Prostitution in Haiti is illegal, but the country used to be a premier destination in the 1970s for sex tourism for adults. Since the 1940s, prostitution rings made up of Dominican women have circulated about the capital and today, are found in the suburb of Pétionville. A premium is placed on Dominican women due to their lighter skin and mixed race appearance.
Haiti suffers from extreme poverty, with much of the population living on less than a dollar a day; those with no other resources often turn to prostitution. Haiti has the highest cases of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean region estimated to be at about a 1.8 percent prevalence as of 2013. An analysis of the causes of death, which started when hospital death certificates began to be collected in 1997, shows that AIDS was the leading cause of death in the country, but as of 2010, this has been reduced to only a 1 percent cause of death, as disaster-related issues has been the leading cause at 66 percent.