Brazil Reports 3.7% Rise in AIDS Cases
The Brazilian government reported a 3.7% increase in the country's AIDS cases during the first quarter of 2001, Reuters/Washington Times reports. By the end of March, Brazil had 210,447 registered AIDS cases, compared to 203,000 registered cases at the end of last year (Reuters/Washington Times, 8/2). The number of new registered AIDS cases in Brazil has "held steady" at about 20,000 per year in recent years (Reuters, 8/1). Brazil's Health Ministry said yesterday that the rise in AIDS cases seems to be the result of "declining condom use among young homosexual men" (Reuters/Washington Times, 8/2). The Health Ministry added that the decline in condom use "seemed to have started after the introduction" of antiretroviral drug therapy, which Brazil provides for free to all citizens with AIDS.
HIV Cases on the Rise
The ministry also reported an increase in the number of estimated HIV cases in the country. In 1998, the government estimated that the country had 536,000 HIV cases, but the Health Ministry has boosted that number to 597,000 this year. Health Minister Jose Serra said that the figures on HIV and AIDS cases "point to a general tendency toward stabilization" (Reuters, 8/1).