Thousands of HIV-positive Venezuelans have been forced to leave the country, after facing discrimination and zero treatment options, according to UNAIDS.
Patients once received free ARV treatment under Venezuela’s National AIDS Program. In 2017, the country essentially ran out of ARVs—about 9 people a day died from HIV-related illnesses that year.
“Today, HIV patients in Venezuela have three options: go untreated, buy the medication abroad or on the black market for large sums, or leave the country,” writes Gabriela Mesones Rojo.
The exodus of untreated Venezuelans could shift the course of the epidemic throughout the region.