When it comes to the fight against AIDS in Latin America, there is reason to be optimistic. According to UNAIDS, the epidemic is stable, infections are declining, and overall treatment coverage is high.
Thanks largely to wider spread availability of anti-retroviral therapy, the number of people dying from AIDS-related causes declined by 10 percent between 2005 and 2011, and approximately 1.4 million people are currently living with the disease.
“Pressure over the human rights of AIDS prevention, treatment and care has resulted in improved government policies and a better overall situation,” says Dr. Carmen Barroso, regional director at International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region.
Despite the progress, Barroso says there are still challenges. “Women are more likely to be infected than men, and treatment is not reaching vulnerable populations like sex workers and homosexual men who are often the objects of stigma and discrimination.”