Haiti and the Dominican Republic At the end of last year, the Caribbean's HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 1.6 percent was the second-highest in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa. The island of Hispaniola, which Haiti and the Dominican Republic share, is home to 85 percent of the cases:
Haiti has an adult prevalence rate of 3.8 percent, and the Dominican Republic 1.1 percent. Although the Dominican Republic's prevalence rate is less than one-third of Haiti's, surprisingly the Dominican Republic's HIV/AIDS programs are criticized by many for being far inferior. "It's 1,000 times better in Haiti," says Keith Joseph, a physician at Columbia University who has provided HIV/AIDS care in both countries.
Researchers estimate that 78 percent of infections in the Dominican Republic now occur through heterosexual sex, some of which is linked to a booming sex trade. Prevalence rates as high as 12 percent have been documented among sex workers.
Contact: Natasha Pinol
American Association for the Advancement of Science