By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec. 2, 2016: As many again paused to mark World AIDS Day 2016, the question in the Caribbean remains which countries have the highest number of HIV cases? Here are the top 5 according to UNAIDS data obtained by NAN:
The French Caribbean country of Haiti leads the region with the most HIV cases. According to the latest reported numbers obtained by NAN from UNAIDS, Haiti had a whopping 130,000 cases as of last year. The country also has the most number of AIDS-related deaths at 8,000, according to latest numbers.
2: Dominican Republic
The Caribbean country with the second most reported HIV cases is the Dominican Republic. UNAIDS data as of 2015 show there are 68,000 people living with HIV there. The DR also has the second highest number of AIDS-related fatalities at a reported 3,100.
The English-speaking Caribbean nation of Jamaica comes in at third on the HIV Top Five List. There are some 29,000 Jamaicans currently living with the HIV virus, UNAIDS data shows. The country is also third overall for the highest number of AIDS fatalities with 1,200.
Cuba is mourning its revolutionary leader but the country also has something else to worry about. Currently, there are 22,000 reported instances of HIV on the island, the fourth largest in the Caribbean according to UNAIDS data. The country also has the highest number of reported new HIV cases at 3,100 as of 2015 and leads with the most adults living on anti-retroviral drugs. Five hundred Cuban died from AIDS-related deaths as of 2015.
5: Trinidad & Tobago
Rounding out the top five list is the twin island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. Some 11,000 people were reported as living with HIV on the island as of 2015 while 500 reportedly died from AIDS related deaths and another 500 were counted as recently contacting the HIV virus. However, the country is second in the region behind Cuba for the islands regionally with the most people living on anti-retroviral drugs because of HIV.
“Early HIV testing and treatment can be game-changers as well,” Dr. Cesar Nuñez, UNAIDS Latin America and Caribbean Regional Support Team Director said Thursday. “We now know that the sooner a person living with HIV finds out their status and starts treatment, the sooner the levels of the virus in their blood can be reduced, nearly eliminating the risk of infecting someone else.