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HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean and Latin America: A decade of successes and new challenges

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HIV/AIDS discussion

Posted: Monday, November 30, 2020. 6:57 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: As lower infections and deaths from HIV/AIDS have been reported in the 2010s, the 2020s begin with new challenges for eliminating the pandemic from the region, reports the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

There has been a fall in the number of people being tested for HIV in eight Caribbean and Latin American nations – Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Peru, and Saint Lucia – a difference of 4,000 fewer in the first half of 2020 compared to 2019. But that is not necessarily good news, as it means that people with undiagnosed HIV are unaware of their situation and not getting lifesaving antiretroviral treatment, potentially exposing others to HIV transmission.

“COVID-19 poses a clear challenge to HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and health care services,” said Cesar Nuñez, Regional Director for UNAIDS. “Any slowing down in provision of these services will leave many vulnerable populations at greater risk of HIV infection and AIDS-related death.”

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