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The first case of AIDS in Brazil was in 1982. The government set up the National AIDS Program (NAP) in association with different civil society groups in 1985. These society groups wanted to make sure the government was aware of what was going on with regards to the disease in order to give the people the care they needed.  Around the same time the first HIV/AIDS NGO was created known as GAPA or in English as the AIDS Prevention and Support Group, Grupo Pela Vida (Group for Life) and ABIA (Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association).These groups constantly pressured politicians into improving the treatment and care of those living with this disease. After the constitution of 1988, it gave legal protection to the people who had been infected with regards to any discrimination and defended their right to free health care. As soon as in 1996, the antiretroviral drugs had shown to considerably help the victims of HIV/AIDS, many activist groups began to pressure the Brazilian government to provide the drug to everyone who had been infected. Later on that same year, the Brazilian Minister of Health announced that the drug would be provided to all free of cost.

For more access http://www.avert.org/aids-brazil.htm


The family health program is a division of SUS in which was started 1994 to be completely dedicated to families as the name suggests and to enhance the care to more groups of people. It also became one of the most if not the most important division of SUS. It’s based on multidisciplinary teams, comprised of a doctor, a nurse, a nurse auxiliary and four to six community health workers that work in health units located in geographically defined areas each covering no more than 5000 residents. Community health workers is responsible for up to 120 families in a defined area and aims to provide home visits to every household at least once a month. The care is supposed to enhance the relationship between the residents in the given area with the health providers since it’s in a smaller defined place.

In order to recruit qualified personnel to the program the Ministry of Health created training centers that are regionally located to create competent workers to the program. The municipalities have also been able to invest in better hardware such as regulatory systems, increase service supplies, create clinical guidelines and use the electronic medical records in order to incorporate it to specialized systems for specialized care. 

For more see: http://dab.saude.gov.br/atencaobasica.php

Brazil’s unified health system (SUS) is one of the largest universal health care systems in the world.  It is the main supplier of health care to 76% of the population in Brazil. It has 5,900 thousand registered hospitals. It also has an agreement with almost all public hospitals, private and university hospitals which guarantees all the citizens the right to care. It has 64,000 primary health care units and 28,000 family health care teams. It also created the Mobile Emergency Health Care Service (SAMU) and National Policies for Women’s Integral Health Care. The mobile service was created in 2003 as part of the National Emergency attention policy. It is the largest public organ and tissue transplant program. It carries out 2.3 billion outpatient procedures, has 11.3 inpatient stays every year, 254 million medical consultations every year and 2.3 million babies delivered every year. Their national immunization program applies about 130 million vaccinations every year.  They also have a project called the Farmacia Popular or the Popular Pharmacy in which certain drugs are provided to people at very low costs. 

For more see: http://www.brasil.gov.br/para/worker/service/what-does-sus-stand-for/br_model1?set_language=en

.  Since social control and social participation became such a major component of the reform in the constitution it created health councils to initiate the participation and thus make easier the implementation of the policies. The Municipal Health Council consists of governmental institutions, providers of health services, health professionals, civil societies organizations and citizens.They approve on annual plans and health budgets but if the council can’t come to an agreement on something no funding is provided. Therefore, the council is necessary for the municipality to receive federal funds. 

For more information see Democratization of the Brazilian Health Councils: The Paradox of Bringing the Other Side into the Tent by Vera P. Schattan Coelho

After the end of the military regime in Brazil, the constitution of 1988 was established and it sought to establish and protect individual freedoms. In the constitution, health was recognized as a citizen’s right and a duty of the state to provide it to the citizens. It also laid the foundations for the public health service known now as Sistema Unico de Saude (SUS). Some of the Guiding Principles of the reform in the constitution were: health as a right of citizen; equal access; health as a component of social welfare; a single administration for the public system; integrated and hierarchical health care; social control and social participation; and decentralization and regionalism.


This is some basic statistical information: according to the World Bank, Brazil has a population of 203,429,773 and a growth rate of 1.134%.  The birth rate is 17.79 births/1,000 population and the death rate is 6.36 death rate is 6.36/1,000 population. The maternal mortality rate is 58 deaths/ 100,000 live births and the infant mortality rate is 21.17 deaths/1,000 live births. The life expectancy at birth for the total population is 72.53 years, more specific for males it is 68.97 years and for females it is 76.27 years. There is no information on people living with HIV/AIDS, have been infected or who have died from HIV/AIDS. All this can be found on the World Bank databases:


HIV/AIDS in Brazil

About one third of the people living with HIV/AIDS located in Latin American reside in Brazil according to a USAID report. Regardless of that statistic, Brazil has been a model for other countries to use as an example in  ways to combat the spread of the disease and also in treating the disease. According to a report conducted by WHO/UNAIDS/United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Towards Universal Access identified that the 80% of people who needed treatment had received it.USAID has also provided monetary help such as in 2009, Brazil $800,000 for programs and services. More can be seen here: http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/aids/Countries/lac/brazil.pdf