In Argentina, about 60 thousand people receive free antiretroviral therapy through more than 350 health establishments, located throughout the country. Epidemiological data shows more than 110 thousand people with HIV, and 30% of them are unaware of their diagnosis.
Carlos Falistocco, responsible for the direction of AIDS and sexually transmitted infection (STIs) of the Ministry of Health in Argentina, said that “now Argentina will provide universal access to treatment, which means that those who are diagnosed, and want to be treated, will receive free medication”.
Now doctors can offer treatment when appropriate, and people with HIV will decide whether they want to start their treatment. “HIV testing, and the decision to start the medication is voluntarily. HIV treatment is not an obligation, it’s a right”. Said Falistocco.
Argentina has made major changes in recent times and many advances in response to HIV. Certainly, civil society has been an essential part in the achievement of these advances. Of the 60,000 people with HIV in Argentina, 70% of them receives medications provided by the public health system, 41 thousand people approximately. The remaining 30% is served by social projects.
UNAIDS’ Director for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, Alberto Stella, spoke about the commitment of this international agency to comply with the most recent goals of testing and treatment. “We are committed to reaching 15 million people on treatment worldwide. The next five years are crucial in the global response to HIV. In 2020 we could have only 500 thousand new infections, 75% less than now (…)”.
On the other hand, recent estimates showed that Argentina saved about $700 million, due to their very efficient health program.
In 2014 were conducted about 21 workshops on public policies for access to diagnosis, pre and post test counseling, meetings to improve the logistics of reagents in each territory, among other activities. Prevention, counselling and testing centers are a fundamental part of this strategy, and they are intended to reduce the transmission of HIV and syphilis through prevention.
In Argentina, 90% of new infections is due to unprotected sex. While 90% of women become infected with HIV through sex with men. 46.8% of men acquire HIV through sexual relations with women, and 42.7% with other men.