|World AIDS Day 2009 highlights significant progress, clear challenges|
World AIDS Day, celebrated this December 1 with the theme "Universal Access and Human Rights," highlights both the progress and the challenges remaining in the fight against HIV/AIDS. While there are significant success stories, reversing the epidemic will still require a lot of effort.
A number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have made meaningful progress against HIV/AIDS, including advances in the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, congenital syphilis and elimination of HIV-related stigma. However, important challenges remain.
Among the major challenges to the region’s response are issues related to sex work and HIV, sex between men who have sex with men, HIV in people using drugs, access to antiretroviral therapy, and drug resistance.
Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall, Senior Advisor for the HIV/STI Project at the Pan American Health Organization, says that PAHO is "always looking for new ways to raise awareness about the HIV epidemic, to share information about the impact and response in our region, and to foster solidarity with those who have been affected."
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