Venezuelan police raid offices of HIV and AIDS support group

People with HIV and AIDS have faced severe difficulties finding adequate support during the country’s political and economic crisis

Police in Venezuela raided the offices of HIV and AIDS services organization on Friday (15 February).

The International Council for AIDS Service Organizations [ICASO] confirmed that the authorities had forcibly entered the group’s offices in the city of Valencia in Carabobo state.

The police reportedly seized infant formula and medications for HIV and AIDS treatment, The Washington Blade reports.

Early reports said that three activists were arrested during the raid.

In an ICASO press release, Alberto Nieves, executive director of Acción Ciudadana Contra el SIDA, said: ‘We are scared for the safety of our activists and call upon the global community to help us — not just us, but the people of Venezuela living with HIV.

‘A very serious situation’
People diagnosed with HIV and AIDS have been greatly affected by the political and economic crisis which continues to engulf Venezuela.

300,000 bottles of antiretroviral drug Tenofovir, Lamivudine and Dolutegravir (TLD) were shipped to the country by the Pan-American Health Organization Strategic Fund between December and January.

However, HIV and AIDS advocacy groups have said that the life-saving medication has not left the military warehouse where it is being stored in.

HIV and AIDS support group Fundación Mavid has written to the Venezuelan government demanding an explanation, adding that ‘millions and millions of pills of antiretroviral drugs are stored and withheld without justification’.

President of Fundación Mavid, Eduardo Franco said that the advocacy groups were caught in ‘a very serious situation’.

Deepening political and economic crisis
The country’s political and economic problems do not show any signs of abating.

President Nicolás Maduro has faced international condemnation for his handling of the crisis.

Last month, National Assembly President Juan Guaidó declared himself as president, gaining the support of a number of countries, including the US.

In recent years, millions of Venezuelans have migrated to neighboring Columbia to escape the crisis in their home country.

People with HIV and AIDS in Venezuela are facing serious threats due to lack of available antiretroviral drugs, The Washington Blade reported earlier this week.

In some cases, this has led to the deaths of those who were unable to access the necessary medication to treat their condition.

by Calum Stuart
Source – Gay Star News