The Manos Amigas Clinic joined in with other institutions around the world and marked World AIDS Day, a time to remember the critical fight against HIV and AIDS. This is a pretty significant event for Third-World countries like Honduras, where birth rates are extremely high, the overall population is relatively young, and public voices commenting on sexually transmitted diseases are seldom broadcast enough to be heard by the general public. Doing its part, clinic staff designed and erected a massive poster-board display in the patient reception area to call attention to the event on December 1, 2012.
This display was a call for awareness and the red ribbons decorating the display were a world-wide symbol to show support for those people living with HIV. The staff wanted to improve the knowledge of their patients and to empower them to prevent and protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. There were pictures and descriptive commentary about contact with blood, body fluids, and protection. One method of protection was the use of condoms. A free supply of them was available to anyone wishing to have them.
Although Honduras makes up approximately 17% of the population of Central America, it accounts for 60% of HIV/AIDS cases in the region. According to a report by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), AIDS is the leading cause of death among Honduran women of childbearing age and condom use is reported to be sporadic and variable.
We will continue our medical mission and join the world in working toward eradicating new AIDS infections by 2015. An AIDS-free generation is very achievable and we are hopeful for a bright future.