Almost half of AIDS cases in Brazil are detected after individuals display exterior signs of immune deficiency, the country’s AIDS program coordinator, Mariangela Simao, said on February 14. Agence France-Presse (AFP)/Yahoo News (, 2/14) reports that Simao called this delay “unacceptable,” saying that it undermines treatment successes in the country.

Recent health ministry figures showed that 43.7 percent of Brazilians diagnosed with AIDS learned of their status after symptoms became visible. Approximately 29 percent died at the beginning of treatment.

“In a country like Brazil, where we have access to diagnostics and treatment, [late detection] is unacceptable,” said Simao at a media conference.

There are approximately 600,000 HIV-positive people living in Brazil. The AFP reports that the country’s UNAIDS coordinator, Pedro Chequer, said Brazil still serves as an example of how to combat HIV/AIDS based on its prevention campaigns, distribution of free condoms and free HIV/AIDS treatment.