“To confront tuberculosis in Haiti in the ’80s, we trained—and paid—community health care workers to visit people [at their homes]. When AIDS came along, we used the same [approach, including] free diagnosis and care, because this is a public health problem. This meant that people weren’t lost to follow-up.

“But in the United States, someone who’s really sick with a chronic disease is sent home, without the appropriate support in the community. Then they get sick again and go back to the emergency room. Maybe they don’t have insurance, maybe they don’t speak English, maybe they have housing insecurity, and our medical system doesn’t deal with those problems well. So the care can be better in Haiti than what we’re seeing [in the U.S.].”  

—Paul Farmer, MD, interviewed on Democracy Now! (democracynow.org), May 28, 2008

Paul Farmer, MD, of Harvard University and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is also a founder of Partners in Health (PIH.org). He treats people with HIV in Haiti, Russia, South and Central America and Africa as well as in Boston.