UNITED NATIONS, June 12 (NNN-XINHUA) - Brazil yesterday called for more comprehensive education on how to prevent HIV/AIDS, saying that discrimination, limited access to health services and lack of specific HIV-prevention policies contribute to making key affected populations disproportionately vulnerable to the infection.
The statement came as Regina Maria Cordeiro Dunlop, the deputy Brazilian permanent representative to the United Nations, made the statement as he was speaking at a plenary session of the UN General Assembly on HIV/AIDS.
"Comprehensive education on sexuality must be made available together with the expansion of access to essential preventive commodities, particularly male and female condoms," she said.
"Substantive reductions have recently been registered in sexual transmissions of HIV, especially in high prevalence countries," she said. "However, there is a lot we must accomplish in order to reach the 50 percent reduction target by 2015."
"Countries and regions should be able to respond to specific patterns of the epidemic," she said. "At the same time, governments in both concentrated or high-prevalence epidemic countries must put in place strategies that adequately focus on the needs of populations that are at higher risk of infection, in particular injecting drug users, sex workers and men who have sex with men."
"Discrimination, limited access to health services and lack of specific HIV-prevention policies contribute to making these key affected populations disproportionately vulnerable to the infection," she said.
"Our efforts to significantly prevent HIV infections must be coupled with renewed determination to ensure access to treatment for all those in need," she said.
But she said that access to medicines is one of the biggest challenges.
"Access to medicines is among the biggest challenges to public health, not only from a medical perspective but also from ethnic and political standpoints," she said. "Price is still one of the main obstacles to increase availability and accessibility of medicines for both institutions and individuals."
"As a result, poor people are the most affected in our societies, as the poorest and most vulnerable countries are at the international level," she said.