Statements and Webcast
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
H.E. Dr. Alexis Guilarte, Director General of the Ministry of Health
9 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
ALEXIS GUILARTE, Director-General of Health Programmes, Ministry of the People’s Power for Health of Venezuela, said his country’s national response to HIV and AIDS was organized around prevention, care and epidemiological vigilance. Outlining current national statistics on the epidemic, he said 11,000 new cases were reported annually, of which 70 per cent occurred in people over 15 years of age. In 2008, 1,632 people had died from diseases attributable to HIV, he said, pointing out that while the trend in mortality had been rising since 1982, it had recently tended to stabilize at an average of 5.84 deaths per 100,000 people.
Emphasizing that universal access to treatment was an operational reality in his country, he noted in particular that all pregnant women living with HIV had access to antiretroviral drugs so as to prevent vertical transmission. Venezuela’s investment in antiretroviral therapy for 2010 was approximately $64 million, representing 2 per cent of the Health Ministry’s annual budget. Noting that the national response to HIV and AIDS included the constant participation of civil society and persons living with HIV, he emphasized that the inclusive approach in national plans and policies was aimed at eliminating stigma and discrimination. The national action plan for 2011-2015 aimed, among other things, to strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems while boosting the quality of treatment, care and support services for people living with HIV.