The beneficiaries will be Venezuelan migrants, as well as other migrant and vulnerable populations in Colombia.
Bogotá – As part of the implementation of the health sector response plan to the Venezuelan regional crisis, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection received from a donation from the United States. This donation is to support 1,000 Venezuelan refugees on antiretroviral treatment for one year (the word migrants could also be used), as well as other vulnerable populations diagnosed with HIV who are unable to access treatment from clinics because they are not part of the national health system in Colombia. This generous donation intends to provide life-saving treatment for these vulnerable populations.
This donation was announced by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Azar and former Colombian Minister of Health Uribe in August 2019 when they signed a letter of intent to formalize an agreement that the United States, through a federal initiative called the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), will provide additional support to Colombia in the form of a supply of antiretroviral treatment to help provide HIV/AIDS treatment to care for Venezuelans at Colombian public health facilities. The donation consists of 12,000 units of emtricitabine-tenofovir and 12,000 units of dolutegravir, valued at approximately one and a half million dollars (USD). The United States government continues to work with the government and people of Colombia in their effort to meet the medical needs of both Colombians and Venezuelans.
The Ministry of Health and Social Protection believes the country is making progress in guaranteeing comprehensive treatment for Venezuelan refugees (the word migrants could also be used) living with HIV who do not currently have the option to access Colombian public health facilities, and this donation is of high importance as it improves the health of the refugee (the word migrants could also be used) population and minimizes the community’s risk.
For his part, the United States Ambassador to Colombia, Philip Goldberg, indicated that “the United States government is committed to controlling the global HIV epidemic, and this donation to Colombia demonstrates this commitment, as well as our commitment to promotion of security, prosperity and democratic governance in Colombia “.
Most of the medicine was delivered to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, which provides health services to the population living with HIV in Cúcuta and Bogotá, as well as through other agreements in territories such as Bucaramanga and Arauca. The remainder of the donated medicine will be distributed in coordination with territorial entities that can assume comprehensive treatment for people living with HIV and who face difficulties seeking services in the Colombian health system.