HIV epidemic slows in Caribbean

It said that in the Caribbean region, new HIV infections were reduced by a third from 2001 levels and that HIV incidence has decreased by an estimated 25 per cent in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica since 2001, while in Haiti it has declined by about 12 per cent.

“Slowing HIV incidence and increasing access to HIV prevention services for pregnant women have led to a steep decline in the number of children newly infected with HIV and in AIDS-related deaths among children,” the report said, noting that unprotected sex is the primary mode of transmission in the Caribbean.

It noted that the number of people living with HIV has also declined slightly since the early 2000s and that increased access to antiretroviral therapy has led to a considerable drop in mortality associated with AIDS. More people than ever are living with HIV, largely due to greater access to treatment, the report noted.

“At the end of 2010, an estimated 34 million people were living with HIV worldwide, up 17 per cent from 2001. This reflects the continued large number of new HIV infections and a significant expansion of access to antiretroviral therapy, which has helped reduce AIDS-related deaths, especially in more recent years.”

It said that the number of people dying of AIDS-related causes fell to 1.8 million in 2010, down from a peak of 2.2 million in the mid-2000s. A total of 2.5 million deaths have been averted in low- and middle-income countries since 1995 due to antiretroviral therapy being introduced, according to new calculations by UNAIDS.

It said that much of that success has come in the past two years when rapid scale-up of access to treatment occurred; in 2010 alone, 700,000 AIDS related deaths were averted.

The proportion of women living with HIV has remained stable at 50 per cent globally, although women are more affected in sub-Saharan Africa (59 per cent of all people living with HIV) and the Caribbean (53 per cent).

There were 2.7 million new HIV infections in 2010, including an estimated 390 000 among children.

 

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/HIV-epidemic-slows-in-Caribbean_10237523#ixzz1eeG10Uya

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