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Young people are also disproportionately affected by HIV in the region.
In 2017, gay men and other men who have sex with men accounted for 41% of HIV infections in Latin America, and key populations and their sexual partners represented more than three quarters of new infections overall.8 In the Caribbean, gay men and other men who have sex with men accounted for nearly a quarter of new infections in 2017.
Explore this page to find out more about the people most affected by HIV in Latin America and Caribbean, testing and counselling, prevention programmes, antiretroviral treatment availability, barriers to the response, funding and the future of HIV in Latin America and Caribbean.
An estimated 2.2 million people were living with HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 (1.9 million in Latin America and 340,000 in the Caribbean).
Large numbers of men who have sex with men also have sex with women, forming a 'bridge' population.15 16 As one civil society worker explains, men who have sex with men are often hesitant to reveal how they became infected with HIV.
Many are mistakenly classed as heterosexual: Unless he’s a total queen, a man will always be [counted as] heterosexual.
3 There has been moderate progress made on both prevention and treatment in the Caribbean.
In 2014, only 51% of men who have sex with men were reported to have access to HIV services, a level that has remained unchanged for several years.13 Moreover, access to HIV testing among men who have sex with men varies enormously from country to country, ranging from 5% to 70%.14 Homophobia and the ‘machismo’ (or aggressively masculine) culture are common throughout the region and sex between men is highly stigmatised.In the Caribbean, HIV prevalence among gay men and other men who have sex with men is particularly high in Trinidad and Tobago (32%), Bahamas (25%) and Haiti (13%).The lowest prevalence percentages are still high at 5% in Guyana and around 6% in Suriname and Cuba.11 In Latin America, HIV prevalence among this population is lowest in Guatemala and El Salvador at around 7%.In Latin America, around 1% of sex workers in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay were living with HIV in 2017, compared to around 5% in Bolivia, Brazil and Panama.In the Caribbean, where reported, prevalence ranges from between 2% in Jamaica to 6% in Guyana.26 Male and transgender sex workers tend to be more affected by HIV than cis-female sex workers.