At the conclusion of 2007, UNAIDS and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there were 33.2 million people living with HIV (PLWHA) worldwide.1 Since the first cases were identified more than 25 years ago, HIV infection has been reported in every region of the world. However, the most dire consequences of this disease have been manifested in resource-poor settings where health care infrastructure is suboptimal, access to education is minimal, and poverty is rampant. Over the course of the last 5 years, efforts have been initiated to mitigate the disparate impact that HIV has in these settings. Though universal access to treatment is an unmet and distant goal, antiretroviral therapy is now more widely available. In addition, there has been a decrease in the number of new HIV infections, primarily due to strides made in both prevention and access to effective care and treatment.1 This chapter will focus on the HIV epidemic in three of the most resource-limited regions of the world: sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Each of these regions has been impacted by varying degrees by HIV/AIDS. Each faces ongoing challenges while combating the spread of infection and struggling to treat those who are already infected. However, progress has been made. Lessons that can be derived from the development of successful prevention interventions and from scale-up of treatment programs in these regions will be highlighted.
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