Brazilian Women with AIDS on the Up

The latest AIDS Epidemiological Bulletin, which was released by the Ministry of Health yesterday, November 30, reports that the number of women infected with HIV/AIDS has risen. Last year (2003) there were 12,599 new cases, compared to 10,566 in 1998, an increase of 16%.

In the first six months of this year there have been 5,538 new cases of AIDS in women, which is causing concern in the government to the point where the problem will be one of the central themes of today’s commemorations of World AIDS Day.


Because of female AIDS, during the first half of this year there were 201 cases of so-called vertical AIDS, that is, when the disease is passed from mother to child during pregnancy or at birth. In 2003, there were a total of 519 cases of vertical AIDS.


The bulletin shows that overall AIDS among men has stabilized. Last year there were 19,648 cases, down 7% from 1998. Stabilization has been possible because the number of cases among men who are homosexual or bisexual has not risen.


In 1998, fully 30% of all male cases of AIDS were among homosexuals or bisexuals. In 2004, that number has fallen to around 25%. On the other hand, the opposite has occurred among heterosexual men: they had 30% of AIDS cases in 1998, today they have 42%.


Among drug users there has been a reduction of AIDS cases in both men and women. In 1998, 17% of AIDS cases were found in women who used drugs; today that number is down to 4.3%. Male drug users accounted for 27% of AIDS cases among men in 1998; today that is 13%.


Finally, the bulletin reports on AIDS mortality. It has remained stable since 2001 at 8.8 deaths per each group of 100,000 infected men. Among women, the mortality rate rose slightly from 3.9 deaths per each group of 100,000 infected women in 2001, to 4.0 in 2003.


Award


Brazil’s Ministers Humberto Costa, of Health, and Ciro Gomes, of National Integration, will award prizes to NGOs that have done outstanding work in the prevention and treatment of AIDS among women in Brazil.


The ceremony will take place tonight, December 1, at 7:00 pm. at the Academia de Tênis in Brasí­lia. The presentation of the awards will be followed by a show with Brazilian pop stars, Elba Ramalho, Margareth Menezes, Sandy and Preta Gil. The ceremony is part of the country’s commemorations of World AIDS Day.


Agência Brasil
Translator: Allen Bennett

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