Latin America and the Caribbean has the highest proportion of people actually receiving of HIV/AIDS treatment actually receiving the treatment in comparison to any developing country, according to Luis-Soto Ramirez, co-chair of AIDS 2008 – the XVII International AIDS Conference.
“Sixty-two per cent of the people in need are on treatment in the region – the highest proportion of any developing country”, he said in his opening speech at the conference (3 August).
However, Pedro Cahn, co-president of the AIDS 2008, urged that Latin America and the Caribbean – in which two million people are HIV positive – should be not excluded from the international agenda because of its success in fighting the disease.
“Latin American and the Caribbean are also suffering of the consequences of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the context of poverty and marginality”.
According to Ban Ki-Moon, secretary-general of the UN, in a speech, Latin America is “the source of some of the most dynamic responses to AIDS, but also home to the greatest challenges”.
This is the first time that the International AIDS Conference has been hosted in Latin America.
Luisa Massarani, SciDev.Net/Latin America and the Caribbean