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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
CARIBBEAN: Brazil to Give Caribbean Islands Antiretroviral

April 26, 2005
Associated Press (04.25.05) - Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Caribbean Community announced on Monday that Brazil has pledged to give antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to patients in nine eastern Caribbean nations. ARVs will be provided for 502 AIDS patients in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The countries are all members of the subregional Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

Brazil made the pledge following a meeting earlier this month between Caribbean officials and Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and the nation's Health Minister Humberto Costa. Officials were unable to specify when the ARVs would be supplied. However, Brazil and the community are meeting in May to sign an HIV/AIDS technical assistance agreement.

In the Caribbean, 2.4 percent of the population, or some 500,000 people, have HIV, a rate surpassed only by sub-Saharan Africa. The Caribbean figure excludes Cuba, where testing and prevention programs have kept rates of infection relatively low.