Brazil says it has AIDS under control
Brazil said Monday its AIDS epidemic was under control, with a 0.61 percent cut in new cases between 2009 and 2010, although a rise among young homosexuals was a cause for concern.
The statistics in Latin America's biggest country showed that the number of new cases fell 0.61 percent between 2009 and 2010 from 35,979 to 34,212.
"We are seeing a downward trend in the number of cases over the years. People are living longer and better with the disease," Health Minister Alexandre Padilha told a press conference.
The number of cases since records began in 1980 totaled 608,230 until last June.
The number of deaths from the disease also fell, from 12,097 in 2009 to 11,965 in 2010.
Brazil, with a population of more than 191 million, produces 10 of the 20 AIDS drugs and also distributes them to African and Latin American countries.
It also distributes, free of charge, 500,000 condoms every year.
But health authorities said they were concerned by an increase in AIDS cases among young homosexuals aged 15 to 24.
The percentage of men having sex with men infected with the disease in that age group rose from 25.2 percent of the total in 1990 to 46.4 percent in 2010, the ministry said.
"Last year, for every 16 homosexuals in this age group there were 10 heterosexuals. In 1998, it was 12 for 10," it added.
(c) 2011 AFP