News

HIV Infection Rates Among Women in Latin America and the Caribbean Continue to Increase

18 April 2007
Author: UNFPA

BUENOS AIRES — “The HIV and AIDS epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean increasingly has a woman’s face,” Marcela Suazo, Director of UNFPA’s Divison for Latin America and the Caribbean told participants at the Latin American and Caribbean Forum for HIV/AIDS and STIs in a plenary meeting today.

Marcela Suazo told participants that we have to re-direct our HIV prevention strategy to meet the challenge of the increasing feminization of HIV/AIDS.

Around 3,000 participants from 20 countries gathered in Buenos Aires this week to discuss different aspects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region.

Of the 40 million people currently living with HIV and AIDS globally, 1.9 million live in Latin America and the Caribbean. Last year alone, 167,000 people in the region were infected. The percentage of women infected with the HIV virus has risen by ten per cent over the past three years (2003-2006).

Suazo listed poverty, gender inequality, violence, stigma, discrimination and gender roles among the main causes of the feminization of the epidemic in the region.

“We are facing a change in the characteristics of the epidemic, so therefore we have to re-direct our prevention efforts to meet these challenges,” she said.

She listed strengthening human rights and gender equality, ending gender-based violence and including HIV policies in national strategies to fight poverty as key elements in the fight against feminization of HIV. 

—Trygve Olfarnes

Argentina
Population : 44.3 mil
Fertility rate
2.3
Maternal Mortality Ratio
52
Contraceptives prevalence rate
73
Population aged 10-24
24%
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 85%
Girls 91%