Washington, DC, May 2, 2023 (PAHO)- The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) have agreed to work together to contribute to efforts to eliminate HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), viral hepatitis, mpox and other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The framework agreement was signed yesterday by PAHO Director Dr. Jarbas Barbosa and AHF President Michael Weinstein. “This agreement will strengthen collaboration between our organizations,” said Dr. Barbosa.
The agreement aims to strengthen advocacy actions to implement WHO recommendations to improve prevention programs, quality of care and treatment outcomes by expanding and directly involving LGBTQ+ communities in the implementation of innovations such as self-administered testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV.
PAHO provides technical cooperation to countries in the Americas to support the elimination of communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections. The PAHO elimination initiative seeks to end some 30 diseases and related conditions by 2030, including those covered by the PAHO/AHF agreement.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation is a global nonprofit organization providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to over 1.7 million people in more than 45 countries around the world, including Latin America and the Caribbean. Founded in 1987, it is currently the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the world.
About HIV/AIDS, TB, hepatitis and mpox
Around 2.5 million people live with HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2021, approximately 120,000 people acquired the virus and another 35,000 lost their lives from disease-related causes.
Meanwhile, around 850 people contract tuberculosis every day in the Americas region and 90 lose their lives.
WHO estimates that 5.4 million people live with hepatitis B and 4.8 million with chronic hepatitis C in the Americas. The most recent regional data indicates that there are around 10,000 new chronic hepatitis B infections and 23,000 deaths each year in the region. As for hepatitis C, there are 67,000 new infections and 84,000 deaths annually in the region.
As of April 31, more than 59,200 cases of mpox (68% of the global total) and 104 deaths (78% of the global total) were reported in the Americas. Of these, the United States reported just over 50% of the cases and 46.8% of the deaths.