In 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court issued a ruling that denationalized all persons that were born in the country to foreign parents. Said ruling came into force in June 2015 and entails repatriate around 30,000 Haitians. It is estimated that at least 3,2% of these 30,000 have hiv whether they are receiving treatment or not. However, Dr. Rosanna Carpio commented that percentage could exceed 5%.
According to Héctor Mateo, peer educator at the Comprehensive Care Unit at Luis E. Aybar Hospital, the fear of eviction is more palpable in the comprehensive care services that are located downtown and nearly 30% of Haitians immigrants that receive treatment in this hospital have disappeared: some of them have already been repatriated and others remain hidden.
On the one hand, having hiv put Haitians immigrants at a greater disadvantage, due to the fact that they must pass through the cities’ downtown areas looking for medical attention and by doing so they risk being detained by immigration authorities.
On the other hand, those who are going through the legalization process fear that their health situation could be taken as an excuse to deny them the resident status. Some of them have even avoided to be tested for hiv, despite having doctor’s order to be tested.
In spite of the fear and lack of safety, there are some places where the number of users has remained the same because they are located in suburban areas and the number of migration agents patrolling these areas is low. This fact allows the Haitians to feel a little bit more safe; but they remain in alertness.
The International Community must rule on the violations that the Haitian community in Dominican Republic suffers, especially those immigrants that have hiv because they should be given a special treatment which allows them to continue to receive comprehensive care and to ensure their right to life.