The Globalist Examines HIV/AIDS in Haiti, Latin America
The Globalist recently examined the HIV/AIDS situation in the Caribbean and Latin America. Although Haiti was "one of the countries hardest hit" by HIV/AIDS in the region, infection rates have been falling during the last few years, according to UNAIDS statistics.
Infection rates have been declining more slowly in rural areas than in urban areas, and the percentage of pregnant women who have tested HIV-positive has declined by half over the last 10 years, the Globalist reports. Currently about 190,000 Haitians or 2.2% of the population is HIV-positive. In 2001, 6.1% of the adult population was HIV-positive, according to UNAIDS.
The Globalist looks at the work of two doctors, Jean Pape and Paul Farmer, who have contributed to the "progress in battling the epidemic in Haiti" as well as some of the challenges the country faces as it continues to fight HIV/AIDS, including lack of prevention knowledge and early onset of sexual activity.
According to the Globalist, more than two million people are living with HIV/AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean. U.N. figures show that there were 20,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean and 140,000 news cases in Latin America in 2007. However, access to antiretroviral drugs has increased because of the proliferation of HIV/AIDS treatment programs. According to the Globalist, Brazil has led the way in government-provided HIV/AIDS programs.
Latin America's diversity means that perceptions about the disease takes on different forms in different parts of the continent, but taboos and discrimination are still some of the "biggest obstacles to prevention and treatment," the Globalist reports (Chelala, Globalist, 5/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.