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CDC to Expand Efforts to Combat HIV/AIDS in Latin America, Caribbean
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson yesterday announced that the CDC will expand its Global AIDS Program, which focuses on prevention, surveillance and infrastructure and treatment, to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean and Latin America. Beginning this month, the CDC plans to work together with the Caribbean Epidemiology Center, one of eight scientific centers within the Pan American Health Organization, to bolster HIV prevention and treatment efforts in that region. Thompson said at a meeting yesterday with PAHO Director Sir George Alleyne, "In the Caribbean, where HIV rates are the highest in the world outside Africa, we are committed to reducing HIV transmission through prevention. We also will work to improve the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS and related infections." Alleyne said that the epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean has "reached alarming proportions. In the Region of the Americas, one in every 200 persons between 15 and 49 years of age is HIV-infected. In the Caribbean, one in every 50 people has the infection, and we must intensify our fight against this deadly threat to health and development." Alleyne noted, "Combating the epidemic in the region requires a strong focus on prevention and access to quality, humane care and treatment, while maintaining the dignity of those infected and living with HIV/AIDS" (HHS release, 6/7).
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