New UN AIDS deputy hails Brazil progress

December 22, 2012

The newly appointed deputy chief of the United Nations HIV-fighting program, Brazilian Luiz Loures, hailed his own country's achievements in the fight against the deadly global epidemic in an interview published Saturday.

"We are beginning to talk of the end of the epidemic. Scientific progress makes it possible," Loures told the daily Folha de Sao Paulo, estimating the milestone could come within the next 15 years.

"We will not succeed in eradicating the virus, which is an issue for a more distant future. But we will be able to say there is no more epidemic," he clarified.

An estimated 490,000 Brazilians live with the that causes AIDS and the annual AIDS deaths stand at 15,000, UN statistics show.

But Brazil has successfully stabilized the pandemic within its borders, recording a 0.61 percent drop in new cases from 2009 to 2010 according to figures.

The veteran AIDS expert said to maintain the momentum, Latin America's dominant power, which saw its first AIDS case in 1982, "must continue its policies and intensify it where necessary."

He stressed the need to step up prevention particularly among vulnerable groups, such as gays and drug users.

Brazil offers free anti-retroviral drugs (ARV) treatment to HIV-positive citizens, a program that ignited controversy when it was announced in 1996 because of concerns about and violation of pharmaceutical copyright.

But a major factor in Brazil's success has been its ability to produce several locally. The country has a large pharmaceutical industry and around 40 percent of ARVs currently purchased by the government are manufactured domestically.

Loures takes up his new duties at the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on January 1.

Explore further: Ukraine urged to step up AIDS fight

Related Stories

Ukraine urged to step up AIDS fight

January 16, 2012

(AP) -- The head of a global health fund on Monday urged Ukraine to step up its efforts to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Europe's largest.

AIDS kills 28,000 in China in 2011: report

January 21, 2012

AIDS killed 28,000 people in China last year, and another 48,000 new infections from the HIV virus were discovered in the country, according to an official report on Saturday.

Brazil expands its anti-AIDS program

August 29, 2012

(AP) —Brazil's anti-AIDS program will be expanded to include at least 35,000 more people, a Health Ministry official said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Fireflies light the way to female HIV transmission

April 27, 2016

Finding the vulnerable points where HIV enters the female reproductive tract is like searching for needles in a haystack. But Northwestern Medicine scientists have solved that challenge by creating a glowing map of the very ...

HIV can develop resistance to CRISPR/Cas9

April 7, 2016

The CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing platform may need a little bit more tweaking before it can be used as an effective antiviral, reports a study published April 7 in Cell Reports. Researchers who used CRISPR/Cas9 to mutate HIV-1 ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.