs working to establish a regional network that will allow people with HIV to safely contact clinics, hospitals, shelters and other organizations providing humanitarian assistance to those searching for treatment outside Venezuela.