Barcelona 2013 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain 2013
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Abstract #2698  -  "CDC-PEPFARs HIV response in the Central American Region: Characterizing the Epidemic, Strengthening Health Systems and Preventing the spread of the virus".
  Presenting Author:   Dr Nelson Arboleda Caicedo - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  Additional Authors:   
The Central America region is characterized by a concentrated HIV/AIDS epidemic with low prevalence among the general population, but a very high prevalence among certain key pupulations such as men who have sex with men (MSM) transgender persons, male and female sex workers clients of sex workers and their partners and certain ethnic groups such as the Garífuna and Kuna and mobile populations. The HIV prevalence in adults in Central America is highest in Belize (2.3 percent), followed by Panama (0.9 percent), El Salvador (0.8 percent), Guatemala (0.8 percent), Honduras (0.8 percent), Costa Rica (0.3 percent), and Nicaragua (0.2 percent) (UNAIDS 2009).. Results from the most recent CDC supported Behavioral Surveillance Studies (BSS)+ show the prevalence for MSM was 9.8% in El Salvador, 9.9% in Honduras (both across multiple cities), and 7.5% in Managua, Nicaragua. These numbers reflect declines among MSM in all three countries suggesting that condom promotion and other prevention efforts may have had a positive impact.
  Method / Issue:
Host country governments continue to show strong national and regional leadership in response to the epidemic and provide the majority of the resources in support of national HIV/AIDS programs. With additional support of grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, government efforts have focused on providing anti-retroviral treatment, care for PLHIV, programs to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission, and behavior change communication (BCC) for low and high risk groups. HIV activities supported by host governments have had notably limited coverage of most-at-risk populations and stigma and discrimination directed toward these populations continue to represent major barriers to effectively address the epidemic across the region. Under the auspices of the HIV Regional Partnership Framework signed by all seven Central American countries with the USG, PEPFAR seeks to support host country governments to more effectively and efficiently lead the national and regional responses to the epidemic through strategic technical assistance and close coordination with all key stakeholders in the region from the Global Fund and UN organizations, to civil society and limited but increasing involvement of the private sector. A focus on most at risk populations is the strongest cross-cutting theme of the Partnership Framework and the USG team plays an essential lynchpin role in keeping these populations at the forefront of the national and regional responses through community, policy and technical level dialogues.
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