Brazil Becomes Developing World Model for HIV/AIDS Treatment, Prevention Strategy
Brazil's HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention strategies have been so effective that they have become a model for developing countries dealing with the epidemic, the Chicago Tribune reports. During the past three years, 31 countries have adopted Brazil's prevention and treatment guidelines (Jones, Chicago Tribune, 6/8). Brazil was the first developing country to implement a national HIV/AIDS plan. Dr. Jong Wook Lee, the newly elected director general of the World Health Organization, has appointed Paulo Teixeira, head of Brazil's HIV/AIDS program, to formulate WHO's AIDS strategy (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/23). In the past eight years, the number of AIDS-related deaths in Brazil has been reduced by 50% due to the country's focus on prevention and distribution of free antiretroviral drugs, the Tribune reports. Brazil's prevention program promotes "frank talk about safe sex," and the government distributes antiretrovirals to people who cannot afford them, according to the Tribune.
"What Brazil has shown is that a middle-income country without massive funding can combat AIDS," Mauro Schechter, an AIDS researcher, said, adding, "[In Brazil] life expectancy has increased and many deaths have been avoided." Nils Daulaire, CEO of the Global Health Council, said, "Certainly much can be learned from Brazil." Brazil was recently awarded the $1 million Gates Award for Global Health, which is administered by GHC. Teixeira last year announced that Brazil would donate $1 million to pay for 10 pilot AIDS projects in Latin America and Africa and has encouraged developed countries to give more to fight the epidemic, according to the Tribune. "Rich countries must mobilize funds to make a dent in places that are much worse off than Brazil," Teixeira said (Chicago Tribune, 6/8).
More information on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Brazil is available online as part of kaisernetwork.org's Issue Spotlight on HIV/AIDS.