Peru holds out some hope for Venezuelan migrants with HIV

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05/06/2019

Sulaida Ramirez Davila sat in a support group for those with AIDS and HIV, like her son, Rafael Olivares. Tears welled up as she recalled her decision three years ago to leave Venezuela and Olivares. “I was separated from family … from my son, with the state of health he was in and not being there to help him,” she said. But leaving has saved the life of her 20-year-old son. In Peru, where Olivares eventually joined her, he has been able to get the antiretroviral medication that’s almost unavailable in Venezuela, an oil-rich country whose economy has been in serious decline for nearly a decade. The support group was moved by the familiar details: Venezuela’s lack of medicine, people going to hospitals and dying without medical supplies. One by one, group members shared similar stories: of being an LGBT Venezuelan migrant who has contracted the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS.

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