Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, the Region of the Americas has contributed with a public health and human rights approach to the global response. In September 2016, Member States of the Pan American Health Organization approved the Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections 2016 -2021. This Plan aims to promote an accelerated, focused, more effective, innovative and sustainable response, paving the way towards the goal of ending the epidemics of AIDS and STIs as public health problems in the Region of the Americas by 2030.
- The number of new HIV cases in Latin America has had with only 1% reduction since 2010 with approximately 100.000 new persons infected each year. The Caribbean had a reduction of 18% from 2010 to 2017, down from an estimated 19.000 new cases to 15.000 per year. Approximately one-third of new infections occur in young people (15-24 years old).
- The HIV epidemic in the Region disproportionally affects certain sub-population (key populations), including gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) transgender women, and female sex workers. In Latin America, these three key populations account for approximately half of the new infections in 2017, and 37% in the Caribbean.
- In 2017, an estimated 1.8 million people were living with HIV in Latin America, and 310 thousand in the Caribbean.
- In Latin America, the number of people dying of AIDS-related death have decreased from its peak of 45 thousand in 2005 to 37 thousand in 2017, while the Caribbean had a reduction from 18 thousand to 10 thousand in the same period.
- It is estimated that 23% of people with HIV in Latin America and 27% in the Caribbean are unaware of their infection, and approximately one third are diagnosed late, with advanced immunodeficiency (under 200 CD4 per mm3 of blood).
- Approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Latin America and 180 thousand in the Caribbean by the end of 2017, accounting for 61% ART coverage among all persons estimated to be living with HIV in Latin America and 57% in the Caribbean.
The 69th World Health Assembly endorsed the Global Health Sector Strategy on HIV for 2016-2021. The strategy includes five strategic directions that guide priority actions by countries and by WHO over the next six years.
The strategic directions are:
- Information for focused action (know your epidemic and response).
- Interventions for impact (covering the range of services needed).
- Delivering for equity (covering the populations in need of services).
- Financing for sustainability (covering the costs of services).
- Innovation for acceleration (looking towards the future).
In the Americas, countries have also endorsed the Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections 2016-2021 to help accelerate the progress towards the end of AIDS and STI epidemics as public health problems by 2030 in the Region of the Americas. The goals of the regional Plan of Action are to reduce the incidence of new HIV infections, AIDS-related mortality, and STI-related complications. The Plan also integrates the goals of the previous Regional Strategy and Plan of Action for the Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Congenital Syphilis, reducing the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis to elimination levels.