AIDS treatment in Haiti promising for developing nations

Ten years after a free treatment program was introduced in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, two-thirds of the first 910 patients enrolled were still alive, the researchers said in a brief report published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the New York Times reported.

That is roughly the same 10-year mortality rate found among gay men in this country who started antiretroviral triple therapy when it was first started in the late 1990s, said Dr. Margaret L. McNairy, an internist at Weill Cornell and a report co-author.

Like Americans with H.I.V. then, many of the patients had blood counts of CD4 cells — a measure of immune system strength — below 100 and were “super-sick, nearly on their deathbeds” when they started treatment, she said. The death rates were highest in the study’s first six months “because we just got to those patients too late.”

All of the patients were recruited at a Port-au-Prince clinic run jointly by Weill Cornell and Gheskio, the French acronym for Haitian Group for the Study of Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections.

Haiti to miss poll deadline

The head of Haiti’s Electoral Council has told Reuters that the nation will miss the April 24th date for elections, despite opposition calls for a quick return to the ballot box.

“The Electoral Council has never fixed itself to April 24 for elections. In this case the Council does not have to make announcements regarding this date. Dates from this process needs to be elaborated. We think that the work we’re doing now will be extended to the end of May which will allow us to launch an electoral process,” said Leopold Berlanger, the head of the electoral council.

Currently, the election council is overseeing a second review of the results to evaluate claims of fraud and decide which candidates should take part.

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