Number of AIDS-Related Deaths in Brazil Increase, Number of New HIV Cases Decrease in 2002, Health Ministry Says
The number of AIDS-related deaths in Brazil increased in 2002, but the number of new HIV cases decreased the same year, according to statistics released on Wednesday by Brazil's Ministry of Health, the Associated Press reports. The number of AIDS-related deaths increased from 10,941 in 2001 to 11,047 in 2002, the last year for which data is available. However, the number of new HIV cases decreased from 25,521 in 2001 to 22,295 in 2002. The ministry said that women, especially those in the country's northern region, are the highest-risk group in the country. According to the ministry, AIDS-related death rates since 1997 have been increasing in the northern region, where health services are scarce and early diagnosis of HIV infection is more difficult. "The new data confirm that the epidemic is on the decline in Brazil, but it calls for urgent action in certain regions of the country and among vulnerable populations," the ministry said in a statement (Associated Press, 5/26). Brazil's National STD/AIDS Programme, which is considered to be one of the most progressive in the world, manufactures and distributes generic versions of antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive people (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/20). Although the health ministry has recorded 310,310 AIDS cases, experts estimate that there are 600,000 HIV-positive people in the country, according to the Associated Press (Associated Press, 5/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.