HIV-AIDS Numbers in Latin America Slowly on the Decline

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    The HIV-AIDS infections in Latin America descend lower than in other areas

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The number of HIV infections and AIDS in Latin America descends but does it to a lesser extent than in other regions of the world, something that worries the UN today which was presented today in a report on the overall state of the epidemic.

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    In Latin America, every hour 10 people are infected with the virus, the report says.

    “Latin America worries me specifically. The rate of the decline of new infections with the virus of HIV-AIDS in Latin America is lower than in other regions and is lower than in Africa, and there are countries where we observe an increase in infections or do not observe the descent we should,” Luiz Loures, deputy executive director of UNAIDS, the UN agency fighting the disease, affirmed.

    “Latin America is closer to the regions that are less evolved than to the ones that are advancing,” added the expert.

    The report notes that between 2005 and 2013 a “slow, almost stagnant, decline in new infections, as evidenced by falling 3 percent in the number of new infections, was observed in the region.”

    There are regional differences, like the fact that Mexico and Peru succeed in reducing new infections by 39 percent and 26 percent respectively between 2005 and 2013, while in the same period Brazil registered an increase of 11 percent.
    “We need to reassess the way we are working against the epidemic in Latin America,” concluded Loures.
    The expert mentioned several factors to explain the increase, the principal, the growth of new infections among men who have sex with men.

    In fact, approximately 60 percent of HIV-positive people in the region are men.

    “There is a global trend in the growth of the epidemic among gay men who have sex with men. It is a global epidemic that is occurring in all regions without exception,” Loures said.

    On the one hand increasingly men have unprotected sex, “because the new generation has not experienced the epidemic of the eighties.”

    On the other hand, it exists and functions an antiretroviral treatment, and therefore one does not perceive fear of death after contracting the disease.

    “There is some satisfaction with the disease, which is very dangerous because it can be deadly,” warned Loures.
    Another aspect that affects the increase in cases is the fact that, according to some studies, 60 percent of sexual encounters occur after contact on the internet.

    “We must develop ways to make prevention of these ‘dates sites'” Loures requires, indicating that for now, little has been done in the process.

    Another problem linked to prevention is the fact that there is high mobility in the gay community, which is no longer limited to staying in his own city, but traveling to other cities of the country or even the continent in search of sexual encounters.

    “I think we should throw a red alert to the growing epidemic among the gay population,” concluded Loures.

    Another aspect that influences the growth of new infections in Latin America is domestic violence, “because many women live with partners who beat them, and in these contexts of submission and fear they can not ask to use a condom” he said.

    The region has a disease prevalence of 0.4 percent, and in 2013, there were 1.6 million Latin Americans (1.4 to 2.1 million) living with HIV, most of them, more than 75 percent, come from five countries: Brazil (47 percent); Mexico (10 percent); Colombia (9 percent); Venezuela (7 percent), and Argentina (5 percent).

    However, while Central America has 7.8 percent of the population of all HIV-positive Latin Americans, 10.6 percent were Central Americans.

    With regard to treatment, 45 percent of those infected have access to antiretroviral drugs, which UNAIDS considered a “high” level.

    Countries such as Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela have a coverage of more than 40 percent; Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay provide treatment to between 20 and 40 percent of patients; and Bolivia to less than 20 percent, the report said.

    At present between 33.2 and 37.2 million people (35 million) in the world live with the disease.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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