Reforming HIV/AIDS in South Eastern Brazil
Globalization in Nursing Practice
February 3, 2018
HIV/AIDS continues to hold a firm grasp amongst prevalence rate in the world population. Historically, the disease is believed to originate in Kinshasha, in the Democratic Republic of Congo around the 1920s. Since the 1980’s the presence of HIV/AIDS became apparent when people affected by a rare lung disease, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and unusual cases of an aggressive cancer called Kaposi’s Sarcoma. According to UNAIDS, there are approximately 36.7 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2016, with an estimated 1.8 million new infections at the end of 2016. Many of whom are not adequately treated with antiretroviral medications. Brazil specifically remains to be the country in which HIV/AIDS is most prevalent, with 830,000 people currently infected with the virus or 0.6% of the population.
Currently, Brazil represents 40% of newly infected cases for South America and consists of the largest volume of infected people in Latin America. In light of this, population groups heavily affected by the virus include drug users, prisoners, and sex workers. Female sex workers face a staggering incidence rate of 5.3%. Men who have sex with men sustain a higher rate of 10.5% in Brazil. Sex work is legal in brazil, however; it is not legal to own an establishment such as a brothel or engaging in business related to sex work (Kerrigan, 2013). There are specific locations in Brazil, notably an area in Rio de Janeiro called “Villa Mimosa” where as many as 2000-3500 sex workers are concentrated in. Brazil aims to reduce the HIV infection rate by the introduction of condom use programs. Although knowledge pertaining to condom use and regular testing is well known, only 17.5% sex workers were tested in 2015, and 52.3% of sex workers aware of their status. HIV prevention within the past five years has been an issue due to a decline in national and international funding in order to prevent HIV/AIDS proliferation. HIV/AIDS is complicated due to the intense stigma surrounding the disease. For instance, of all people in Brazil that are diagnosed with HIV, 60% of the positive tested individuals are engaging in antiretroviral therapy. Meanwhile, the 40% left are not actively taking ART therapy due to stigma issues, and other issues such as not taking the initiative to test.
The Brazilian government has actively engaged in measures to help address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since 1996, the Brazilian government initiated a universal provision allowing guaranteed free access to antiretroviral therapy in those who are tested positive. Additionally, since December of 2013 the government has implemented a treatment as prevention plan (TasP) which immediately commences ART therapy upon a positive test result to improve the quality of life of the person by suppressing viral levels, subsequently reducing the transmission rate of the virus.
Kerrigan, D. (2014). A community empowerment approach to the HIV response among sex
workers: effectiveness, challenges, and considerations for implementation and scale-up.
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