series event

The History of AIDS, Global Health and Brazil, 1996-2005

Marcos Cueto
(Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro)

During the past few decades, Brazil has had a complex and contradictory relationship with Global Health marked by achievements but also by discontinuity and fragmentation. In 1996, it was a pioneer in providing free access of antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDS challenging pharmaceutical companies. The Brazilian AIDS program strengthened testing, surveillance, counselling and articulated treatment with broad prevention programs that fought homophobia and stigma. The Brazilian response to AIDS inspired programs at the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and other international agencies.

However, many of these adaptations overemphasized treatment, paid little attention to prevention and decriminalization of homophobia and, some, mixed health goals with religious priorities (such as the Abstinence and Fidelity programs of evangelical Christians that guided US bilateral aid during the early 21st century). The presentation will discuss the role played by the Brazilian AIDS program in global health and what was lost its translation to global agencies. In addition, it will examine the difficulties encountered by the Brazilian AIDS programs towards the end of the first decade of the 21st century when evangelical Christians became important in Brazilian politics.