The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were developed to call to action governments and organizations to produce a set of initiatives to meet urgente challenges in environmental, political and economical inequalities. Among those initiatives is the global consensus to eliminate the AIDS epidemic by 2030 which is cited in 6 out of 20 goals presented. Reinforcing the visibility of this cause is very important since there are 18.2 million people on HIV treatment globally. In Brazil, it is estimated that the number of infected is approximately 900,000 according to the latest Epidemiological Bulletin of the Ministry of Health.
With this scenario in mind, the Ministry of Health of Brazil, through its Department of Surveillance, Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections, has been striving to improve its programmatic actions, with the objective of accelerating the Brazilian response to this problem. These actions have contributed to advance in the diagnosis, treatment and control of the virus in recent years. As a result, Brazil has now 84% of the HIV infected people diagnosed and 72% under treatment. This means being only 6 percentage points from achieving the UN goal of fighting AIDS, placing Brazil as the world leader in this regard.
In addition to that, for Georgiana Braga-Orillard, director of UNAIDS, «we are beyond the current recommendation of the World Health Organization» regarding the provision of treatment. Brazil was the first developing country to offer retroviral therapy to all patients as soon as the disease is diagnosed, not conditioning the free treatment to the number of the patient’s defense cells.
Georgiana Braga-Orillard, Diretora do Unaids no Brazil
In 2017 alone, R $ 1.1 billion was invested with medication and treatment of AIDS patients in the country, guaranteeing the HIV virus patients complete and free treatment through the public health system. This is a great achievement and is only possible because the law ensures that every person with HIV has access to free treatment.
With that, Brazil’s experience in fighting HIV-AIDS can offer inspiration to other countries either by showing a very open approach to the epidemic in relation to prevention and by campaigning to the right public or decentralizing the actions to strategically use civil society for strengthening its AIDS programe.