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PRESS RELEASE

Brazil: US$ 67 Million for Sustained HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Efforts

May 18, 2010

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2010 - The World Bank approved today a US$ 67 million loan to Brazil, in support of the federal AIDS-SUS Project. The project will increase prevention, care and treatment services for groups most at risk of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the country, and support the Government’s efforts to improve health program performance through improved governance, decentralization and results-based management.

“Brazil has confronted and defied early predictions about the spread of the epidemic, that 1.2 million people would be infected by the year 2000. Due to the efforts of the Government and civil society, we have been able to contain the epidemic, and now, ten years after, there are about 630 thousand people living with the virus in Brazil,” said José Gomes Temporão, Minister of Health. “We must invest even more on innovation and in qualification for results management to achieve new victories in the fight against the disease. This project will be key to achieve these objectives.”

The Government has invested heavily in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other STDs, targeting groups most at risk, and offering antiretroviral treatment – free of charge – to all identified patients who qualify for it. However, Brazil is witnessing changes in the epidemic’s profile and is seeking to fine tune its policy. In recent years, the epidemic has been spreading to women, poorer groups, and towards the interior of the country.

“While Brazil’s treatment program clearly has saved lives, it has also saved money. Even without considering the broader economic impact, the cost of the treatment is lower than the estimated hospital costs. This is part of the reason why many countries are looking to Brazil to shape their own strategies. As Brazil moves to a second generation of programs and designs new innovative responses to the epidemic, the Bank can help in sharing its experience globally,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brazil.

The Project will improve surveillance, prevention and control of STD and HIV/AIDS among groups most at risk.  Although the project does not include financing for antiretroviral drugs, it will make the overall management of these programs more efficient by linking the allocation of resources to expected health results, while supporting Government and civil society (CSOs) decentralized actions, capacity building and innovation.

Activities include:

  • Training in strategic planning, definition of success measures, monitoring achievements and learning from experience for staff at the three levels of government and in civil society organizations;
  • Development of policies, guidelines and technical regulations for Brazil’s Unified Health System (SUS).

The project will also map the epidemic and the health response for groups most at risk by region.

“Brazil confronted the sensitive issues surrounding HIV/AIDS without flinching. Strong, sustained political will coupled with efficient management are essential for a successful HIV/AIDS program. In Brazil, the Government recognized the threat inherent in the HIV/AIDS epidemic at an early stage, and established the basis to manage the crisis,” said Joana Godinho, World Bank Project Manager.

The World Bank has been a partner to Brazil’s HIV/AIDS and STD program since its inception in 1993, with almost US$ 500 million in four loans.  Overall, the Bank has invested US$ 2.2 billion in Brazil’s health system since 1976.

This is a US$ 67 million, IBRD Flexible Loan (IFL) with variable spread option. Repayment schedule is linked to commitments and all the conversion options.  Payable in 30 years, including a 5-year grace period.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2010/408/LAC