Good News On HIV Front In The Caribbean, Latin America

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Nov. 23, 2012: There is good news on the HIV battle front in the Caribbean as all data so far shows a welcome decline.

According to the latest UNAIDS report, the region with the sharpest declines in number of new HIV infections is the Caribbean where there has been a drop of more than 42 percent. In Suriname, the rate of new HIV infections fell by 86 percent and in the Dominican Republic by 73 percent.

A more than 50 percent decline was observed in the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize and Haiti. In Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, new HIV infections fell by more than one third.

In Latin America, the number of new HIV infections dropped by 24 percent.

Countries in the Caribbean also experienced a 48% decline in AIDS-related deaths. The Dominican Republic had 61% fewer people dying from AIDS-related causes while Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and Suriname saw a more than 40% reduction.

The number of children acquiring HIV infection also declined significantly in the Caribbean – by 32 percent. Overall, between 2001 and 2011, prevalence of HIV fell by nearly 27% among young people aged 15-24 globally. In the Caribbean, there was a drop of more than 35% among young men and women. In Latin America, HIV prevalence decreased by nearly 20% among young people. Significantly, the decline was much higher at 33% among young men, the group where the majority of new HIV infections among young people in Latin America occur.

Meanwhile, apart from high-income countries, which have long had near-universal coverage for antiretroviral medicines for pregnant women, the Caribbean is the only region approaching similarly high coverage levels at 79 percent. USA, LLC