The HIV epidemic in the Latin American and the Caribbean represents a major driver of poverty, inequality and discrimination. An estimated 1.4 million people were living with HIV in Latin America in 2011, compared to 1.2 million in 2001. Approximately 83.000 people were newly infected with HIV in Latin America in 2011 while the number of people dying from AIDS-related causes declined by only 10 percent between 2005 and 2011, from 60.000 to 54.000.
The Caribbean continues to be the region with the second highest adult prevalence in the world after Sub-Saharan Africa and the spread of HIV in the Caribbean continues to be fuelled by poverty, gender inequality and a high degree of HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
The epidemic in the region is mainly concentrated among key populations at higher risk of HIV infection. These populations face harsh legal and policy environments throughout the region, while having poor access to justice and health services.
In the region eleven countries, mainly in the Caribbean, still criminalize same sex conduct and the majority criminalizes some aspect of sex work. Additionally, few National AIDS plans in the region include activities or resources to address the rights or needs of key populations (such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender –LGBT- people). The ongoing exclusion of these populations from healthcare and from full socio-economic and political participation is fueling the growth in the HIV epidemic in the region.
a. Mainstreaming, Gender and the Millennium Development Goals: UNDP’s approach to the HIV pandemic is embedded within a broader development strategy that recognizes the importance of working across sectors to address HIV, gender, social protection, poverty reduction, health and the MDGs in an integrated manner.
b. Governance, Human Rights and Vulnerable Groups: UNDP works with partners, ranging from governments and civil society organizations to the private sector, to address the interactions between human rights, enabling legal environments and good governance as critical enablers for effective HIV, health and development responses.
c. Global Fund Implementation Support and Capacity Development: The Global Fund has partnered with UNDP since 2003 to help ensure that HIV, TB and malaria grants are implemented and services delivered in countries facing complex challenges. The capacity of national partners is also strengthened to support long-term sustainability of health outcomes.