Medical coverage for unemployed persons is not properly regulated on the island. This is a major problem for persons who lost their jobs, are undocumented and are living with a chronic disease such as HIV. The Sint Maarten AIDS Foundation is particularly concerned with uninsured HIV patients because they pose a health threat to the rest of the population. This project, which is an extension of the Round 3 activities, aims to provide monthly consultations, lab tests and medication to approximately 20 uninsured HIV patients. The SAF continues to intensively engage with the relevant authorities to guarantee the sustainability of this endeavor in the interest of public health and quality of life of the affected individuals.
SAF was formally established in 2002. Between 1990 and 2012 the foundation was managed by a small and changing group of volunteers which focused on preventing the transmission of HIV and other STIs and reducing its negative impact, including stigma and discrimination, while providing compassionate care, practical support services, and advocating on behalf of those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
In 2012 staff was hired because the Foundation was getting involved in and offering more awareness and prevention programs and needed to move from a full volunteer organization with a somewhat ad hoc approach to HIV/Aids, to a more professional organization with sustained implementation of programs, better reporting, monitoring and evaluation and overall, a more professional approach as well as better visibility.