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AIDS deaths decrease in Latin America, prevention is still lacking

United Nations, Jul 13 (Prensa Latina) AIDS-related deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean have decreased in recent years, but there is still a lack of progress in prevention, according to a UN report released Thursday.

The text, published by the Joint Program of the UN Organization for HIV-AIDS (UNAIDS), noted that Latin American nations have made significant progress in expanding access to treat HIV, but not so much in terms of prevention.

From 2010 to 2022 the number of AIDS-related deaths dropped by 32%, however annual number of new HIV infections surged by 8%.

According to experts, only nine regional nations managed to provide oral PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and on-demand PrEP to key populations.

Meanwhile, the number of new HIV infections in the Caribbean fell by 15% in the same period.

Expanding treatment coverage led to a 53% decrease in the number of AIDS-related deaths, yet the rate of decline varied from country to country.

However, diagnosis of advanced HIV disease remains a challenge in the region.

If inequities and stigmatization are addressed, treatment coverage and outcomes are likely to improve further, the report noted.

According to UNAIDS, Botswana, Eswatini, Tanzania and Zimbabwe have already achieved the “95-95-95” targets. This means that 95% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 95% of those who know they are infected with the virus are receiving life-saving antiretroviral treatment, and 95% of those on treatment have suppressed the virus.

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