According to New York Times, the shortage of medicines generated by the crisis and the cutback in public health policies resulted in a jump in the number of indigenous people killed due to AIDS, a disease caused by the HIV virus.
After the other villagers had drifted away to do chores, Rafael Pequeño finally found himself alone with the headman and opened the hardcover notebook on his lap. The men were sitting in a palm-thatched hut perched on stilts on the edge of a branch of the Orinoco River.
It had been two years since Mr. Pequeño, a nurse, had visited this poor indigenous village in the remote Orinoco Delta region of eastern Venezuela. His notebook contained a registry of patients who had been part of an H.I.V. treatment program that, like the rest of the nation’s public health system, had fallen apart.
Of the 15 villagers who had been part of the treatment program, five had died of AIDS, the disease caused by H.I.V. In all, more than 40 residents of this village had died of AIDS or AIDS-like symptoms in the past several years — in a settlement of only about 200. “I’m very worried,” Mr. Pequeño said quietly. He looked stunned. “It’s wiping out this community.”
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