In Peru, access to HIV treatment has improved in recent years, however, services are not always easy to access for all people who need them. Notably, the HIV epidemic tends to be concentrated among key populations and socially disadvantaged sectors. One such vulnerable group is the approximately 1.1 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela living in Peru. There has been little known about the rates of HIV in this population and the number of people who may have interrupted medical treatment due to migration.
Like most countries, Peru’s health system has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has also impacted Peru’s HIV national response, threatening previous progress, and making it more difficult to ensure continuous access to HIV treatment.
Peru has had one of the highest per capita case and mortality rates due to COVID-19 in the Latin America region. The pandemic highlighted the fragilities of the Peruvian health system, which did not have the necessary capacity to contain the COVID-19 transmission of cases at the first level of care or sufficient hospital beds and specialists to manage and treat severe cases. Gaps remain in case surveillance, laboratory capacity, standardization of case management, and attention to other health priorities. And challenges remain in providing access to comprehensive HIV services for all, while tackling stigma and discrimination.
In this context, using a health system strengthening approach, the Local Health System Sustainability Project (LHSS) provides technical assistance to the Government of Peru to:
- Assess the health system capacity to deliver HIV services for Venezuelan migrants and estimate the number of Venezuelan migrants living with HIV in the country
- Strengthen the Ministry of Health’s capacity to ensure availability of HIV services, medicines, and commodities for the Venezuelan migrant population.
- Strengthen the country's response to COVID-19 by improving surveillance, case management, laboratory practices, telehealth services and communication strategies to improve access to vaccination and health services to mitigate pandemic threats.