Brazil, a pioneer in the fight against AIDS, is seeing the numbers of new cases slowly rising, especially among young people who did not live the disease’s epidemic eruption in the 1980’s. CCTV America’s Lucrecia Franco reports from Rio de Janeiro.
According to Brazil’s Health Ministry and UNAIDS (United Nations & AIDS), cases have been rising among young people aged 15 to 24. Estimated overall infections have reached nearly 800,000 — half of all HIV cases in all of Latin America.
Brazil became a model in HIV control when it launched aggressive educational campaigns and began a free drug provision back in the 1990’s, but the reason for the new cases remain disputed.
Specialists at Fiocruz, Brazil’s national reference center for AIDS research and treatment, believe tracking the virus is much better now.
Brazil produces half of the antiretroviral drugs for AIDS treatment and they are given free to all infected patients. But this may backfire, making young people think they can just take a pill and be fine if they become infected.
Anti-AIDS campaigner, Mara Moreira, prides herself as a good example of what information and AIDS therapy can do. She takes 13 pills every day, has high cholesterol and is not free from getting diabetes or other diseases related to the treatment. New anti-AIDS campaigns, she says, are crucial.