UN report: 1.6 mln HIV carriers in Latin America, Caribbean

Published: 03/04/2011 05:00



Latin America and the Caribbean have about 1.6 million people carrying the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that can cause the deadly disease AIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/Aids (UNAIDS) said on Thursday.

Latin America has not registered any improvement in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, said UNAIDS Regional Director Cesar Nunez, releasing the findings of a new report for the state of HIV/AIDS.

Nunez, urging governments across Latin America and the Caribbean to increase efforts to combat the spread of HIV, suggested governments to focus their work on the prevention among younger people and at schools in order to avoid the spread of HIV in the region.

“At this time of crisis, let us optimize the means and let us not fall into complacence,” he said.

But Nunez said that Latin America, however, is the region with the best coverage of medicine available to HIV carriers, as about 51 percent of those living with the virus have access to HIV/AIDS medicine.

“In the South American countries we have a (medical) coverage of 70 percent which encourage us to believe we can increase the coverage level in Central America,” he said. According to the report, there are now 33 million HIV carriers in the world.

Source: Xinhuanet

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