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HIV/AIDS in Latin America - Statistics & Facts

Diagnoses of the human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) must no longer be the death sentences they once were, as annual AIDS-related death rates continue to sink worldwide by tens of thousands. Nonetheless, the disease continues to disproportionately burden the public health of some regions, including Latin America. Ranging from 0.5 percent in Brazil and Colombia to 1.9 percent in Haiti, the region is home to some of the countries (outside Africa) with the highest prevalence of HIV among adult population.

Comparing Latin America with the rest of the globe

Like the majority of the globe, Latin America has witnessed an increase of people living with HIV over the past few years. Along with treatment allowing HIV/AIDS patients to live longer, new HIV infections also make up this growing number. In 2019, there were 120 thousand new HIV infections reported in Latin America, which was almost double the amount in Western/Central Europe and North America, but still far below the 730 thousand new cases in Eastern and Southern Africa. Furthermore, whereas 23 percent of the global new infections were among men who had sex with other men , this same population in Latin America accounted for over 40 percent of the region’s new HIV infections. This all suggests the region still has plenty of room for improvement in addressing and enhancing sexual education, contraception, and self-care, concerns which lie beneath the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Latin America.

The case of Brazil

With approximately 14 thousand deaths in 2018, Brazil was among the world’s top ten nations with the highest numbers of AIDS-related deaths, only behind African countries. Moreover, Latin America’s largest nation accounted for nearly half of the region’s new HIV cases in 2018, as well as more than two thirds the region’s deaths due to this disease. In spite of this alarming situation, domestic and international spending on HIV programs in Brazil has been continuously declining since 2014, attaining a value of almost 700 million U.S. dollars in 2018. However, new preventive methods such as the Pre-exposure prophylaxis pill (PrEP) have been gaining an important space among Brazilians, especially among young adults aged 25 to 39.

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HIV/AIDS in Latin America

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