Field. Actions Sci. Rep., 2, 85-91, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
23 Feb 2009
Access to microcredit for women living with, or vulnerable to, HIV in Haiti
C. Longuet1, J. L. Machuron1, M. M. Deschamps2, R. Sinior3, E. Brignoli4, J. W. Pape2, and B. Miribel1
1Fondation Mérieux, 17, rue Bourgelat, 69002 Lyon, France
2GHESKIO, 33, Boulevard Harry Truman, Port-au-Prince, Haïti
3ACME, 11, rue Bois Patate, Port-au-Prince, Haïti
4bioMérieux Brasil SA, Estrada do Mapuá 491, Taquara, Jacarepaguá, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22710-261, Brasil

Abstract. Haiti is the poorest country on the American continent. It is also the Caribbean nation where HIV prevalence is the highest: 2.2% of the adults carry the virus.

In 2005, GHESKIO, a centre for the care of people living with HIV/AIDS; ACME, Association for Cooperation with Micro Enterprise; and Fondation Mérieux launched a microcredit programme to help women living with HIV/AIDS. The programme was subsequently extended to vulnerable women who had consulted at GHESKIO.

In 2006, an impact assessment of the programme among the first 66 women benefiting from a loan showed better living conditions compared to a control group of 30 women with similar initial medical and socioeconomic status but no loan. By mid-2008, 1061 women were the beneficiaries of 1538 loans totalling 11 373 000 gourdes, i.e. approximately 216 000 €. Of these, 247 received several loans (up to seven loans to date).

Although the women are very poorly educated and live in arduous economic circumstances, the loan repayment records are excellent – around 94% as of mid 2008. There is no difference between HIV-negative women and those living with HIV.

Combined with antiretroviral treatment, micro-financing is certainly one of the major instruments for reducing the impact of HIV on the infected populations in countries with limited resources. This programme in Haiti is a demonstration of the feasibility of microcredit in a difficult environment. The great professionalism of the institutions implementing the programme is a key factor in its success.

Citation: Longuet, C., Machuron, J. L., Deschamps, M. M., Sinior, R., Brignoli, E., Pape, J. W., and Miribel, B.: Access to microcredit for women living with, or vulnerable to, HIV in Haiti, Field. Actions Sci. Rep., 2, 85-91, doi:10.5194/facts-2-85-2009, 2009.