Brazil: Health Ministry to Launch National HIV Registry

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The Brazilian Ministry of Health will create an official registry of citizens that are HIV positive in an effort to improve its policies against the virus. Physicians and laboratories that conduct detection tests for the virus will be required to forward patient’s data in case of a positive result. Currently, the information is only reported if the HIV patient develops AIDS.

“The information will be confidential,” says Amelia Maria Veras, epidemiologist of Santa Casa de São Paulo. She was part of the group that formulated the new guidelines with the ministry. The group also included institutions like UFBA, UFMG and FioCruz.

The purpose of the registry is to help develop public policies that attempt to reduce the spread of this virus. The new deputy of the UN’s AIDS-fighting programme, Luiz Loures, recently hailed the country’s progress in fighting the virus, which has affected over 600,000 since first appearing in the country in 1980. According to Healthy Ministry data, the number of new cases of HIV fell slightly in 2009 and 2010.

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