Fourteen men who worked for or were aided by SEROvie, Haiti’s largest organization serving gay and transgender people with HIV, were among those killed during last week’s earthquake, according to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Only two people from the group survived.
The message of the men’s tragic death came from an e-mail SEROvie’s leader Steve La Guerre managed to send to IGLHRC asking for help.
“We were having our usual support group meeting on a quiet Tuesday afternoon when the worst happened.” La Guerre wrote. “The sound is unforgettable. I can’t even describe the horror as the ceiling and the wall of the conference room started to fall and the chaos started.
“It is now more than ever that SEROvie and ACCV (Civic Action Against HIV) are needed to provide the quality services we provide to our beneficiaries: food, clothes, and any type of help,” La Guerre continued. “Light a candle for these souls and for Haiti. Lord help us.”
IGLHRC executive director Cary Alan Johnson says that his group has sent funds directly to SEROvie to allow their services and supplies to continue to reach their clients. The group is also sending funds to Colectiva Mujer y Salud, a feminist Dominican organization that has crossed the border into Haiti to assist with direct relief to the LGBT community there. IGLHRC has provided a donation page, where Johnson said 100% of the funds collected “will go directly to our friends and colleagues in Haiti.”
Earlier this week The Advocate published contact information for another group, Aid for AIDS, that is providing support for HIV-positive Haitians.