Dallas Morning News Examines HIV/AIDS Epidemics in Honduras, Guatemala
The Dallas Morning News last week in a two-part series examined the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Central America, including in Honduras and Guatemala. Four of the five Latin American countries with the highest HIV prevalence rates are located in Central America. The epidemic in the region "has been fueled by a dramatic process of urbanization and increased internal migration," and some HIV/AIDS experts say that the new Central American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., the Dominican Republic and most Central American countries likely will "exacerbate these trends," the Morning News reports. In Honduras, which has an estimated HIV prevalence rate of 1.8%, HIV/AIDS-related illnesses have become the leading cause of death among women of childbearing age and are the second leading cause of hospitalization among adults. Half of all people living with HIV in the country are women (Londono, Dallas Morning News, 12/26/05). Guatemala has more children who have lost parents to AIDS-related causes than any other country in the region, and the United Nations estimates that the country's HIV prevalence is greater than 1%. Some HIV/AIDS experts say the governments of Honduras and Guatemala have been slow to address the epidemic, according to the Morning News. The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is providing five-year grants to both countries to provide access to antiretroviral drugs. However, CAFTA gives pharmaceutical companies a five-year period of exclusivity for new drugs, which could hinder the production of less-expensive generic versions of antiretrovirals, the Morning News reports (Londono, Dallas Morning News, 12/27/05).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.