Brazil’s new challenge against HIV

Despite a recent rise in HIV infections, Brazil remains a reference in fighting AIDS with a free system of prevention and treatment.
Photo: Alexxndr/Shutterstock

The first registered case of AIDS in Brazil came in 1982. Back then, the press called it the “gay plague,” “God’s curse on queers,” or the “5H disease“—a reference to what had been observed as the most-affected populations (homosexuals, hemophiliacs, Haitians, heroin addicts, and ‘hookers’). It was only in the 1990s, with the deaths of famous singers Cazuza and Renato Russo from AIDS-related illnesses, that Brazil would pay more attention to the disease.

Since then, Brazil has become a worldwide reference in dealing with AIDS. In 1996, it became one of the first countries in the world to offer...

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